What mayor’s property pledges mean for Battersea and Brixton

News at Eden Harper | 23/05/2013

New mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s pre-election pledge to tackle the capital’s housing crisis was key to his resounding victory.

But how will radical policies – such as living rents and a 50% affordable housing target for new developments – affect property values in Battersea and Brixton?

Before the mayoral election, Khan said that renting a home in London is more expensive than staying in a four-star hotel in Paris, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Prague.

Khan’s campaign team says the average rent in London is £1676 per month – or £55 per night.
The new mayor, who stepped down as Labour MP for Tooting on 10 May, has also suggested it is cheaper to buy a private island in the sun than to get on the property ladder in the capital.

To address these issues, Khan has an action plan that includes...

  • Switching conversions of affordable rent homes back to social rent
  • Refusing planning permission for developments that have separate entrances for private and social tenants
  • Setting up a New Homes Team in City Hall that will act as a developer of new homes for social rent, London Living Rent and first-time buyers
  • Introducing a 50% affordable housing target for any new development
  • Using mayoral planning powers to prevent buy-to-leave housing and put first-time buyers and local tenants first
  • Investing unspent cash in the London Affordable Homes Programme and develop ‘London Home Bonds’ and pension fund investments
  • Bringing forward more land owned by public bodies like Transport for London for development, and working with boroughs to identify all available brownfield land in public and private ownership that is suitable for development
  • Introducing London Living Rent, with rent linked to a third of average incomes
  • Setting up a London-wide not-for-profit letting agency
  • Campaigning for the power to limit rent rises

Khan’s property plans centre around “seeking out new sources of investment and using planning powers effectively to raise the number of new and affordable homes London builds”.

But with an average of 19,571 homes per year built under Ken Livingstone and 18,364 per year under Boris Johnson, many question whether mass housebuilding can be achieved.

Christine Whitehead, a professor in housing economics at the LSE, has said that Khan’s target of building up to 80,000 homes in London each year would “result in an initial fall in development activity and would make many sites financially unviable”.

Property sale and rental values in Battersea and Brixton have been rising in recent years because demand for homes in these two vibrant parts of London exceeds their supply.

It is highly unlikely the new mayor can find enough available land in either area, particularly Battersea, to affect property values.

This means that the value of residential property in Brixton and Battersea will continue to rise long after Sadiq Khan’s initial four-year term as London mayor comes to an end in 2020.

To discover the value of your home, contact Eden Harper today for a free market appraisal of the property.