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Inside 'billionaires Row': London's Rotting, Derelict Mansions Worth £350M

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http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/31/inside-london-billionaires-row-derelict-mansions-hampstead

A third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London's "Billionaires Row" are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.

A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.

One property owner, the developer Anil Varma, has complained that the address has become "one of the most expensive wastelands in the world". At least 120 bedrooms are empty in the vacant properties.

The empty buildings include a row of 10 mansions worth £73m which have stood largely unused since they were bought between 1989 and 1993, it is believed on behalf of members of the Saudi royal family.

Exclusive access to now derelict properties has revealed that their condition is so poor in some cases that water streams down ballroom walls, ferns grow out of floors strewn with rubble from collapsed ceilings, and pigeon and owl skeletons lie scattered across rotting carpets.

Full story - http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/31/inside-london-billionaires-row-derelict-mansions-hampstead

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Land tax

I'm not sure that alone would deter the Saudi royal family; I don't think they're exactly short of a bob or two.

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What a waste

+1000

how could anyone neglect these beautiful interiors to this extent - obviously the owners have loadsamoney but no aesthetic soul and each and every thing they own is kept as an investment. :(

are these houses not listed - in which case it is an offence not to maintain them in good repair.

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The old saying "They know the price of everything and the value of nothing"

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I'm not sure that alone would deter the Saudi royal family; I don't think they're exactly short of a bob or two.

All the more reason to squeeze them? They're squatting an extremely valuable corner of our country, denying its use to other citizens. Surely they can cough up a bob or two for the privilege?

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It's criminal that anyone should be allowed to let a part of our country's heritage go to ruin like that. To leave them unused is one thing, but to let the water pour in is unsafe in the least and it should be an jailable offence.

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Curtains and no roof, kind of describes everything about the housing market :huh:

Someone has been around to wash and iron the curtains and clean the windows. ;)

Don't they knock the big houses down over time and build many self contained flats in their place, selling them for a fortune?

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That's what happens when an asset appreciates faster than it can draw an income, and gets crazy tax breaks for foreigners

Way to go Gordon Brown

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Shadow banking shits a bric(k)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/constructionandproperty/10597911/Global-safe-haven-for-property-creating-ghost-towns-in-London.html

He said turbulence in emerging markets such as Brazil had resulted in massive investment inflows into developed markets, particularly Europe.

“Where does it go first? It’s London,” said Mr Ulbrich. “Unlike elsewhere, I haven’t come across anybody who has said to me: 'I won’t invest there’.”

That's why bums go to iceland

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/29/prosecutors-drop-case-men-food-iceland-bins

May Chan and James, all residents of a squat in north London, were arrested on 25 October, just before midnight, after a member of the public called the police to report three men scaling a wall at the back of Iceland in Kentish Town. Police arrested the men as they left the area with a holdall and trolley containing food. The total value of the items taken from the bins allegedly amounted to £33.

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Well letting buildings rot isn't really investing, is it?

And the houses can't be worth anything in that state, so it's just the value of the land.

Strange that if these houses were actually put to a use then the real market value would be found, and that would be a lot lower than their current 'value'.

Hoarding items to increase their value, these people really are the great economic masterminds of the world.

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+1000

how could anyone neglect these beautiful interiors to this extent - obviously the owners have loadsamoney but no aesthetic soul and each and every thing they own is kept as an investment. :(

are these houses not listed - in which case it is an offence not to maintain them in good repair.

There is nothing of architectural merit down The Bishops Avenue.......... or moral come to that.

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That's what happens when an asset appreciates faster than it can draw an income, and gets crazy tax breaks for foreigners

Way to go Gordon Brown

Houses bought 1989 to 1993? He'll be responsible for the bad weather next.

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Land tax

Mansion tax.

It won't affect the Saudis but it will raise more money, possibly this might even be ring-fenced for affordable housing?

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Mansion tax.

It won't affect the Saudis but it will raise more money, possibly this might even be ring-fenced for affordable housing?

Surely a mansion tax is (if done properly) is just a LVT with a threshold.

Personally, I think a LVT should have a threshold. It should be possible to own less than, say 150k worth of land without attracting any taxes at all.

I think there are good theoretical reasons for this, but the practical argument is that it allows people to live unmolested lives as long as they aren't impinging on anyone else by using more than their share of a fixed resource.

On the other hand, I think it's really important that the total amount of land is taken into account. So I think a tax with a £2m threshold, should hit an owner of 10 x £200k houses as well.

Why not? They impose the same cost on the rest of us.

Edited by (Blizzard)

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Strange that if these houses were actually put to a use then the real market value would be found, and that would be a lot

According to the video, the rent is about £8k to £10k per week, at least that is what the Egyptian said he is paying.

Half a million a year - mine's 1% of that.

Edited by LiveinHope

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I didn't watch the video, if I had I probably would have smashed up my computer. :angry:

The point is, one used mansion getting £10,000 per week in a row of ten (the other nine derelict), isn't the same as all ten getting £10,000 per week.

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I didn't watch the video, if I had I probably would have smashed up my computer. :angry:

The point is, one used mansion getting £10,000 per week in a row of ten (the other nine derelict), isn't the same as all ten getting £10,000 per week.

The renter had a terrible existence I thought - he might as well have been on a spaceship traveling in a vacuum between planets with nothing save the swoosh of remote controlled doors (OK curtains) and conversations through an intercom for company.

Every day I think more and more that it's very much the time to quit.

Edited by LiveinHope

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Houses bought 1989 to 1993? He'll be responsible for the bad weather next.

Which means he was Chancellor or pm for 14 of the 24 years they've been held, and specifically oversaw the era that property speculation became standard

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