Hampstead for Sale

Hampstead has become everything that is wrong with London. A few years ago there was uproar over the lease of a large shop being taken by William Hill. A premises that had been stood empty for a long time. The outcry was huge and listening to all the arguments I came to the conclusion it was simply a case of snobbery and it became an Estate Agent.

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The property William Hill wanted now a large Chesterons Hampstead High Street

The rents here are so extortionate that they are unaffordable for most, so a chain like William Hill would have no problem affording it. Most businesses that can afford to be here are companies that are willing to take a loss on an individual shop, write off losses against their overall profits just to retain their visible presence on the high street. The individual independent shops have all but disappeared and the generic high street is alive and well and boring.

There are lots of unaffordable boutiques selling fur, art galleries, phone shops, and posh bakeries where you have to mortgage your soul to be able to afford a loaf of bread. That’s Hampstead, posh and unaffordable for the majority. In amongst the capitalist consumerism fest we have one grocery (expensive), one Tesco local (limited stock), and one hardware store (which is struggling to retain its place), and a newsagent (everyone needs a newsagent).

But really my issue is with the Estate agents. What is going on with all the ESTATE AGENTS they seem to be the NEW BANKERS !!!!!! I mean how many estate agents can you have in one street ? Or should I say how many estate agents do you need in one street? Well as of today we have 17 on Heath Street alone with a new one coming soon making 18.

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That’s just in one street!  Why do the same estate agents need more that one shop front?  Surely there should be a limit ? Can we not complain to the monopolies commission or some other toothless watch dog about this? This is not the only influence the scourge of the Estate Agent has on us as locals they prey on us. Daily through our letter boxes we get delivered their crap environmentally damaging junk mail.  “To the Occupier” “To the House owner” ” You will be pleased to know we have just sold a property just like yours for “Stupid amount””  Day after day these letters arrive sometimes in batches of 3 for each member of the household that is on the electoral register, So I have started sending them back and if they keep on coming I will be sending them back with some of my rubbish in it for them.

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This is just an observation of their dominance of our high street but what it in fact we are seeing are Estate agents being fronts for investors in property, not people buying family homes, not property to rent out, just property to sell on for profit, a far safer investment scheme much much safer than that of anything offered in the current climate buy banks or stocks and shares, these alone play one of the major parts of the housing crisis but that’s another story so back to the high street. The government pay people like Mary Portas to save the High street. Well I can tell you how to save our High street. Firstly limit the number of Estate agents you can have there is no way on this planet they are not all in cahoots with each other. Secondly and more importantly is to have some control on rents on our high street. We have to be able to afford to shop where we live not all of Hampstead is rich and there is a large number of social housing properties. Families that can not afford to shop locally seems to be the norm here.  There is such a high turn over of shops here, we watch their interiors being torn out and replaced only to see it close in a matter of months. We have shop premises sitting empty that surely that would better serve the high street if it had a community protect running or an independent shop but no the rents make sure that that will never happen.

Savilles takes up the whole lane between The High Street and Heath Street

Savilles takes up the whole lane between The High Street and Heath Street

Hampstead used to be quirky and arty and oh so red. But now it’s all consumer capitalists blue.

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Sad it’s so lost it’s “je ne se qua”

Hampstead Mum

4 thoughts on “Hampstead for Sale

  1. That which once was shall never be again, not in Hampstead High Street nor Heath`s leafy vale and glen. What once was `quaint and beauty` becomes quant and booty, as the bankers and chancers park their bonii and ill gotten gain.
    Next for genericification, is Camden Market and the Stables which has been bought by Market Tech. An expansion of the all pervasive, soul destroying, invisible Eruv is inevitable. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/camden-market-stall-holders-in-state-of-fear-over-development-plans-9936681.html

  2. And in the same ward we have :
    1 West Hampstead – overrun by estate agents, Sainsburys Local,Tesco Metro,Waitrose local and soon an M&S local and building sites where properties are being sold to foreign investors. The niche boutiques and speciality shops are going, the independent stores are mostly gone.
    2 Kilburn – overrun by phone shops ,NISA locals (ok these are franchises so sort of local owned),

    Both Brent and Camden councils could stamp their feet and stop the destruction of the ward, but money speaks louder than residents

  3. I lived in Hampstead in 1977. It was great. A community then full of people from all classes. Rich and not so rich lived side by side. H

  4. The issue with Estate Agents is that about anyone can set up shop to (very often) rip off both landlords and (potential) tenants. The approach of Estate Agents contributes to the housing crisis. They charge the landlords for everything and do no or a minimal job. We changed 2 estate agents for one of our properties and none is actually up for the job and the job is to provide fair housing to the tenants and some income for the landlord so that one isn’t tempted too much to (re-)sell the house as there actually is much more financial gain (and less hassle) in selling than in providing housing. One of the shops underneath the housing estate has been empty for over a year. Local business people play games trying to avoid competition moves in and the Council isn’t much business-aware when it comes to change business class neither. Sure we don’t want a betting office in our property and neither a booze outlet. We thought about a nice coffee shop with cakes and so or a diner but the Council refuses for now to change the business classification as they fear one more fried chicken shop will litter the street. It’s the same class. We now consider setting up our own estate agency. It will cut our costs as landlords significantly and we’ll sure would do a better job than what is around. Not that we plan to start a chain. Well, one never knows when things get going.

    IMO rents for business properties in the UK (London) are peanuts to what I know about from continental Europe. Any business can be successful with a sound business plan. Partly why so many business fail is because they don’t have a business plan, it isn’t sound at all or the intend is crooked in the first place. It’s not in the interest of the landlords to have their properties empty in the hope to get one day a madly high rent. Certainly not. Either incompetence or trying to constantly cheat landlords, HMRC, Council Taxes, Rules & Regulations etc. or both is what start-up businesses makes to fail. Well, the “smart ones” close down after x months and run off with the quick money leaving their dues behind, not seeing that they will get a criminal record and push themselves into a low state of being in this country.

    We haven’t made the move to open-up the shop yet so if you have a good business plan, a sound background and are in need of shop-space on London Road in Croydon… Make your move to contribute to a better looking High Street by offering your services and/or goods and get in contact. No Estate Agent involved. – (Estate Agents refrain from contacting me) –

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