MP: London housing will become commodity for the global super-rich
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Simon Hughes launches new Bill to help fund social housing improvements
The Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes has called on the Mayor of London to stand up for people on low and middle incomes and tackle head-on the impact of overseas investment in the capital's housing market.
Last week, London Assembly Liberal Democrats proposed a motion calling on Boris Johnson to undertake research into the extent to which properties held by investors domiciled abroad are kept empty, and the effects of overseas investment on the price, affordability and supply of homes across the city.
According to research by Chesterton Humberts in August, overseas investment now accounts for over 60% of new build purchases in London and across the capital a third of buyers are now from abroad.
In an open letter to Johnson, Hughes, the member of parliament for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, supported the GLA motion and said: "I strongly believe that we cannot stand by and let the London housing market be dramatically and perhaps irreversibly distorted by vast sums of money from foreign investors – many of whom have never even heard of the Old Kent Road, let alone walked down it.
"Policymakers must wake up from their non-interventionist slumber, act now and intervene in the housing market and tax and regulatory system, to make sure that decent and affordable homes are available to all."
Following a parliamentary debate he led in June, Hughes has also written to the communities secretary Eric Pickles asking him also to consider a range of additional policies to mitigate the effects of overseas investment on London’s housing.