Wealthy foreigners are pricing Londoners out of their own city

Category: RockNRolla News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: April 23, 2008 | Publication: Daily Mail | Author: Editors
Publication/Article Link:Daily Mail

says er... Madonna's husband (who owns six homes in the capital)

Guy Ritchie has complained that English "natives" are being priced out of the London property market by wealthy foreigners.

The 39-year-old film director, who shares a 7million Marylebone house with his American wife Madonna and their three children, says it is "now almost impossible" to buy a house in the capital.

He told Empire magazine: "House prices don't go down, they just go up. The natives of England are sort of being left behind because the big money came in and if it wanted something it bought it and made a bigger fortune doing so.

"And as anyone who has tried to buy a house in central London knows, it's almost impossible to do so unless you have 10 million quid."

Talking about his new film RocknRolla, Ritchie said: "The idea was inspired by reading so many articles about how London has changed over the last 20 years and how it is being touted as the new New York.

"It has changed culturally so much and there's so much money here now that it seemed like there was a film to be made about that, because of all the new money, particularly with the Russian oligarchs.

"They have a unique way of doing business, which is they don't haggle they double the price on everything. If it's going for 500million they'll pay a billion. It has left everyone with their pants down a bit."

Starring Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler and Thandie Newton, RocknRolla is a re-run of the "guns-and-geezers" style of his 1998 hit Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.

The plot sees a group of British criminals clash with Russian mobsters over a property deal.

"This is really a story about how a couple of natives, if you will, get into a property deal that goes wrong," said Ritchie.

The film was shot across London, including Wembley Stadium and Battersea Power Station.

The director is under huge pressure to deliver a hit after his last two films, Revolver and Swept Away, in which he cast his wife, were flops.

Ritchie and Madonna own six properties in central London, including one worth 6million converted into a gym next door to their Marylebone house, two nearby mews cottages and the singer's two properties used by the Kabbalah religious sect one a 3.6million building in the West End and the other a 1.6million, five-storey Georgian townhouse in Regent's Park.

The couple also own the Ashcombe estate in Wiltshire, which they bought for 9million in 2001.