According to a report in today’s Evening Standard Wapping tops the league for increase in house prices during the last decade as the average asking price is now £901,031.
The reality of social cleansing on a scale never before seen in London is encapsulated in this glib paragraph from the Standard:
“Accordingly, asking prices have grown a stonking 154.8 per cent in a decade to an average of £901,031, which means it is now a location full of City types and overseas owners, while born-and-bred east enders have taken the money and run — or been priced out.”
‘A location full of City types and overseas owners’?
The City types are undoubtedly making their presence felt if only by the increasing number of Range Rovers in Wapping.
Overseas owners are nowhere to be seen of course as to them a flat in Wapping is simply another form of currency and so they practise ‘buy-to-leave’ by keeping their properties empty while the homeless walk the streets outside.
New builds of flats in Wapping often see flats being sold ‘off-plan’ (before they are actually built) several times as property speculators gamble.
A walk along Wapping High Street illustrates the problem, numerous very shiny and very expensive estate agents offices, some of which work together to arrange group tours for prospective buyers from China.
When ordinary (i.e. not rich) people are forced out of areas such as Wapping where their families may have lived for generations the communities they leave are being destroyed by their forced exile.
All is not gloom and doom however. Shares in estate agents Foxtons have fallen to a record low according to a report in the Guardian after a steep dip in profits amid warnings that housing sales would fall in 2017.
This reminds LW of a joke that did the rounds during the property crash of the 1980s.
Q: “Why doesn’t an estate agent look out of the window in the morning?
A: “Because it gives them something to do in the afternoon.”
What? You thought property prices could only ever rise? Oops. Silly you.