Hughes: housing in London will become a mere commodity for the global super-rich

Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has today called on the Mayor of London to stand up for people on low and middle incomes and tackle head-on the impact of overseas investment in the London housing market.

Last week, London Assembly Liberal Democrats proposed a motion calling on the Mayor to undertake research into the extent to which properties held by investors domiciled abroad are kept empty, and the effects of overseas investment on the price, affordability and supply of homes across London.

Overseas investment now accounts for over 60% of new build purchases in London and across London a third of buyers are now from abroad

In today's open letter to the Mayor, Simon Hughes supported the GLA motion and said:

'I strongly believe that we cannot stand by and let the London housing market be dramatically and perhaps irreversibly distorted by vast sums of money from foreign investors - many of whom have never even heard of the Old Kent Road, let alone walked down it.

Policymakers must wake up from their non-interventionist slumber, act now and intervene in the housing market and tax and regulatory system, to make sure that decent and affordable homes are available to all. Otherwise, housing in London will become a mere commodity for the global super-rich.'

Following a parliamentary debate he led in June, Simon Hughes has also written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, asking him also to consider a range of additional policies to mitigate the effects of overseas investment on London's housing.

 

For more information contact Chris Hall, Head of Office, 02072191677 / 07872394456

NOTES

  1. Simon Hughes' open letter can be found on his website http://simonhughes.org.uk/en/
  2. The London Assembly Liberal Democrats Motion can be found here http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s29320/Motions.pdf
  3. Further information about overseas investment in the London housing market can be found at http://www.chestertonhumberts.com/news/Foreign-investors-remain-hungry-for-New-Build-London-property/ and http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Barriers%20to%20Housing%20Delivery.pdf
  4. The full transcript of Simon Hughes' speech can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130620/debtext/130620-0004.htm