Vibrant Economy

London housing: ensuring the capital thrives

Addressing the housing issue in London is key to ensuring the capital remains an attractive and competitive location, and the need for collaborative working across public, private and third sectors to increase the supply has never been greater.

Following the result of the EU referendum it is more important than ever that we all work together to help the UK to build upon its strengths and ensure that our economy continues to grow.

“Improving the affordability and supply of housing in London could mean happier, more productive employees, and a boost to our economy. More than that it could and should deliver better social integration, and a brighter, more vibrant future for our capital.”- Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP

As housing prices continue to rise in London, pressure on the capital’s economic growth and ability to attract and retain staff rises with it. As part of our work to shape thriving communities in a Vibrant Economy, Grant Thornton have launched an inquiry into how, working in collaboration with others, we can help to ease this pressure.

In our recent report surveying London employers, 84% of respondents confirmed the housing crisis poses a real risk to economic competiveness in the capital, with three quarters concerned about the impact it will have on recruitment. One in five businesses are so concerned they would consider relocating entirely.

While London’s population and demand for homes has risen dramatically over the past two decades, supply has failed to keep up. This has resulted in the average house price in London now being nine times the average annual salary, with the problem particularly resonating with the incoming graduate intake.

It is vital that London remains an attractive city for its current and future workforce. Government, business and communities need to work together to create sustainable solutions to address the threat that housing costs present to the city’s ongoing vibrancy.

“There’s a huge amount of consensus about the key elements we need in terms of a solution…and the theme of partnerships and working together to build more supply will be crucial to our wider agenda at City Hall.” – James Murray, Deputy Mayor of Housing

Grant Thornton has knowledge and relationships across all these areas. We are bringing together key influencers to explore and shape meaningful actions, working with the mayoral office to effectively and efficiently tackle the issue.

“London must double its rate of housebuilding if it is to adequately house a growing population and keep the city competitive…The mayor has both the convening legitimacy and a set of powers and resources, which complement those of the boroughs, to help get more homes built.” – Jonathan Seager, Housing Director at London First