Outer London “failing to build”

New figures from London First suggest that many of London’s outer boroughs are failing to build enough homes and are contributing substantially to the city’s housing crisis.

Following the Government’s change to its method of calculating the number of homes the capital needs, business lobby group London First says it has “crunched its housing data”. Using the new methodology, it says boroughs in zones 5-6 are projected to construct just 17% of the homes that are needed to be built in 2017.

Despite a good start to the first half of the year, zones 1-4 are set to provide only 80% of the homes they need to build this year. Overall, London is now projected to complete just 63% of homes the city needs to build in 2017, sugesting outer London’s reticence is making the housing shortage worse.

House prices in London have doubled in the last decade and rents rose by 20%, despite wages having risen just 5%.

Using the Government’s new methodology, zones 1-4 now need to be building 53,000 new homes a year, and zones 5-6 19,000. The total London now needs, say London First, is 72,000 homes as opposed to the 49,000 homes a year stated in the current London Plan.

Even using the more generous previous methodology, zones 5-6 are estimated to build just 42% of their target this year.

Naomi Smith, Executive Director of Campaigns at London First, said: “These new figures are deeply worrying. The housing crisis is getting worse, not better. London is falling far short in providing the homes it needs. The Mayor and the Government must do more to drive construction in the city, and further devolution of powers to City Hall may be needed to make this happen.

“But this isn’t just a political issue. The lack of building in much of zones 5 and 6 is choking London, pushing up prices and squeezing young, productive workers out of the city. The housing crisis is one of the most serious challenges facing business, preventing firms from recruiting the talent they need to grow and succeed. Business could provide thousands of additional in jobs each year if the cost of housing was more manageable.”

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