4 in 10 Londoners – almost 2.4m – have considered leaving the capital due to spiralling housing costs, warns London First
29 January 2019
A quarter of those say they plan to leave in the next year
Two-thirds think Government is not spending enough time on housing or crime
Business group urges Government to unlock £20bn worth of investment to meet its 300k homebuilding targets
More than a third (38%) of Londoners have considered moving out of the capital due to rising cost of housing, with a quarter of those planning to move in the coming year. That’s according to a new YouGov poll1 conducted for business campaigning group London First and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.
The survey of more than a thousand Londoners will be unveiled at London First’s Building London summit today (Wednesday 30th January), where CEO Jasmine Whitbread will tell the Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire and over 150 business leaders from the property industry, that, although the housing crisis is complex, it is critical for everyone to take their slice of responsibility if there is to be a solution.
She will highlight the £20bn funding gap that stands in the way of Government’s pledge to build 300,000 homes a year, saying:“Young people – and increasingly middle-aged and older people too – are tearing their hair out over the cost of housing in the capital and, as a result, too many are seriously considering a future away from the city. We need more money from the Government; the Mayor to bring forward more land for development; and for the industry to find smarter ways of building to speed up housing delivery.
“If this ‘London flight’ continues it will endanger the one thing that above all else makes the city the world’s capital – its mix of people. The more housing becomes out of reach for certain parts of society the less vital London becomes and the less successful we’ll be.”
Other key findings include:
Three quarters (74%) of Londoners say there’s a housing shortage;
Almost half (48%) say too much Government time is being spent on Brexit and not enough time addressing the housing crisis (66%);
Housing now rivals crime (66%) as one of the issues people are most concerned about in the city.
London First is calling for a three-pronged approach to solving the housing crisis: more money, more land, and better ways of building.
On more money, Ms Whitbread will highlight the difficult choices the Government must now make if it’s housing targets are to be delivered: “Capital expenditure on housing has gone up 20% in the last year, but the Government needs to face up to some hard choices about how to unlock a further £20bn worth of investment if it’s ever going to turn its rhetoric of building 300,000 homes year into reality.
“We still need more direct capital investment, greater investment in infrastructure to unlock development, and fewer borrowing restrictions.”
On the need for more land, she will call for London’s Mayor to use the full weight of his powers to bring more land forward for development: “The Mayor’s New London Plan states that a fundamental transformation in how new homes are delivered in the capital is required if we’re to meet the Plan’s target of 65,000 new homes year.
“Mr Khan has done a good job in securing a record amount of affordable housing grant for London, but the scale of the challenge we face is so great that he must use the full weight of his powers and influence to bring forward more land for development.
On better ways of building, she will also appeal to the industry to up their game by championing more modern methods of construction: “Developers and builders must work with each other and across the supply chain to improve skills provision – which is vital to the future of all types of construction – and push more modern practises, like off-site construction.”
And in London, she will call on the boroughs to embrace high-density housing: “To deliver the scale of housing we need, we must use the land we have much more intensively, by replacing disused garages with homes, delivering more housing across our existing rooftops, and being adventurous in the suburbs.
“High density needn’t equal skyscrapers. Think of Edwardian mansion blocks, Victorian terraces, Parisian apartment blocks or Madrid’s storeys of wrought-iron balconies. That is good, high density housing and there’s no reason why boroughs can’t facilitate more of it.”
Building London, hosted by London First, is a one-day property summit bringing together key political players alongside leaders from across commercial property, housing and the broader built environment, to tackle London’s big development questions. Speakers include:
It will cost around £68 billion from both government and private sector investment to hit the government’s homebuilding target. This means finding another £20bn – or a 40% increase – on top of the £48bn spent in 2016 – 17.
The challenge is most acute in London, where the shortage of new homes is pushing house prices up to 13 times more than average earnings. To hit London’s housebuilding target of 65,000 homes a year, £8.6bn more is needed, a 65% increase on that spent in 2016 – 17.
The combined public and private capital spending on housing delivery represents 2.3% of UKGDP (2016 – 17), but this will need to rise to 3.3% of UKGDP, a one percentage point increase, if the target is to be met.
1All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,051 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th — 15th January 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
2.4m calculated by London First as below:
38% of 6,300,000 adults (aged 16 – 64) – GLA December labour market stats for London.
Become a member
Our members include over 200 of the capital’s leading employers across a wide range of sectors, with a common commitment to our capital.