09 Nov
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London Housing Crisis Explained: Past, Present & Future

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London Housing Crisis Explained: Past, Present & Future

  • In 1801, London’s population was just over a million.  
  • The population grew steadily during the 19th and start of the 20th century, and by 1931 the average size of a household in London was almost four people.
  • By the Second World War in 1939, the population had reached 8.6 million, and the average size of household was falling.
  • After the war, factors including deindustrialisation and suburbaaunisation policies meant the population fell for several decades, bottoming out in the 1980s.
  • During the 1990s, the population of London grew by 440,000, with the average household size at 2.38 people per household.
  • The pace of population growth quickened further still in the 2000s, and by 2011, the number of households in London had grown to 3.3 million; – 0.8 million higher than 30 years prior in 1981. Average household sizes rose to 2.48 people per household.
  • By 2012, an additional 930,000 people were living in the city, with the population hitting a new high of 8.3 million. The average household size increase was not anticipated, and happened simply due to the inability to match demand with supply.
  • Overall, the number of people and the number of homes have grown in line with one another over the past decade, but the employment and subsequent population growth during the past 10 years have outgrown the housing supply which has remained somewhat subdued in the recession’s aftermath.
  • The population is expected to grow by a million between 2011 and 2021 if housing supply meets demands, reaching around 10 million by 2031. If, however, not enough housing is built, population growth is likely to be lower.

 

What’s affecting the building of new homes?

A number of factors are affecting the building of new homes in London, including the following:

  • Under-resourcing in the planning system
  • A shortage of land
  • High requirement for affordable housing
  • CIL
  • Securing funding for developments
  • Lack of demand from buyers

Though this is a serious issue, the figures demonstrate that there has been a serious creation of scope within the house building industry; indeed since 2010, there has been a visible improvement in the number of houses being built, bringing the housing market back from its lowest point during the recession.

House Bill

The house bill looks to local councils to create and deliver local plans, ensuring they are instrumental in the government’s plan to deliver 1 million homes by 2020.

The plan is integral to the government’s pledge to deliver security, stability and opportunity to the people of Britain. Further ploys and proposals spelled out by the bill include:

  • New affordable starter homes
  • Automatic planning permission in principle on brownfield sites
  • Planning reforms to support small builders
  • Selling off high value vacant assets

Hitchcock and King are builder and timber merchants, with over 40 years of experience serving London as builder and timber merchants, for more information about our services, get in touch with our friendly staff today.