London mayor Sadiq Khan is to examine the affordability crisis hitting the capital’s housing by commissioning ‘the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken’
Khan said he had ‘real concerns’ about the surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors, adding that his survey would map the scale of the problem for the first time.
He said: ‘It’s clear we need to better understand the different roles that overseas money plays in London’s housing market, the scale of what’s going on, and what action we can take to support development and help Londoners find a home.
‘That’s why we are commissioning the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken in Britain – the biggest look of its kind at this issue – so we can figure out exactly what can be done.’
He added: ‘Crucially, we also urgently need more transparency around overseas money invested in London property. Londoners need reassuring that dirty money isn’t flooding into our property market, and ministers must now make all property ownership in London transparent so we can see exactly who owns what.’
There are fears that a surge of foreign buyers in London’s housing market – which may have risen further since the EU referendum because of the weakened pound – is exacerbating the capital’s housing crisis and driving scores of thirtysomethings to leave the city because prices are so high.
The mayor’s inquiry will examine the extent of overseas investment, what sources it comes from and what impact it has on different types of housing – from exclusive high-cost accommodation to middle- and low-cost homes in various parts of London. It will also look at how other global cities are coping with similar issues.
The mayor added: ‘We welcome investment from around the world in building new homes, including those for first-time buyers. At the same time, as more and more Londoners struggle to get on the property ladder, there are real concerns about the prospect of a surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors.’