LONDON, April 4 The number of new homes built in
London will reach 46,500 this year but total completions will
fall by a quarter at the turn of the decade, estate agents
Savills said on Tuesday, in a further blow to efforts to
tackle a mounting housing crisis.
The government has set out plans to boost house builds in
England from 190,000 homes a year to at least 250,000 in a bid
to tackle a chronic lack of supply, especially in London, which
has made buying unaffordable to many and pushed up rents.
But Savills said on Tuesday that, after reaching a recent
high in 2017, only 34,700 new homes will be completed in 2021,
becoming the latest property firm to forecast a drop.
"Over the next few years, private sector completions are
forecast to fall sharply, the result of rapidly falling home
starts, as developers adjust to lower rates of sale," Savills
said in a release.
Total sales in London fell 21 percent in 2016 compared to
the previous year to 82,172 transactions, according to official
data analysed by residential fund the London Central Portfolio,
although prices continued to rise.
Developers have been particularly put off from building in
the priciest areas in the centre of the capital, including
places such as Kensington and Westminster, where sales fell by
nearly 30 percent last year, hit by increased taxes and the
Britain's biggest builder Barratt is among those to
scale back building in the capital, saying in February it would
build around 20 percent fewer homes partly due to rising land
In February, the National House-Building Council said a
closely watched indicator of future supply dropped a third,
partly due to the initial impact of the EU referendum.
Europeans are the majority of construction workers on
several sites in the capital and any Brexit-imposed curbs on
immigration could further curtail building and push up costs.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Michael Holden)