House prices in North London are a pressing issue for local residents as they constantly increase, and banks are refusing to lend to first time buyers.
This is a major problem as the demand for rented properties has gone up whilst the number of properties available has decreased, resulting in working families being unable to afford their increasing rent.
Simon Chartwell, of Wood Green said: “The housing crisis in London is a big problem and needs addressing before flats and houses are knocked down and replaced with glossy shopping centres.”
There is a feeling among residents that the recent economic crisis, combined with mass immigration, has had a huge impact on renting rates; it is this that is pushing residents of the borough out of London, as they cannot afford the extortionate rent inside the city.
The Smith Institute estimated that 60% of homes in central London were bought by overseas investors in the first half of 2011. Figures from Jones Lang LaSalle suggested that only 19% of central London developments during an unspecified time period were bought by British people.
Aron Thorne, who owns a key cutting shop in Archway, is a self pro-claimed expert in the local housing market. He made the suggestion that the only way to improve housing and meet the demand of local residents is by:
- Having local councils control the rate of rent on properties.
- Investing in council housing, the demand for private sector housing could reduce. Thereby reducing house prices and making the property ladder more realistic for first time buyers/renters who seek to get their feet on the ladder.
- Relaxing building and extensions rules whilst allowing more lenient rules for planning permission, which will make space for people to live and create more jobs.
The national census which was conducted in 2011 revealed that there are 229,803 second homes in London. This indicated that buying a property in London is an investment a lot of people believe will pay off.
Other ways to reduce pressure on houses in London would be to reduce commuting costs, cap fuel prices and offer a discount on council tax to those moving out of the borough.
In a related story, Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “Migrants from Bulgaria and Romania will cause problems for the housing market in London, particularly in the east and north of London where there’s a big Bulgarian and Romanian community.”
MPs have warned that as many as 300,000 migrants could enter the UK from the two countries, when current restrictions on their movement are lifted.
By Moe Alsheikh