News from Darren Johnson (past staff): Spending Review ‘a bad joke’ for Generation Rent in London

25 November 2015

The Spending Review is expected to include £6.9bn of funding for housing across the UK, almost none of which will be affordable in inner London, Darren Johnson has claimed today:

  • starter homes (with £2.3bn funding) would be unaffordable in 95% of London’s neighbourhoods [1], and would require a household income of at least £70,000, roughly double the London average [2].
  • a London Assembly committee report chaired by Darren found shared ownership (with £4bn funding) is increasingly unaffordable in most of central and inner London [3]
  • social housing, the tenure most needed by lower income Londoners, will receive no funding from today’s Spending Review.

Darren Johnson commented, “This budget won’t offer anything to most of Generation Rent in London, for whom buying a home is a bad joke, much like the term ‘affordable housing’. Renters need secure tenancies and rent controls so they can stay put and save a deposit, curbs on property investors who are driving up house prices, and investment in social housing for renters on low incomes.

"This review also marks the end of investment in affordable housing in inner London, where the housing crisis is worst. The Chancellor has turned his back on Londoners who are overcrowded, in poverty due to housing costs, and homeless.”

Starter homes unaffordable in 95% of London's neighbourhoods

Starter homes are offered to buyers at an average discount of 20%, and can cost anywhere up to £450,000 in London.

This map shows the areas in London in green where starter homes would be affordable. It is based on a comparison of the income for the average household and the average house price for each neighbourhood (lower super output area). You can move around and zoom in and out to explore the map.

Notes to editors

[1] Published in October, based on analysis of median household income data and median house price data from the GLA.

[2] Average first-time buyer price in Sept according to ONS was £412k. With a 20% discount and a 5% deposit they’d need to borrow £313k, which would need an income of at least £70k (at 4.5 times their income, the Bank of England’s upper limit) and to be comfortable £104k (3 times income).

[3] http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/london-assembly/publications/first-steps-on-the-ladder