Mayor tells developers to 'Sign new deal to sell homes to Londoners'

11 March 2014

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson will today tell developers at the international property forum at MIPIM in Cannes to join him in a new deal or concordat to market and sell London homes to Londoners first.

The Mayor is at MIPIM to directly lobby key investors and developers to help him double house building, including provision for more affordable homes, and low cost homes for hard working Londoners, and to fund major regeneration projects around the capital. Ahead of his keynote speech this afternoon, the Mayor has escalated his call to developers to market their property to Londoners first with the launch of a Mayoral Concordat on new homes in the capital.

The Concordat is already supported by the Major Developer Group, London First, London Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Federation and signed by 50 big and small developers in London. The Mayor is now urging all developers and international investors to get on board. The Mayor is writing to key developers across the UK, asking them to sign up to commit to selling new homes on every development to Londoners before, or at the same time as they are available to overseas buyers. This will help ease the unprecedented demand for housing in the capital and help Londoners into home ownership.

In his letter to developers the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “New housing developments are a vital part of the infrastructure of a living and dynamic city. London is a global city and therefore will inevitably have an international element to its market. I do not in any way want to deter international investment - you can see astonishing transformation in London thanks to international investment – and I recognize the important economic contributions migrants make to our city.

“You will understand however, I want Londoners to be able to live near where they work and to raise their families in our boroughs. Doubling house building must be of benefit to everyone in our city who contributes to our economy. With your help, during my time as Mayor we have built 70,000 low cost affordable homes to buy or rent from Barnet to Battersea to Bexley. We have seen the emergence of a purpose built private rented sector. And we are determined to help young Londoners through my First Steps scheme, or to raise their deposit through rent–to-save and Help to Buy mortgages.

“I am therefore writing to ask you to sign up to my new Mayoral Concordat to promote home ownership for Londoners. This voluntary pledge recognises your commitment to market new homes first or first equal to Londoners. I hope your company can join other respected developers in giving this commitment."

Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, which represents many of the capital’s biggest developers, welcomed the Mayoral Concordat. She said: “Overseas buyers are an important part of the London property market – many purchase off-plans, playing a critical role in helping house builder’s funds the early stages of development. But there needs to be a level playing field and people in the UK should not be prevented from accessing property that comes onto the market. We also have to recognise that many of our members already give UK buyers the same chance to buy as anyone else, which is why they have so readily put their names to the concordat.”

Speaking today, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the House Builders Federation, said: “Attracting up-front investment by pre-selling homes is absolutely key, and without it many developments would not go ahead. Selling some properties abroad allows tens of thousands of affordable homes as well as for rent and to buy, to be built for Londoners. London has an acute housing crisis and foreign buyers are playing a vital part in helping increase the number of homes being built in the capital. However, the industry wants to ensure that UK buyers have every possible opportunity to buy the homes being built and signed a commitment last year to market in the UK at least at the same time as abroad. We welcome the Mayor’s office new initiative that will build on our earlier commitment and ensure the best opportunity for UK buyers.”


Notes to editors

1. The Mayor is attending MIPIM to directly lobby key investors and developers to help double house building, including more affordable homes, and fund major regeneration projects around the capital. In addition he is doing everything in his power to boost housing supply and has released the majority of public land he owns for development, as well as securing an extra £1.25bn to expand his programme to build 100,000 low cost homes.

2. London First is an independent business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. Its members include the capital’s leading employers in key sectors such as financial and business services, property, transport, ICT, education, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Established in 1991, its work encompasses a wide range of issues under the umbrella of maintaining London’s competitiveness in an increasingly challenging environment

3. The Home Builders Federation is the principal trade association for private sector home builders in England and Wales. Its members produce about 80% of the new homes built each year. HBF members range from household multinational names to smaller local businesses, and include housing associations, suppliers and companies who provide professional services to the home building industry.

4. Signatories to the Mayor’s Concordat include: Affinity Sutton, (Argent) King's Cross Central Limited Partnership, Ballymore Developments (UK), Barratt London, Battersea Power Station Development Company, Berkeley Group and all of its subsidiaries, British Land Company Plc, Bouygues Leadbitter Consortium, Brockton Capital, Cadogan, Canary Wharf Group, Capco, Catalyst Housing, Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, Crest Nicholson PLC, Croydon Partnership, (Dalian Wanda) One Nine Elms, Delancey, Fairview New Homes Limited, Family Mosaic, First Base, Frasers Property (UK) Ltd, Genesis Housing Association, Grainger plc, Great Portland Estates, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Hammerson plc Bishopsgate Goodsyard, Helical Bar, Land Securities Group PLC, Lend Lease, Linden Homes, London & Quadrant Group, London Newcastle, Lovell Partnerships Limited, Mace Limited, Lipton Rogers, Merchant Square, Notting Hill Housing, Peabody, Persimmon Homes, Places for People, Prime Place, Redrow Homes Limited, Regenter Limited, Rydon Group Ltd, Stanhope plc, Taylor Wimpey, Telford Homes Plc, The Crown Estate, The Octagon Group, and Wates Group Westfield