20 Oct 2022

Too Dear! London tenants say housing in the capital is unaffordable

More than a quarter of renters responding to a survey say they are considering leaving the city within the next 12 months.

This figure increased by 11 per cent in a year since a previous, similar poll.

Over half of the renters considering making the move out of the capital agree they don’t want to leave but feel they have no choice, while a further 51 per cent don’t want to move outside of London to afford a home because they would have to sacrifice too much to do so.

The poll, by developer Pocket Living, is small – of the 1,016 respondents 30 per cent own their own home, 60 per cent rent and seven per cent live with their parents.

The cost of living crisis is causing many Londoners to reconsider whether they can afford to buy in the capital, with more than two-thirds of renters agreeing that it is delaying their plans to buy their first home.

At least half of all respondents claim they have reduced the number of times they are eating out each month, decreased the amount of money they can put into their savings and either have or plan to lower their household heating usage.

The research found that for many the decision to have children is impacted by whether or not they own a home, with almost six in 10 non-homeowners more likely to have children within the next five years if they owned their home. Almost half of homeowners also claim they were motivated to buy due to their desire to have children, while 46 per cent of renters say that not owning their home is one of the biggest barriers to considering having children.

Satisfaction with living in the capital remains high, with nine in 10 claiming to be satisfied. Of those who have bought a home in London, approximately seven in 10 claim owning a home has improved their stability in life and quality of life.

When asked what their views are on the current situation for first-time buyers, almost half of all respondents noted there is a good supply of homes in London but they are not affordable, while 38 per cent claim that there is a poor supply of homes, which also aren’t affordable.

When it comes to the housing market, there is a general acceptance that more needs to be done by the government to settle people’s concerns. Almost two-thirds agree they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who promises more home delivery in their constituency at the next General Election, while 77 per cent agree that government is not doing enough for the delivery of affordable homes in London.

A spokesperson for Pocket Living says: “We have highlighted two key policy areas which we believe could unlock the delivery of new affordable first-time buyer homes at scale. The first is a simple policy change in relation to small site delivery which could unlock the delivery of an additional 30,000 new affordable homes per year on brownfield sites close to key transport hubs. 

“The second is a minor change to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill currently going through Parliament to ensure that the proposed future Infrastructure Levy exempts all forms of affordable housing. Taken together these two changes could make a significant difference to both supply and the delivery of genuine housing choice.”

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