Housing crisis threatens City businesses

Peter Spence
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THE HIGH cost of London housing is affecting competitiveness, according to a report from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Soaring house price increases have outstripped wage increases, and so make “living in London unaffordable for many, affecting both employees and employers”.

Forty-two per cent of London businesses feel that their ability to recruit and retain skilled workers has been negatively affected by increasing housing costs. Many employees chose to move further away from the capital in order to avoid high house prices, and face longer commutes as a result. LCCI says that one third of businesses now report that such long, tiring commutes have affected employee productivity and punctuality.

And things are set to get worse, as London’s population is expected to grow by the equivalent of the entire population of Birmingham over the next 10 years. The report concludes that rent costs and house prices are all pushed upwards by a lack of supply, so it is essential that more developers are attracted into the market.

LCCI wants all undeveloped brownfield sites to be registered by the Mayor, and for owners to be given four years to start building before compulsory purchase is enacted.