The Empty Playgrounds of the Stateless Super-Rich

Tanya Powley and Lucy Warwick-Ching examine the growing market in super-prime homes for the global "super-rich", and its negative impact on local communities.
May 1, 2012, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The increasing domination of high-end housing markets around the world by the state-less super rich (as much as 95 per cent of the expensive homes in Paris, and 85 per cent in London are owned by international buyers), "has also resulted in a number of knock-on social consequences for the domestic populations of these emerging global cities," note Powley and Warwick-Ching.

"The problem is that these super-prime areas have a high proportion of second, third, or fourth homes that are left vacant for periods of the year as their owners move from one exclusive destination to another. These individuals will spend a few months in St Moritz, before moving to their trophy mansion in London, and then on to their luxury villa in Sardinia for the summer months."

"Critics argue that these buyers aggravate the housing shortages prevalent in these cities while spending less in the local economy than permanent residents. [Socioligist Saskia] Sassen says in some extreme cases poorer local residents can start to develop a sense of distance from their city."

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Published on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in The Financial Times
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