What If British Billionaires Bought Their Birthplaces?
Of all the people who found fame, success and wealth, there’s no tale more inspirational than the old rags-to-riches story; the bestselling author who typed away in her modest flat or the entrepreneur who left school without a qualification to his name.
Now that the likes of Alan Sugar and Richard Branson have amassed their fortunes, the gossip mags are full of stories about how they spend their money. While Branson is taking the first tentative steps into space, Sir Alan is doing his bit for British businesses with much more than just a reality TV programme. But just as they look to their entrepreneurial and spacefaring futures, they also remember their past and the places they came from.
Using UK census data and the average house price, we’ve learned just how much a billionaire can afford to buy of their hometowns! If you’ve ever wondered how many vacuum cleaners James Dyson needs to sell to get a piece of Greater London, now you know!
The inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner has certainly pocketed a fair amount from the world’s household needs — with The Sunday Times valuing his fortune at over £3 billion. Even with this tidy amount in his back pocket, he’d struggle to make a dent in one of his three residences. As the average price of a home in the London borough of Kensington & Chelsea is almost one and a quarter million pounds, Dyson’s £3 billion of wealth would only net him 3% of the entire borough’s households — a billion per percentage point!
The once-reclusive billionaire owner of a major sports brand has since become the talk of Tyneside by purchasing Newcastle United in 2007 — though not necessarily for all the right reasons. He has struggled over the years to install the right members of staff, and his latest managerial choice of Alan Pardew to replace Chris Hughton was especially unpopular. However, were Ashley to scrape together some more of his £3.75 billion fortune to extend his reach within the city, Toon fans and other citizens may be alarmed to find that he could purchase over 31,000 homes within the city for almost 27% of the total households!
The self-made man is the kingpin of the Virgin Group, which alongside dealings in TV and mobile also allows this adventurous sixty-something to follow his own ambitions, including spaceflight — planned for later this year. Branson was born and currently resides in London, where his currently estimated £2.7 billion fortune would get him 7,720 houses in Lewisham for a share of less than 0.2% of the Greater London area. Having bought Necker Island in 1978 for just $180,000, we’re sure he won’t feel too bad about this when there’s his own tropical paradise to retreat to. If you’re interested to know just what being a billionaire will get you, our handy table shows what percentage of a mix of the UK’s population centres you can have for a cool billion.
|How much could £1billion buy in your city?|
|City||Households||City Household Value||Houses Purchased|
|Cheshire West and Chester||141442||£21,561,277,038||6560|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||143032||£18,730,898,592||7636|
|How much could £1billion buy in London’s top boroughs?|
|City||Households||City Household Value||Houses Purchased (£1billion)|
|Kensington and Chelsea||78536||£99,732,630,792||787|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||80590||£57,100,674,470||1411|
5&6 http://onforb.es/1ivWL01 – estimated fortune correct as of 16/6/2014
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