I visited so-called Billionaires Row, in East Finchley, in London. It is reknowned for properties owned by the super rich, owned by royals, Russians, Arabs and wealthy business people. Some of these mansions are in the region of £70m. The owners are ‘hogging’ prime investment land and making parts of London soulless and sterile.
When I went up there at the weekend, numerous properties still remained empty and protected by security guards, some with guard dogs. Gardens were completely neglected with wildlife and rats taking over. Smart courtyards were boarded up. Some properties that were actually occupied had a gleaming Rolls Royce and a Bentley behind their gated property, they were not even garaged.
The road didn’t really seem to have much character, and I would say it was a pretty boring road. There were so many empty mansions, some had been partly demolished, it was an eyesore. I have been to Beirut, and even in bombed out properties, people were living here, but the only people there were security guards or builders and roofers. Instead of a family car in the entrance, there was a private security car. Hardly anyone walked there. It looked a dreary sight. Along other side roads, instead of residents, were strings of security cars and more empty mansions.
One vulgar (as most of them were) mansion , soon to have an Open Day Launch, promised a swimming pool and maid service (apparently the super rich want a kind of hotel service at home). Some are offering ‘super basements’ with several floors to maximise investment. The whole place is simple grotesque. it is like the middle class have ‘gone rogue’ when they win Euro Millions or something. It look all very sad and shallow, what a pointess existence these people live.
One British builder said to me, he was sad to see that his work would just be a property that would only be used for a few days a year, but at least ‘it would pay his bills’.
Even round the corner of the scruffy Bishops Avenue, I saw a virus of empty properties owned by property tycoons not far off from Kenwood House, and further along the road towards Highgate.
Here’s a selection of photos I took at the weekend:
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