Westminster City Council has today published a response to an independent report into the prime residential property market in central London.
The report, released this morning, provides the first detailed analysis of London’s ‘prime and super prime’ residential market – and the impacts it has on housing in the capital.
The key findings are:
Ramidus Consulting Ltd were commissioned by the council to undertake a piece of research into the residential market in Westminster. This was primarily to understand the extent and implications of the issue to help inform strategic planning and housing policy as part of the evidence base for the current revision of the City Plan and Housing Strategy. In particular, the consultants were asked to ascertain:
The overarching conclusion from the report is that the prime sector of the market is a less significant driver of a number of trends in the market than is generally perceived. It also suggests that prime property and its owners make a significant positive contribution to London’s economy.
Also, the prime sector is not a major direct driver of the increase in London house prices as is sometimes asserted, nor are the number of prime homes a major factor in Westminster meeting its housing need.
This is the first time that the impacts of the prime residential market has been explored in this amount of detail, bringing together information from a wide range of sources and seeking to separate evidence from anecdote to provide a robust piece of research. It is probably the most authoritative account of the issues available at this moment in time.
Responding to the report, Councillor Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, said: “This independent report strongly counters the perception that overseas investors are buying high value properties in London as an investment and then leaving them empty.
“In fact it shows that the prime residential market is an engine room within the UK economy, generating jobs and growth for London, and billions for the UK.
“Creating affordable housing is a priority for all local authorities – and top of the list for Westminster – but building affordable homes should not be done purely through public money that can be spent elsewhere. It is a simple fact that developments like One Hyde Park contribute millions to affordable housing projects and are an important cog in the overall housing mechanics of the capital.
“Housing in Westminster will always be a complex issue, because of our varied demographics and the high demand to live here. The data and conclusions drawn from this landmark piece of research will help us to formulate our City Plan and update our housing policies to help us tackle the key issues.”