London has entered 2016 more than 20 per cent behind its new homes aims, which will put Mayor of London Boris Johnson's successor under huge pressure, according to analysis from Stirling Ackroyd.
London planning departments approved just 32,910 new homes in 2015, 22 per cent lower than its official annual target of 42,000, adding to concerns around an already difficult housing crisis.
"London has the finance, the space and without doubt the demand for new homes – but it seems this great city doesn’t have permission," Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said. "London’s election chatter may be stepping up, but no one is facing up to the housing reality. For all the optimism on offer, there is very little focus on practical steps."
Applications in 2015 represented a total of 42,910 potential new homes. Yet only 77 per cent of these were accepted by planning authorities and in the last quarter of 2015 alone just 7,240 houses were approved.
“Politics and personalities aside, today’s housing deficit is deepening and the electoral clock is ticking. The mantra in 2016 should be planning, planning, planning,” Bridges said.
Looking at individual boroughs, Greenwich permitted the most new homes in 2015, with 3,666 new homes finding their way through the planning system, with Tower Hamlets approving 3,628 homes.
Westminster was the most positive borough, approving 95 per cent of homes mentioned in planning applications in 2015.
Conversely, Richmond planners allowed just 140 homes in 2015, while Bromley agreed to just 30 per cent of potential new homes.
“Different parts of the capital are confused about which housing direction to take and this has led to an unsustainable mix of leniency and rigidness. London is missing a consistent plan – something ambitious future mayors should be able to offer,” Bridges added.
The research comes in the same month that Stirling Ackroyd found that house prices have broached the £500,000 barrier across 51 per cent of London postcode districts, backing up evidence the capital's homes are becoming increasingly unaffordable.