Monday 4 October 2021 4:00 pm

Young Londoners want to stay in the city, but most are being priced out of properties

Most younger Londoners do not want to move out of the capital to afford a home, but current property prices remain the biggest obstacle to being a homeowner for more than half of them, according to new research.

The research, from affordable housing developer Pocket Living, also found that just two in ten of London’s younger generation are currently saving money for a deposit – which has climbed from an average of £20,000 in 2000 to £132,685, data from Halifax revealed.

From being priced out of deposits to securing squeezed living quarters, fewer than half of London’s renters think they have enough space – and Pocket’s research suggests that London could potentially lose 15 per cent of 25- to 45-year-olds in the next year, with 12 per cent of all age groups eyeing properties outside of the city.

Yet 62 per cent of the poll’s 1,000 respondents agreed that they “don’t want to move outside London to afford a home because they would have to sacrifice too much to do so”.

“First-time buyers have suffered in silence during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of them are city makers: the young doctors, nurses and teachers who have kept vital services running in the face of unprecedented disruption since March 2020,” Pocket CEO Marc Vlessing said.

“Almost all of them maintain a desire to own their own homes in London despite being thwarted by a range of obstacles, from affordability to instability of work, with the city continuing to be a magnet for those who enjoy the balance it provides those looking to live independently whilst still being surrounded by a buzzing and vibrant community.”

But Pocket’s research also found that, despite Londoners’ hang-ups with the amount of space on offer, of those currently renting in London, nearly 70 per cent would look to continue renting in London over the next year.

Vlessing called for government to speed up its delivery of affordable homes for Londoners – and that its First Homes policy set out in May, which allows specific discounted market sales of housing, will not be enough.

“There needs to be a greater acceleration in the delivery of homes that meet the renewed needs of first-time buyers outlined within this research. In turn, greater supply will allow prices to remain manageable for first-time buyers and help them get onto the ladder within the communities they already call home,” he said.

“With Michael Gove now at the helm as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, it will be interesting to see how the government looks to unlock more sought-after new homes for our next generation of Londoners.

“The First Homes policy alone won’t achieve this and needs to be reconsidered if it is to have the impact the Help to Buy initiative had.”

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