Monday, February 20, 2012

Where the 1% live

They have to live somewhere and it appears that two of their favourite places are in the GLA constituency of Merton and Wandsworth. The Times's Bricks & Mortar supplement last Friday compared properties in parts of Wandsworth (the area round Wandsworth Common) and in Wimbledon (which is in the borough of Merton).

It appears that the average house price in that part of Wandsworth is £1.125 million. In Wimbledon it's £1.380 million. In Wandsworth 28% of property sales between January 2009 and September 2011 were for amounts between £1 million and £2 million and 12% for amounts above £2 million. In Wimbledon the figures for the same period were 36% and 20% respectively.

And who bought them? In Wandsworth 70% of these buyers came from "the business and financial services sector" and in Wimbledon 75%. So now we know what they spend some of their bonuses on.

The good news is that they make up only a tiny percentage of the populations of Merton and Wandsworth boroughs. The non-rich of these boroughs can easily outvote them if they decide to realise the worst fears of Col. Rich (yes, that was his name) in the debates that took place in the constituency, in Putney, in 1647:
You have five to one in this kingdom that have no permanent interest. Some men have ten, some twenty servants — some more, some less. If the master and servant shall be equal electors, then clearly those that have no interest in the kingdom will make it their interest to choose those that have no interest. It may happen that the majority may, by law — not in a confusion — destroy property; there may be a law enacted that there shall be an equality of goods and estate.
Yes we can — when we want.

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