A friend casually said; 'My cleaners looking to buy a flat in Fulham '
Me: 'Your CLEANER! I mean - a one bedroom flat in Fulham is going to set her back at least £500,000!
Friend: ' I know - but she owns a £1 .5 million house in Wandsworth'
London house prices are now surreal. The boom goes on and is now at the stage when even normally sensible people are charging in - convinced they must get on the London property ladder somehow - however low and squalid the rung -otherwise their children will never ever be able to afford to live and work in London.
London property is a BUBBLE. But - as with any bubble - it is very difficult to say -with any accuracy (a) How big the BUBBLE will inflate to or (b) when the BUBBLE will burst. But burst it will because it has to. Wages in London have not risen for the last five years -yet property prices have soared - ergo the poor London workers are being squeezed with more and more of their salaries being used to pay for somewhere to sleep at night. A scruffy room in a flat in a not that smart area of London is now £200 a week plus or around £12,000 a year.
My children will - I am afraid - have to put up with renting such scruffy rooms as I am not going to buy them a flat at these silly prices -but others are - I walked into a friends picture gallery recently and saw a gorgeous 17th century portrait of a boy with his dog and gun by a man called Closterman. It was being sold - my friend told me - as the owner wished to buy his son a flat in London.
Well my pictures are staying firmly on the walls - boom come and booms go - and my portraits of my ancestors have witnessed many - and will witness many more I hope before some stupid descendant pops them in Sotheby's to try and make a fast buck.