Monday, 13 February 2012
Royals are keeping our end up in the scramble for top property.
You don't need to be a financial genius to understand that economic downturns do not impact equally on all of us. The trade in art, fine wine and super yachts is perfectly healthy and the top end of the London property market is as buoyant as ever. Recently we have had an influx of rich Greeks who quite understandably feel that a large house in Belgravia might be a better use of a few million Euros than say paying tax in Greece. For years now properties in the posher bits of London have been being bought up by wealthy foreigners. Arab princes wary of all this "spring" malarkey, Russian oligarchs hedging their bets in case they fall out with Putin, all have been hoovering up London real estate like it was going out of fashion. How gratifying in the face of all these incursions from abroad to see that our own wonderful royal family are not being left behind in the property development racket. The crown estate (who deal with tacky commercial matters for the House of Windsor) are in the final stages of their £300m redevelopment of the old Regent Palace Hotel. Posh shops and exclusive restaurants will share the space with offices (Al Gore's new bank is taking over the top floor) and luxury apartments. There's no doubt about it - when it comes to austerity we really are all in it together.