Property industry believes more needs to be done to boost development in London
The vast majority of property and development specialists and decision makers believe that both the national and city wide governments are not doing enough to boost construction in London. Some 86% of the industry believes development activity in the capital could be boosted if there was better funding for local authorities and infrastructure and if priorities are placed on planning and supply of land.
Some 243 industry professionals took part in the inaugural London Development Barometer by M3 Consulting, a poll designed to provide a snapshot of industry sentiment from property specialists and decision makers involved in London development activities.
As well as finding that not enough is being done, the research also found that there are concerns around the future health of the industry, with 57% believing that there will be less development activity over the next five years and just 19% predicting a boost in development activity over the same period. Some findings exposed a clear divide between government and industry priorities, with almost half of respondents signalling the improvement of the town planning process as a first or second ranking priority, whilst traditionally government backed initiatives such as support for home ownership ranked as the lowest.
Funding for local authorities, infrastructure, transport and housing authorities received widespread support, with 43% of respondents ranking it in their top two.
Respondents were also questioned on the capital’s most powerful industry figures, with two in three of the opinion that London Mayor Sadiq Khan, will hold the most individual influence in the next five years.
In the residential market, Build to Rent will continue to make strides, the industry believes. Whilst 88%of respondents predicted an increase in the product’s market demand, residential sales garnered almost half that figure, with just 45% predicting an increase. Some 80% believe there will be a rise in demand for affordable and council housing, whilst 47% were positive about the outlook for student accommodation.
‘The response suggests the industry’s pragmatic approach to the political and economic challenges and uncertainties over the coming years. Priorities are placed on planning, public investment and supply of land amongst others, measures which are within central and local governments control and ones that would help encourage the day to day business of development in London,’ said Gavin Kieran, director at M3 Consulting.
In terms of industry breakdown of respondents, 60% were senior figures at their respective organisations and total respondents were split almost evenly between large companies and small companies. There was a total of over 5,000 years of experience and an average of over 20 years’, and representation from all major property submarkets, including residential sales, Build to Rent, offices, retail, student accommodation and hotels.