Musings from MIPIM UK 2014

Musings from MIPIM UK 2014

Purpose Built contributors Joanna Bhatia and Elinor Clark, both lawyers in the LexisPSL Property Team, attended the opening day of the inaugural MIPIM UK event at Kensington Olympia on 15 October and comment on the themes that arose.

Housing

Demand

In his opening keynote speech, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, raised the issue of the demand for homes in the capital and the social injustice of many people being unable to afford their own home.

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The Mayor was keen to point out that London, in particular, is not just in need of social housing, but of ‘affordable’ housing for every sector of society – particularly the middle sector who don’t qualify for benefits, but are nevertheless priced out of the housing market.  He stated that, according to the Financial Times, house prices across London had risen by 20% over the last year. The Mayor then went on to point out two commonly proffered solutions to the crisis, that he strongly disagreed with:

  • cutting investment in London. The Mayor acknowledged that the UK economy had to be re-balanced, but the answer was not to punish London for its success – rather to give the regions fiscal freedom to regenerate (he was joined by Lord Heseltine, the government’s advisor on local growth)
  • repelling international investors. The Mayor pointed out that in London only 3% of residential sales by volume involved international (including Irish) entities and only 6.5% by value. He stated that London should welcome international investment as this will assist with regeneration. See later for the position on the commercial market

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In the Mayor’s opinion, the real solution was to build many more affordable homes - with a target of 100K over the period of his mayoralty.  The Mayor took the opportunity to point out that more homes are to be built in the capital this year than in any year since 1980 and that there had been more starts on site than in the 1930s when the green belt didn’t even exist.

The Mayor’s confidence in the upturn in provision of new homes in London

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About the author:
Joanna is a commercial property specialist. Prior to joining the LexisPSL Property team, she was a transactional lawyer. She qualified in 1995 at Shoosmiths and subsequently worked at Nabarro, Charles Russell, Bircham Dyson Bell and Pemberton Greenish. She has wide-ranging experience of all non-contentious property transactions, with a particular emphasis on landlord and tenant work.