Opinion

Here's why I love Netflix's hugely problematic Buying London

Money can't buy taste, says Lucy Sweet

Buying London

Buying London. Image: Netflix

All property is in the realm of fantasy these days. A one-bedroom flat in Rochdale commands the kind of money only an oligarch could secure. And even if you made an offer, you’d be pipped to the post by an army of mysterious trust/hedge funders who are paying in cash.   

So instead, let us sit in our pestilent hovels with our Fray Bentos pies and watch a bunch of varnished idiots trying to sell Mayfair houses with home cinemas. Yes, Selling Sunset – the show that’s populated by terrifying alpha females and very, very small men who look like toys you get free in a packet of cereal – has spawned yet another offshoot. We’ve already had identical formats set in Paris, Sydney and Florida, and now there’s Buying London.  

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The formula for these shows is very simple. We see fast-cut interior shots of soulless/vile houses that cost between five and £300m, set to a pumping soundtrack of truly crap music with lyrics like, ‘Yeah, I’m a boss bitch so you can get lost bitch’ o,r ‘New York, Paris, London, LA, you can’t stop me cos I’m so SEXEEHH.’  

Then there’s always a tense scene in the office where Chandelierra has been asked to show the Hamilton Park house, even though she’s not got as much experience as Krustinche. After that, glamorous real estate women in high heels walk on marble floors, and later there’ll be a Real Housewives-style dinner, during which someone will say something inflammatory and a secret will be revealed at a table with an ice sculpture on it.  

Buying London is exactly the same, except the star of the show is a man, the nominatively deterministic Daniel Daggers, who looks a bit like Ben Elton and says things like: “There’s no I in team, but there is an I in super prime, and that’s me.” (Can I have a C, please Carol?) 

The other thing that differentiates the show is the actual market itself. Super prime isn’t a new Amazon sale, but the top 1% of real estate. And of course, there’s no ACTUAL mention of the Russians who buy up London homes like they’re three-for-one at the Co-op, but there’s definitely some Eau de Putin going on – a rival agent casually drops a “Spasiba” into the conversation as if that’s a regular British way to say thank you.  

In fact, most of the buyers are absent, last seen on a superyacht off the Cayman Islands, but we get a proper nosy at what they’ll be dropping their millions on. One is a house in Radlett that looks like it was built by Keith Moon during one of his three-day benders dressed as a chimney sweep – a faux-Jacobean Wetherspoons that cost an eyewatering £17m. Then there’s an 18-bedroom Mayfair house that has its own ballroom. I found it a bit gaudy, to be honest, and why do all these luxury homes have a carpeted entertainment room that looks like a P&O ferry from Hull to Rotterdam?  

Still, despite being hugely problematic, I love Buying London. The glam employees at DDRE Global, which appears to be on the same floor of The Shard as Alan Sugar’s office, tick all my reality show boxes. There’s Rasa, who may poison you in your sleep; posh Rosi who wears pussy bow blouses; Lauren, who could have been created by Meta AI; Juliana, who has so much Botox she can barely speak; and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen doppleganger Oli, who seems like he may struggle to understand how socks work.   

Also, despite my better judgment, I quite like Daniel Daggers – he looks like he’s half a bottle of Chablis away from telling you that he’s crushingly lonely. Maybe he’ll make me an offer I can’t refuse for my house, which comes with its very own swimming pool… I mean, a Fray Bentos pie tin filled with rainwater.   

Buying London is streaming on Netflix. Lucy Sweet is a freelance journalist.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.

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