Papinian, I have a couple of things to take issue with here. Firstly I resent enormously any suggestion that my statement constitutes ‘soft xenophobia’. I abhor xenophobia in any form, was appalled by the outpouring of it that we saw in the wake of the Brexit vote and will speak out against it wherever I encounter it. To answer your question, no there is no difference being ‘foreign’ capital and our own when it comes to buying up housing assets, they both reduce the supply of housing and fuel priced inflation. It is however, well known that England, and particularly London, is seen as a very safe place to park money, so we get all the capital from corporates and our own HNW individuals buying up property assets but we get the rest of the worlds too. It’s also quite well documented in the case of London property that due to the ability to use shell companies to purchase these assets, it’s easy both to hide the true ownership of those assets and potentially to use proceeds of crime and money laundering to buy them. Also it seems to be widely acknowledged that lots of these kind of flats, particularly new developments are bought as investment vehicles and rarely if ever used, how do you think “buy to leave” became a thing and a frequently used phrase by politicians of every hue? Article below a little bit old but...
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/s ... 02570.html
You may also have missed the fact that ‘affordable housing’ is an actual thing too. In certain circumstances, it is taken to mean the proportion of housing in any given development put on the market below market rates, purely for the benefit of keys workers on modest salaries (teachers, nurses, policemen etc). Of course the term ‘affordable’ in normal parlance is relative, I don’t dispute that, but you seem to have entirely missed the point with this paragraph
As regards the flats being affordable, if they were not affordable they would not be sold. Of course, they won't be affordable to many people, but then neither are houses in Chelsea. And if the buyers of them have to buy something else then that will push the price up of lower priced properties.
I’m also really struggling to see how Chris Robshaw’s education or salary as anything to do with anything….