Berkeley housing shortage in London

Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group

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Published: 8th September 2016

This Article was Written by: Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group

  


Berkeley, the UK’s largest builder of luxury homes and a major force in the London homes market, has stated that Government policy is at least partly responsible for a shortage of housing in the capital.

Both stamp duty and London housing policies are thought most to blame. Indeed, Berkeley are of the opinion that excessive stamp duty rates are “restricting both mobility in the second hand market and the pace of supply and delivery of new homes.”

Berkeley admit that many of these policies have actually helped the housing market outside London. They believe they have been proportionally detrimental to the supply of affordable housing within the capital. With average house prices in London being amongst the world’s highest. The average stamp duty bill (calculated as a percentage of a property’s value) is equally substantial. Berkeley is of the opinion that these costs are proving to be a barrier to mobility. This is preventing or at least discouraging people from moving up or even joining the property ladder.

Likewise, the luxury homes builder is also concerned that the Community Infrastructure Levy, imposed by many local authorities,  is also acting as a deterrent and/or barrier to smaller developers seeking to build much-needed homes within London.

Whilst Berkeley’s main concerns seem to revolve around a lack of affordable housing, it goes without stating that, with the largest proportion of the UK’s luxury homes being built within the M25, any policies limiting the sale of high-end properties will hit companies like Berkeley hard. Despite this, however, Berkeley’s pre-tax profits are still on schedule to reach £1,500,000,000 by 2018.

Whilst many will see this is a problem for London alone, Berkeley believe that this will prove to be a major issue for the entire nation. They state that with London being “the engine of our national economy and… principal driver of fiscal revenues… it poses a risk to deficit reduction and the prosperity of the whole country.”


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