• Monday, December 11, 2023


Sadiq Khan defies economic headwinds to deliver new jump in housing starts

We are once again showing that we can and will put Londoners first by building the genuinely affordable homes they so desperately need, the mayor said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)

By: Shubham Ghosh

London mayor Sadiq Khan has thanked councils and housing associations of the capital for delivering an increase in affordable housing starts, an unprecedented range of economic challenges notwithstanding.

According to new figures from City Hall released on Monday (13), 3,698 homes funded through the mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme were started from September to December last year.

These took the total number of starts for the financial year to date to 6,877, which is a more than 50 per cent rise on the total number of homes built by this point last year when Khan went on to achieve the highest number of starts since City Hall records began.

It was also revealed that 5,360 genuinely affordable homes were completed in the year till the end of December, nearly 900 more than in the same period last year.

These figures have been delivered despite the ongoing disruption and delays caused to the construction industry by the combined effects of the pandemic, Brexit, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have disrupted supply chains, led to labour shortage and soaring construction costs.

Government data showed that the cost of construction materials rose by 11 per cent between December 2021-2022, and are up 42 per cent since January 2020.

The government’s ‘mini budget’ last Autumn also contributed to higher mortgage costs, dampening buyers’ demand for new-build homes.

Homebuilding statistics are always back-weighted with an increased number of starts in the spring.

To be ahead of last year’s record-breaking totals at this stage is a testament to the hard work and dedication of London’s councils and housing bodies buying into the mayor’s ambitious vision to deliver the homes Londoners so desperately need, a press release from his office said.

The building of genuinely affordable homes is now underway across London with every borough reporting new starts in the last financial year.

These latest figures are part of a huge increase in council and affordable housebuilding under Khan. Last year, council homebuilding hit the highest level since the 1970s, while the overall affordable housebuilding was more than double the level achieved in the previous mayor’s final year.

Nearly 10,000 homes started in the previous financial year are at social rent levels – the highest annual figure in the last decade.

“Despite strong economic and political headwinds battering the construction sector, we are once again showing that we can and will put Londoners first by building the genuinely affordable homes they so desperately need,” Khan said.

“Since I became mayor, council homebuilding in London has hit its highest levels since the 1970s and overall affordable housebuilding is at the highest level since City Hall records began.

“I would like to thank London’s councils, housing associations and our capital’s wider housing sector for their efforts in helping us to continue building a better, fairer London for everyone.

“However, in order to continue making progress the Government must now provide the additional funding we need to safeguard housing delivery in the capital.”

Geeta Nanda OBE, G15 Chair and chief executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, a leading housing association, said, “Not-for-profit housing associations are working hard to deliver the genuinely affordable homes London needs, alongside investing around £1billion each year in the existing homes we provide.

“The latest figures on the delivery of new homes are a testament to the commitment we have to tackling the housing crisis, and the strong partnerships we rely on with the mayor and local authorities across the city. There is no doubting the massive challenges providers face, such as rising costs and challenges like building safety. That’s why it’s important that the government continues to support the building of much-needed genuinely affordable homes in London, and across the country.”

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