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Overseas investment into London: imprint, impact and pied-a-terre urbanism

Deverteuil, Geoffrey ORCID: and Manley, David 2017. Overseas investment into London: imprint, impact and pied-a-terre urbanism. Environment and Planning A 49 (6) , pp. 1308-1323. 10.1177/0308518X17694361

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This paper focuses on the spatial imprint and social impacts of the emerging geographies of concentrated overseas investment into London’s high-end real estate market, particularly the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea. Framed by literatures on the 1% and the super-rich, and based on a mixed methodological approach of qualitative interviews with intermediaries and a quantitative mapping of overseas investors using 2011 census data, the results speak to the pervasive nature of “safe-haven” seeking in London real estate and its attendant transnational provenance set within a laissez-faire regulatory framework. In so doing, it makes an important contribution to the geographies of the super-rich, the class geographies of London, and the broader sense that overseas investors are producing what we call “pied-à-terre” urbanism which builds on a conventional gentrification framework (exclusionary displacement and a more affluent incoming group) but also exceeds it in several ways, leading to an increasingly socially attenuated landscape. This exceeding relates to: a different kind of rent gap, in that it is not speculative but safe-haven seeking, a guaranteed return on investment, and occurs without previous disinvestment; the agents are not traditional gentrifiers; the transnational nature of the process, with no attachment to particular places like in the traditional gentrification model; and a process focused on super-prime areas and completely independent of the existing gentrification process in London.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0308-518X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 27 January 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 22:10

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