Uninhabited mansions of London's "Billionaires' Row"

London real estate has been a favorite place for oligarchs and thugs to safely park their ill-gotten money. This 9-minute documentary takes you on a tour of North London's Billionaires' Row of uninhabited mansions. The structures are decaying, but the owners don't care, because the real value are the lots themselves.

From Amusing Planet:

The entire neighbourhood is owned by the super-rich, ranging from Saudi princes to East European arms dealers to Indian business magnates. Yet, no one ever lives here for more than a few weeks each year. Most have been left to the staff who looks after the properties while the owners are away. Others have never been occupied. Several huge properties have fallen into ruins after lying vacant for more than 25 years. These once expensive homes are in a terribly bad shape with peeling paint, rotting carpets, water streaming down bedroom walls, collapsed ceilings, and ferns growing between broken floor tiles.

The person who made this video said in the YouTube description, "We rarely explore alone but this documentary was filmed single-handedly, with a sharp ear, eye, a suppression of urgent tension, and a constant readiness to run! Hope you find it interesting."

[via Neatorama] Read the rest

New York property speculators have figured out how to evict everyone

New York's catastrophic homelessness is about to get much, much worse: the skyrocketing property values (driven by speculators who buy apartments in order to get their money out of corrupt and failing states abroad, leaving them empty with the understanding that they can be cashed out on short notice, thanks to the white-hot market of other money-launderers) have attracted very deep-pocketed, anonymous hedge-funds that are snapping up buildings with rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units, who use a ruthless set of highly refined tactics to kick out all their tenants and then flip the building. Read the rest