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Countrywide sets housing challenges for London mayoral candidates

Countrywide has taken the unusual step, for an estate agency group, of stepping into next year’s London mayoral election by setting a series of housing challenges for candidates.

In a new report it calls for the next mayor, to be elected in May, to:

• agree to more ambitious housing targets. Countrywide says at least 59,000 new homes should be built each year for the next decade;


• initiate a Green Belt review. The group says that around stations within London’s Green Belt there is space for 213,000 new homes, or more if the mayor works with local councils to identify and release land for development;

• create ‘enabling infrastructure’. Countrywide says the still-to-be-confirmed route of Crossrail 2 could be considered for extension, and areas around stations should be ear-marked for development;

 expanding housing horizons beyond starter homes. The group wants the mayor to lobby government to exempt London from the starter home scheme which are, in the report’s words, “less affordable than every other low-cost housing tenure.” 

Countrywide’s research director, Johnny Morris, says population projections have repeatedly under-forecast London’s growth. As a result “the current potential for building within existing policy measures is not enough to meet housing need.”

  • Kelly Evans

    Interesting points. Can't really disagree with any of them. There is space for new homes, but the government seem reluctant to fully drive the housebuilding programme forward.

    Jon  Tarrey

    And I wonder why that is Kelly? It's almost like the government have a vested interest in keeping prices high by restricting supply. You know, because the economy would be in serious trouble if our house prices returned to something approaching normality!

  • Algarve  Investor

    Yes, can't really disagree with much of this. Whether any of these measures are implemented is a whole different ball game. I do have some faith, given how much focus the two main mayoral candidates have placed on housing, but I seem to remember Boris saying something similar in his two campaigns and it has borne very little fruit. Where is all the affordable housing that was promised?

    So I'll remain sceptical but hopeful.


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