Housing Approvals

MQT on 2011-06-15
Session date: 
June 15, 2011
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Can you confirm the evidence from the Home Builders Federation that housing approvals and new housing projects in London have declined under your Mayoralty?


Answer for Housing Approvals

Answer for Housing Approvals

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Home Builders' Federation information shows that during the recent severe economic downturn there was a national downward trend in residential approvals, but that this was less marked in London than in the country as a whole. The joint GLA/Boroughs London Development Database (LDD) does currently show that net annual approvals declined from 46,800 in 2008/9 to a minimum of 42,800 in 2010/11. If 'projects' are defined as approved planning applications not started, these have also fallen, from 9,200 in 2008/9 to a minimum of 8,300 in 2010/11 (our data are not strictly comparable with those published by the HBF as the latter only count schemes involving ten or more units of housing). Because LDD is a 'live' database, information for 2010/11 is still being recorded. Thus, information for 2008/9 - 2010/11, does not fully represent a trend for the period.

Sharing my concerns to address Londoners' housing needs, you will be pleased to know that the pipeline of approvals now has capacity to provide over 160,000 more homes as we emerge from the recession. And, more importantly in terms of tackling need, there is evidence that these approvals may be turning into completions.

Independent analyst MoliorLondon reports that 'Despite a lack of conventional bank debt for residential construction, the market has found a way to build. And not just on a small scale - London is well into a residential construction boom. It is completely feasible that some time during summer 2011 there will more private-sale residential units under construction in London than at any time during the last 20 years including the peak year of 2007'.