Wages enjoyed by workers in London are currently unable to keep up with relentlessly increasing property prices, creating a housing crisis within the capital. The previously popular option to commute into the city is no longer as appealing an alternative, as increased rail fares are making it just as expensive as living within London, and this is only likely to exacerbate the crisis.
The influx of wealthy people, both from around Britain and from around the world, has put upward pressure on the price of housing, which is contributing to the crisis, as the need or want for more luxury properties pushes up property prices in general. However, a lack of supply is a more telling factor, as demand for property is far outstripping that supply.
On September 19th, during Mayor’s Question Time, Boris Johnson admitted to his audience that the number of potential properties in London with planning permission but were in a state of ‘stalled’ development was approximately 170,000. This represents just under five percent of the capital’s housing stock, given that there are about 8 million people living in London, across roughly 3.5 million households.
However, this shortfall may not have the capacity to solve the problem of an ever increasing London population, one which often sees the bottom rung of the housing market out of reach and unaffordable to those on low and reasonable middle incomes.
But, having so much extra housing available could possibly temper these issues, and it must be asked whether or not the government are doing enough to regulate the housing market sufficiently; finding the right balance and make it affordable for people working in London to actually live there. In response, the government is presently working on alterations to planning and development laws, making it easier for properties to be completed.