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  1. Wealthy hongkongers worthy of attention from the government already own property in London, much like the Saudi royal family and rich people from any part of the world. That's a good enough insurance policy. You don't need to move there. Many people from my home country own property in London and have zero desire to live there, it's just so much cheaper than in my home country where non government subsidized property cost millions. They remortgage their homes and buy London property in cash. You would never see these people. My own parents regard UK stamp duty as negligible and barely worth talking about as stamp duty in my home country is far higher. Also council tax is a bit of a joke, you can pay £1500 per annum for a st John's wood million pound property, can you imagine how much it will cost in terms of property tax in New York or San Francisco? Rich people from any part of the world or indeed UK born and bred already treat prime central London as a stepping stone.
  2. I have an uncle who lives in America. He once commented he is not interested in politics at all, far better to focus on career, even political discussion is a distraction from more important things. he barely knows what is happening politically. To him it makes no difference who the government is. He intends to spend his retirement in Taiwan (already bought 2 apartments there) but that is just a base for him to tour China (so most of the time will be spent in China). He is very pro China. He is fluent in English,; indeed English is his mother tongue more than mandarin would ever be. He has lived in the USA for 40 years (and owns a house there too) but yet chooses to want to spend a large part of his retirement travelling in an authoritarian country. While HK was more democratic than many countries in Asia, it was not a western style democracy. I would say maybe half value democracy but the other half don't. The half that value democracy- how far would they go for it. Unless all the other factors like job/family align as well. People who don't grow up with democracy don't necessarily appreciate it. Even the people in western societies don't necessarily appreciate it either!
  3. Why would they all come to the UK? Yes Hong Kong properties are small but the incomes are higher and most would have jobs there. Why would they come to the UK, paying thousands in immigration fees and disrupting their kids' education unless they have a clear plan on how to make a life here? Yes they can use their savings but that's not a long term plan either? Most people aren't political, and people are comfort orientated, it is scary to move to a new country esp if you don't have a plan or a job lined up for you (how easy is it to get a job overseas). There are outliers who would take the risk and also rich people who have the resources to take the risk but for the average Hker? This does translate to thousands esp for those with money for houses and highly skilled (more confidence in job market) but a lot of them do earn less than they did in HK so it's not all sunshine and roses. I speak as an immigrant. When I first came to the UK, I was a student so had parent's backing..when I finally settled here, I had my husband who is local as well as a free place to stay. I would not move to a new country without a job lined up unless I was actually wanted by the police in my home country. And even though I am fairly political, I think I am pretty low down on the list of any government even authoritarian ones... Does that answer your question.
  4. I married my husband when he had nothing and we bought our flat together. I think it's just because people don't want to settle down so early.
  5. New Zealand has banned foreign ownership of property and has also effectively barred all foreigners from New Zealand for over 2 years given that even overseas Kiwis have problems returning. Yet the housing crisis there is extremely acute and the house prices there have completely skyrocketed over the pandemic. It isn't just population size that puts pressure on rental stock. Another big factor is the increasing numbers of young people on good salaries who stay single and therefore are more likely to rent. Such people are willing to pay £1k for a room in inner london, this means that landlords are likely to want to rent to them than to rent to a local family. There are also more rooms than people in London- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45098321. There is significant underoccupation of homes- again this indicates inequality. Rich people can afford large homes even in London, whether due to accumulated equity, inheritance and high incomes- or a combination of all 3. Coupling up of rich people who have all 3 factors. This again is unprecedented- never have there been so many heirs and heiresses (to use an antiquated term for those who inherit their parents' and grandparents' million pound homes) and they tend to marry each other. As there is a perceived shortage of housing, people who can tend to hoard property, also because of the costs associate with stamp duty and moving. They buy bigger than they need; and they stay in it. They also buy additional property due to low interest rates and not wanting to keep it in the bank. Its a perfect storm and perhaps its a bubble but a lot of it is due to structural demographic and social changes. Perhaps its like supporting a family of 4 on a single income; perhaps affording your own home on a middle income is a thing of the past. After all, in the past, most respectable middle class families would have had a servant, but now it is a luxury for the rich. Perhaps owning your home would be the same in 10-20 years (irrespective of property crashes as the people who would buy would be people who have savings or equity).
  6. i am sure many decent people lived there. But it would not have been attractive to young professionals. Areas do change with time. the guy who lived next to my husband's childhood home said that when he first moved to the area, it was very white and working class and he had a cuppa with one of the older residents. That guy said he resented Jewish people moving in as he felt that they didn't want to talk to him or be friendly with him. And of course the shops changed. Jewish people have lived in London for a really long time, they aren't exactly new arrivals. And I think they had started moving to the north london suburbs way before 2002. They also started moving to more deprived areas as they got priced out of the 'traditional' areas like Golders Green. For my husband's generation, the area is borehamwood and it is also pretty rough. But both my husband's area and borehamwood are pretty expensive for what they are; and now people do pay a premium for it as both areas have Jewish facilities now.
  7. In 1982, no one who could afford it would want to live in tower Hamlets. Today, a young graduate might be persuaded to rent an ex council flat if it meant being able to walk to work. Young graduate on £50k Vs young family on low income. Hmmm who should the landlord rent to? These areas have completely changed. London's population dropped when there was decreasing economic prospects and when the fashion was to move to the home counties. I think we may be moving back to that era but people in my generation are having kids a lot older. This means we are comfortable staying in London flats for a lot longer
  8. There isn't any diaspora I like or dislike. Immigrants are a net benefit to the treasury as a whole, they tend to be young and require less health treatment-https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/the-fiscal-impact-of-immigration-in-the-uk/ The fact the NHS is overtaxed has less to do with immigrants and more to do with an ageing population and low productivity. One has to earn in excess of £35k to be a net contributor to the system. With regional inequality, there are many parts of the UK where this would be considered a good wage let alone the norm...it was failing even in the early years let alone when average lifespan is in excess of 80 years. High house prices are a global phenomenon in developed economies. The landlord who sold me my flat was British and he owned many properties. He is a bigger reason why young Londoners can't buy homes than some immigrants. London is subsidizing the rest of the country, only London and the southeast are net contributors. 40% of all tax revenue is generated in lodnon. This means there isn't enough money to go around for public services and schools as the money needs to be shared out. It also means that there is high population concentration in London. Earning disparity means that when Londoners move out (and are replaced by newcomers), they price everyone out whenever they go. The whole thing is less about where everyone comes from and more about inequality. For someone like you in Bournemouth, it doesn't matter if the people moving to Bournemouth are from Surrey, London, Tokyo or Mumbai. What matters is they are likely to have more money if they were doing well in their previous city of residence (yes even Mumbai, look at rishi sunak's wife). And then they will price the locals out..or if they are overseas investors, they can literally buy up everything without even stepping into Bournemouth.
  9. Funnily enough they don't vote Tory, they vote labour. Labour probably wouldn't accept less refugees. Londoners blame BTL landlords and apparently two thirds support rent controls. I bought my flat from an ex BTL landlord selling up.
  10. Add to that the taxpayer now has to pay Karen's landlord because the social housing has been sold up. I think the danger was actually the perception that only druggies and layabouts live in ex council housing. Naturally people do not want to work to fund them. If council housing also catered to essential workers and middle income families, there may have been more popular support. In a sense, there is nothing wrong with selling the council housing, what is wrong is allowing people who are not poor to live in them which is an inevitable consequence when you allow council flats to be sold as BTL. If they wish to continue with right to buy, there should be an important caveat- you are not allowed to own any other property other than the council flat, you cannot sell to someone who earns above a certain income level and when you die, your council flat has to be returned to the council with only nominal compensation given to your heirs.
  11. There are several markets for housing. Go on rightmove, there is an excess of flats and houses for rental in camden. Absolutely nothing below £1600, average is probably more like £2500. But why are so many people homeless/forced to move out? Because they can't afford to pay £1600/£2000 for a roof over their head. Previously, they would have qualified for a council flat. However now that the council flat has been sold to the sitting tenant who can do whatever he or she likes with it, the natural result is that he or she will cash out- sell it to the highest bidder or rent it out to the tenant who can pay market rent. My ex landlord probably paid tax, he was willing to pay an estate agent to manage the property and find him new tenants every year (generally students), why would he not pay tax. If the flat had been owned by the council, i would never have rented it or have been eligible to rent (my visa stated no receipt of benefits allowed, but somehow i was allowed to rent an ex council flat just because the owner is a private individual and charges market rent). Indeed, this is the only time I rented privately in my years in the uk, in all other years, i lived in student halls, with my husband's family or in the flat I bought with my husband.
  12. As an international student, I rented an ex council flat in Camden with 2 friends for 1 year..this was in 2012 and we paid in excess of £2k per month for a 2 bed flat. The previous tenants before us were medical students from UCL. The owner was actually a waiter and he told me this was his home for many years. He has now moved outside London but is collecting rent from the Camden flat due to the location (walking distance from UCL and UCH). That's the problem, a lot of the ex council flats are now rentals and even if the people were the people they were originally intended for, they would be paying market rent.. unsurprisingly, a lot of the people renting the ex LA flats esp in London are people who can afford to rent privately. As a newcomer to the UK, I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I am not sure how refugees can get a council flat, they are incredibly rare in London and the waiting list is several years long.
  13. I thought Blair wanted an 'easy' way to pad the pensions of elderly people. Your primary residence increasing in value means that you can remortgage and invest in a few BTL for passive income. The state doesn't need to bail you out. Unfortunately, this means the young can't afford to buy (but I guess they vote labour anyway). With or without blair, the housing market would have boomed anyway, its the same in almost every developed country. The only thing that could have insulated the British public is if we kept our council housing and perhaps expanded it to include the essential workers or even middle income earners. We don't expect the British public to pay for their healthcare on the 'free market', why should we expect them to pay for safe secure housing on the free market?
  14. Thank you. I came as a student, it was never my intention to stay but life happened that way. As an international couple, London is a good fit. To be honest, my entry to the UK coincided with the pound falling in value, making it a much more attractive destination than the USA or Australia. I do think that there would be more international students on that basis alone. More international students = more graduates wanting to stay in London if they secure opportunities here/fall in love/mixture of the two.
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