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The London Property Summit 2016

The 5th annual London Property Summit took place yesterday bringing together some 400 delegates and speakers from local and national government, the planning and development sector and housing associations. This year’s theme was, ‘The Building Blocks for London – Entering a New Era’, focusing on the changes facing a city with a new Mayor, under a new government and with an uncertain relationship with Europe.

Panel discussions focused on the impact of Brexit on the housing market, placemaking, and how local and national governments can work with developers to create solutions to the ever increasing demand for housing.

One of the focal events of the day was the keynote address by Deputy Mayor for Housing, James Murray. Focusing on the city’s housing crisis, Mr Murray provided an overview of how he hopes the GLA, planners & developers and London’s residents can work together to achieve the common goal of providing affordable housing for the city.

He explained that during the six months since taking on the Deputy Mayorship, he has been struck by the common agreement amongst developers, businesses, local authorities and housing associations, that the issue requires a cross-sector response. This collaborative approach is integral to the objectives of the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign which is calling on housebuilding in London to double to at least 50,000 homes a year by 2020. He also emphasised that the focus should be on supply and that it’s key to provide housing of various tenures.

He drew on three key themes that had been informed by his cross-sector consultations:

  • Availability of land; the London land audit highlighted the large amount of public land that is unused and has development potential.
  • Funding; this must be used in a flexible way in order to support a range of tenures and different products.
  • Planning; viability assessments must be well communicated in order to prevent slowing down the process of planning and development.

Advocating the build to rent sector and high density planning as providing real solutions, Mr Murray emphasised the importance of including Londoners in the planning process and ensuring that the benefits of new developments are clearly communicated. Summarising his speech, the Deputy Mayor explained that the process would be a marathon and not a sprint and that a collaborative approach would be the only way to move forward in tackling the housing crisis in London.

We’ll be sharing more from the London Property Summit next week, and you can find out more about the key themes of the summit by watching these short videos.

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