London’s housing crisis will engulf the suburbs in the next decade because of a huge shortfall of new homes in outer boroughs, a report warns today.
While vast regeneration schemes in Battersea, Earls Court, Elephant & Castle and Stratford will boost the number of homes close to the centre, there have been few major developments further out. In Richmond, the number of new homes planned or under construction represent just five per cent of the projected growth in households, according to property consultants CBRE.
The warning came as figures from the Nationwide showed London property prices surged by 14.9 per cent in 2013 to an average of £345,186, with a 4.7 per cent rise in the last quarter alone.
Developers blamed “Nimby councils” for refusing planning permission and relatively low property values compared with central London for the failure to build the needed number of homes in London’s “doughnut ring”.
Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CBRE, said the problem was likely to become more acute as “people are priced out of inner London and look to live further afield in London”.
The report highlights the 86,000 acres of greenbelt land in Greater London, “much of which is unused scrubland, which … could be developed into new housing incorporating new usable parkland”. It said that without a massive shift in public and political opinion this was unlikely to happen.
Across London, only seven boroughs have enough homes in the pipeline to cope with their projected increases in population.
Boroughs with the biggest projected surpluses of new homes are Hammersmith & Fulham, 486 per cent; Greenwich, 356 per cent; Newham, 262 per cent; Kensington & Chelsea, 205 per cent; Wandsworth, 133 per cent.
The boroughs with the biggest projected shortfalls are Richmond, five per cent; Merton, six per cent; Kingston, eight per cent; Redbridge, nine per cent; Enfield 11 per cent.
In London, about 300,000 properties are planned or are being built over the next ten years. This leaves a shortfall of 52,000 new homes a year. This compares with the Mayor’s target of 42,000 and is about twice the level that are actually being started.
Housing charities and London politicians said the report showed how the epicentre of the housing crisis was likely to move from the centre.
Green Party London Assembly member Baroness Jones said: “People are heading to outer London in search of cheaper properties, but even those prices are going to rise rapidly unless the Mayor does something to kick-start more house building in the suburbs.”
Roger Harding, from Shelter, said: “We need to see more decisive action from the Mayor and the Government to build the homes each borough needs.”
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “The Mayor has set out ambitious plans to address a historic failure to build enough homes to meet London’s rapid population growth. The Mayor has also secured more than £1billion, expanding his existing programme to build 100,000 low-cost homes to rent and buy for working Londoners.”