London in Drastic Shortage of Housing to Meet Demand

London is set to fall significantly short of meeting the demand for housing in the coming years according to London Councils, the body which represents 33 of the capital’s local authorities. In order to keep up with the demand for new housing in London, they state that more than 800,000 new homes need to be built by 2021, which is well below the number currently forecast.

With the population of London set to exceed nine million by 2021, London Councils said that the capital’s ‘future status as a global city’ was severely at risk if the new homes were not built to meet the needs of those who want to live there. They went on to suggest that this lack of housing could also have a detrimental effect on the city’s economy.

Following their studies, they found that at present, from analysis of housing statistics from the Greater London Authority and the Department for Communities and Local Government, between 2011 and 2021, 526,000 new homes need to be built to meet the current demand for housing. When this is added to the 283,000 required to meet new demand and cover the existing backlog, the 800,000 plus figure becomes apparent.

The gap between the number of houses that need to be built and the actual number planned for development is clear for all to see when the research London Councils conducted showed that only 250,000 new homes were in the pipeline for London.

Speaking of this housing crisis, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing, Sir Steve Bullock said: “The news that London needs almost a million homes by 2021 is a scandal – the last time we faced such an acute housing supply crisis was after the Second World War. This is a long time coming and the capital’s future prosperity is on the line.

“If the housing crisis is not solved, costs for the London economy will continue to spiral. More working families will struggle to rent and to buy, more people could be forced out of the capital and homelessness is very likely to go up.”

A number of suggestions have been put forward to improve the rate at which new houses are built, including the likes of;

•    Lifting of the ‘housing borrowing cap’ to prevent councils investing in housing

•    Increasing the level of investment in the rental market

•    Promoting sustainable developments near Tube and rail links

•    Supporting small builders to encourage them to work on new developments

•    Ensuring all stamp duty on property sold in the capital stays in London as opposed to going directly to central government in order to support new developments, as pitched by Boris Johnson earlier this year.

This is of course a subject we here at Geobond will keep a very close eye on over the coming months to see if any changes are put in place to improve the current state of this crisis and make sure the need for new housing in the capital doesn’t spiral further out of control. One thing is for sure, our team are always on hand with our piling services whenever and wherever we are required across London, so get in touch if you’d like to find out more.