William Eichler 18 January 2018

Tens of thousands of new homes ‘fall by the wayside’ in capital, research reveals

Tens of thousands of new homes ‘fall by the wayside’ in capital, research reveals

Nearly half of the new homes in London that were due to be delivered last year were not built, new research reveals.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new housing target states that the capital has to build 66,000 new homes each year to meet its growing need.

However, new research from London First and Grant Thornton UK LLP has found that 46% of new homes given planning permission ‘fell by the wayside’ in 2017.

In 2014, 54,941 homes were given planning permission but, three years later, only 26,458 were completed and 3,243 were under construction.

The 46% ‘attrition rate’ this represents is a dramatic increase from 33% in 2016.

London First and Grant Thornton UK LLP also found that while there has been an increase in the number of planning permissions granted since 2016, overall the number has fallen from 54,941 in 2014 to 48,024 in 2017.

The capital’s outer boroughs also continue to lag behind in housebuilding. There were just 1,029 new homes built in TfL zone 5 in 2017, compared with 10,106 in zone 2.

London’s outer boroughs make up more than half of the city’s land, but built just 3,278 new homes in 2017, compared with 12,943 homes in the centre.

The number of affordable homes has seen an increase with 14,372 given the go ahead in 2017, making up 30% of permissions and almost twice the number seen in 2010.

‘Every year tens of thousands of new homes fall by the wayside, and the ongoing slide in planning permissions will only make things worse,’ said Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of London First.

‘London’s housing pipeline appears to be cracked and, unless we get to grips with the housebuilding hold ups, generations of Londoners will be priced out of a place to call home.

‘With outer London building just 3,000 homes in 2017, barely a tenth of the new homes brought to the capital, the Mayor must get serious about holding these boroughs to account.

‘To tackle London’s housing crisis, boroughs must free up more land, government must enable more investment and developers must start building the homes we need.’

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