A poll of 1000 Londoners aged 25 to 45 found widespread support for radical measures such as reform of green-belt planning controls, as a housing crisis has made the capital unaffordable for many young people.
London’s green belt covers 486,000 hectares of outer London and a ring of home counties including Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. However, politicians have been reluctant to allow large scale encroachment on land seen as sacrosanct.
Marc Vlessing, CEO at affordable home builder Pocket Living, which commissioned the polling, said: “London is at breaking point and this year’s research should act as a wake-up call for policymakers and politicians.
“Our findings suggest that a staggering two in three non-homeowning Londoners believe they will never own their own home and without urgent intervention to enhance housing solutions, the capital could see many hard-working city makers, essential to our growing economy, pack their bags and leave.”
He added: “It is clear from our research that these Londoners are ready to take to the ballot box to help improve their long-term housing needs and in 2024 they will have the opportunity to do just that.
“Next year’s elections might be one of the first times where this demographic out-votes the boomer generation, with those aged between 25 to 45 making up over 30% of the population both in London and the rest of England.
“Winning over this demographic will be critical to the success of any political entity and our research suggests ambitious housing policies, such as green-belt reform, could be the tipping point. younger generation want green belt-built homes to improve their housing chances.”
Pocket’s research also found that almost one quarter (22%) of non-homeowners under 45 are actively considering leaving London over the next 12 months, probably due to soaring rental and house prices still close to all-time highs.
alarmingly a quarter of the key workers surveyed, which equates to roughly 200,000 people in the 25- to 45-year-old age bracket, could also leave the capital in search of more affordable housing opportunities this year unless there is a drastic shift in housing opportunities available.