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follow Patrick 2018 May 10, 8:27pm
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This happens through a process of “trickle-down”. Wealth does indeed trickle down, but instead of benefiting the less well-off, as free marketeers claimed it would, it displaces them. This is true for the old English elites who can no longer afford to live in Kensington and Chelsea, and for the residents of social housing forced out of their homes as estates are demolished and luxury apartments go up in their place.Researchers at Savills, the property company, identified this trend as far back as 2011. In a report, The Champagne Tower Effect, Savills wrote positively: “As billionaires displace multimillionaires from the top addresses, so they in turn displace millionaires … equity migrates to more peripheral areas of the capital and, eventually, out of the capital to the rest of the UK.”As the English upper classes sell up in Kensington and Chelsea, they buy their children homes in once unfashionable places on the outreaches of the capital, which become property hotspots. In turn, middle-class families unable to afford their fast gentrifying areas are pushed out to cities like Bristol or south coast towns from Hastings to Margate, which are becoming a mix of priced-out London artists and creatives alongside a large homeless population in temporary accommodation.