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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.
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.
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:
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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