Nothing like Mark Zuckerberg who's got the dosh for every scouse house - with change
HOUSING is one of the biggest topics of our time. From the price of it to the lack of it, the supply and quality of housing serves as an economic barometer, a political football, a dinner party talking point and a subject to be discussed down the pub.
In Liverpool, housing has proved particularly controversial since the council first revealed plans to sell off Sefton Park Meadows and an area adjacent to Calderstones Park for the development of “executive” homes. With the planned new developments proposing the construction of properties worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds, Liverpool residents have questioned whether exclusive homes like these should be such an apparent priority for the city.
With homebuyers being required to save huge deposits for even modestly-priced homes, many have even wondered who can afford houses of half a million pounds or more.
However, we now have an answer. While economic think-tanks, Whitehall policy makers and political parties argue over solutions to the housing crisis, boffins at Web-Blinds – a manufacturer of made-to-measure window coverings – have built an online tool that reveals how many UK homes could be bought by famous rich people.
The tool, called Wealthier Than Where?, allows internet users to discover the property-buying power of celebrities ranging from J.K. Rowling to David Beckham to the cast of Friends. Although the microsite allows visitors to focus on towns and cities covering the length and breadth of Britain, selecting Liverpool as an option delivers a fascinating insight into the number of city houses these moneybags VIPs could buy. If they wanted to.
For example, Liverpool Confidential was shocked to discover that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg could snap up – if he so desired – every home in the city - one and a half times over. So next time you are getting nothing done in your own life and decide to spend the day on social media ranting about student flats or Redrow, remember: your time is very much Zuckerberg's £47,694,100,000 gain.
But he's got nothing on the deceased oil magnate and wealthiest American of all time John D Rockefeller (1839-1937) who could have used his £275,500,165,920 fortune to buy every home in Liverpool 8.66 times over.
By comparison, a meagre 3,000 unsuspecting city residents could find themselves with high-waisted talent spotter Simon Cowell as a landlord, should he ever decide to blow his entire £450 million fortune on Liverpool-based bricks and mortar.
Things are particularly concerning for partisan city football fans, as the Portuguese waxwork-impressionist and ex-Manchester United hero Christiano Ronaldo could purchase almost 1,500 Liverpool homes if he had the time and inclination. Admittedly, this would involve trudging round branches of Sutton Kersh on a Saturday afternoon instead of banging in goals on behalf of Real Madrid, but thanks to the Wealthier Than Where? tool, at least sport-loving Liverpudlians can be prepared.
Meanwhile. Beyoncé and Jay-Z would be rendered practically homeless if they moved to Liverpool. Their combined wealth of £891 million would buy only 5,782 city homes. That’s just 2.8 percent of all properties with a purple wheelie bin. If they want more houses than that, a Just Giving page and a public appeal for funds may be their only option.
And then there’s our very own Sir Paul McCartney, possessor of a £760 million fortune. “Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes,” he sang, but the celebrated suburban thoroughfare could also be in his property portfolio along with numerous others if he decides to sink his cash into something more solid than vegetarian sausages.
If that scenario comes to pass, up to 2.39 percent of the city’s houses could boast a Beatle as their owner. It would almost certainly cause a major security headache if he ever came round in person to collect the rent.
So what do commentators and analysts make of this new data?
Although the London School of Economics and the Adam Smith Institute are yet to comment, Zoe Ashton of Web-Blinds says: “Just stepping on the property ladder is a dream for many of us nowadays, but the Wealthier Than Where? tool indicates that Donald Trump could afford to do so in Liverpool 17,669 times over!”
If that revelation doesn’t make you want to grab your pussy, your goldfish and your knick-knacks and bundle them into a removal van sharpish, we don’t know what will.
The Wealthier Than Where? tool can be found here.