Mayor reveals landmark step to offer Londoners first dibs on new homes
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced a landmark step towards offering ‘first dibs’ on new homes after the housing industry responded to his call for change with an offer to sell lower-cost new properties exclusively to Londoners and UK-based buyers first.
Following the Mayor’s discussions with the capital’s leading homebuilders about steps to make more new homes available to Londoners, he has now received offers from members of the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and the g15, which represents London’s largest housing associations, to restrict sales of all their new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers only for three months before any overseas marketing can take place. The offer also involves Londoners, who live or work in the capital, being offered ‘first dibs’ exclusively for up to a month within this time period.
The offer from the industry is also backed by the capital’s biggest homebuilders, Berkeley Homes and represents the first time ever that sales from leading homebuilders have been restricted to UK and London buyers only. The previous Mayor’s efforts to strike a deal only secured promises around marketing, rather than sales, and suggested merely that homes should be marketed domestically ‘either first or at the same time’ as overseas.
The industry offer follows research the Mayor commissioned last year into the role of overseas investment in the capital’s property market. The research – the most extensive of its kind ever undertaken – set out the important role investment from around the world plays in getting housing developments in London underway. However, it also revealed the startling fact that half of new properties bought by overseas buyers in London were homes under £500,000 – typically the price range for many first-time buyers and those looking to access support through schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’.
By focusing their efforts on homes up to £350,000 – the lower-priced end of the private sales market – the industry offer helps secure ‘first dibs’ for Londoners on homes that are broadly affordable by households who would be eligible for affordable housing – those earning up to £90,000.