Neither London nor New York will be livable in ten years’ time

Aerial view of London.

…His [Simon Kuper’s] column is about London becoming a place in which no normal person can afford to live in future. Neither London nor New York will be livable in ten years. Only last Saturday, 18 April, there were six shootings in the space of a few hours, including a 15-year-old girl in the Bronx. And it hasn’t even got warm yet, which is when the bullets tend to fly. In Brooklyn, houses are being sold for $6 million, whereas 20 years ago the price was less than 150,000 big ones. One house in Brooklyn Heights has a $40 million price tag. Last year I described 432 Park Avenue as an undulating middle finger to good taste. It is 1,396-feet high, the brainchild of a horrible real-estate shark I had the bad luck to go to school with. He was big and brash but wouldn’t go out for sports. His name is Harry B. Macklowe. I am sure some American citizens might end up owning an apartment there, but I am equally certain that they will be naturalised Americans, born under a somewhat bluer sky in Taiwan or India, or southern China.

London, of course, is no longer the grey, grimy city that I moved to 40 years ago because it was fun. On Friday nights one could get the best table anywhere as the Brits queued for hours on the M4 to prove they were country gentry. No longer. The Gulf Arabs have descended and there are no tables available anywhere, anytime. Property prices, needless to say, are at nosebleed levels, and even the upper middle classes are moving out. London’s state schools cannot meet the standards of private ones — too many immigrant children who don’t speak English at home — which means that only rich foreign people with children will be welcomed by London’s warm and extremely expensive embrace….

The original column by Simon Kuper is at the pay-walled Financial Times (link given above). A version of the same piece is available here (free).  The main points are made in the piece above.

  • k1962

    Sounds like Vancouver.

    • Frau Katze

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • k1962

        Yeah, but I have heard that Victoria is starting to get pricey and it’s predicted to get even more expensive, which is a drag because one of my son’s likes it and would consider living there. He doesn’t want to live in an expensive shoe box in Vancouver. Are the rich Mainland Chinese starting to buy up property there?

        • Frau Katze

          I’m not really sure. They’re not buying in my area (kind of low class, Langford. But it is improving.).

          • k1962

            Area’s can change and rapidly. Look at Vancouver’s “desirable” east side now. Everyone else is flooding into the once affordable neighbourhoods. Kind of like a white (ish) flight sort of situation.

            Son has to spend time in Langford for school this summer. Don’t know anything about it. Hope there is lots of parking free parking 😉

  • Xavier

    Nah, the rich need the lower class to provide goods and services. There will be 2 classes – the haves and have-nots – and if you think “wealth disparity” exists now, just wait.

    • k1962

      That’s right and soon the shanty towns will spring up to house them.

      • Clausewitz

        Because we all know is that what the world needs is more Brazilian Favela’s.

  • Hard Little Machine

    There are 3 groups of people who live in NYC: The hyper rich, the poor/working poor and the city employees.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      Make that last category the civil servants at all levels of government.

  • heather

    London is an Islamic State anyway.
    It’s boring, old and lacks diversity.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The shootings in NYC were in the same bad neighborhoods where crime was prevalent in the 1970s – same recognizable class of perps and victims.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Surely not. No!

  • Everyone Else

    The other thing is that a lot of these expensive properties sit empty most of the time because the owners have other homes in other countries. The owners buy these properties as investments.