Skip to content or view screen version

Vulture funds

Keith Parkins | 01.12.2008 16:23 | Repression | Social Struggles

The market for yuppie flats has collapsed, the speculative property bubble has burst. Vulture funds are stepping in to buy toxic assets at huge discounts. Their only interest is the property they pick up on the cheap when there is a default on the loan.

The market for yuppie flats has collapsed. Flats that would have once fetched over £100,000 are now only fetching £20,000 at auction!

Banks that were once peddling money to house buyers no questions asked, are now repossessing those same properties when one mortgage payment is missed.

Banks have been quite rightly blamed, but there are other villains.

Buy-to-let speculators. The more prices went up, the more speculators jumped into the market. When they could no longer afford to speculate in England, they turned to Eastern Europe and started speculating in countries like the Czech Republic, forcing house prices beyond the reach of local people.

When the South Sea Bubble burst, the shares were worthless pieces of paper. We are now seeing the same with the market for yuppie flats.

Largely overlooked, another villain in the story is local planning authorities that rubber stamped market demand rather than ensured housing supplied local needs.

A classic example of dysfunctional planning can be found in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor. Councillors, who many in the local community see as on the take, rubber-stamped anything and everything that developers put before them, be it yuppie flats, expanding airports, town centre destruction, an edge of town shopping development that was guaranteed to destroy an existing town centre.

Aldershot has become a yuppie ghetto. Farnborough has planning consent for three large developments of yuppie flats. It was for the market to decide, Rushmoor head of planning Keith Holland once told the planning committee when he instructed them how to vote and like a bunch of sheep they did as they were told. The local housing need is for 2-3 bedroom houses with gardens.

St Modwen the UK's Leading Degeneration Specialist has destroyed Farnborough town centre together with social housing of 28 maisonettes. From the demolition site is expected to rise a large superstore that will face out of the town centre, the social housing demolished for its car park. Above the superstore, with a view of its car park and back yard with 24 hour lorry deliveries, will be several floors of yuppie flats. Speaking to St Modwen during the summer when they opened a marketing suite for the flats, they were very bullish that their overpriced non-existent yuppie flats would sell like hot cakes. So far they have sold 4!

Anyone who loses their job and claims benefits will not get their mortgage paid for nine months. Unless they have substantial savings, which with most people heavily in debt is unlikely, it is guaranteed they will lose their home as the bank will repossess. Homeless, the local authority will be statutory obliged to house them. A classic case of banks externalising their costs!

The loss by local councils of money in Iceland exposed that they had huge cash reserves. Some of that money should be used to buy repossessed homes, enabling the family to remain in place, renting their home from the council.

Vulture funds are stepping in and buying the toxic loans that no else one wants. They are buying these toxic assets at a huge discount. The reason they are buying is because they know many of the people who took out these loans cannot afford to repay. They want them to default as they can then seize their properties.


Fred Harrison, Boom Bust: House Prices, Banking and the Depression of 2010, Shepheard-Walwyn, 2005

Mike Head, British court ruling increases risk of home repossession, Indymedia UK, 17 November 2008

Keith Parkins, London Social Forum – housing and land rights conference, Indymedia UK, 2 October 2006

Keith Parkins, Yuppie flats for sale, Indymedia UK, 7 July 2008

Keith Parkins, Transition towns, Indymedia UK, 9 October 2008

Keith Parkins, Pavilion threaten to evict disabled woman, Indymedia UK, 3 November 2008

Keith Parkins, St Modwen claim Farnborough redevelopment complete by Christmas, Indymedia UK, 24 November 2008

Keith Parkins, St Modwen the UK's Leading Degeneration Specialist!, Indymedia UK, 28 November 2008

Keith Parkins