Catherine McGuinness: Young crucial to city staying on top


The City’s position as the globe’s leading financial centre would be “severely damaged” if young people are priced out of the housing market.

That was policy chief Catherine McGuinness’ stark warning in the wake of Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement last week, when he addressed the nationwide crisis by pledging to pump an additional £15.3billion into projects to build new homes over the next five years.

It brings the total value of guarantees to support the housing market to £44bn.

The Chancellor also abolished stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 for first-time purchasers, a move that will save buyers an estimated £5,000.  The concession extends to the first £300,000 of homes valued up to £500,000 in a bid to help people get a foot on the ladder in the Capital.

“The Chancellor is right to suggest that we are facing a crisis of housing affordability and supply, which is impacting on business and the wider economy,” said Ms McGuinness.

“In London this issue is especially acute and it acts as a deterrent in attracting workers.”

news london
Chancellor Phillip Hammond abolished stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 for first-time homebuyers.

Mr Hammond says his housing war chest will provide 300,000 additional new homes each year by the mid 2020s.

And with the announcement that Whitehall is in talks with government in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Leeds, and the West to deliver major housing hubs, Ms McGuinness says that local authorities have a central role to play in the formation of constructive partnerships.

“National policy changes to enable the market to supply more homes are also necessary,” she added.

“The Corporation, despite its small residential population is doing all it can to help with this issue and will deliver 3,700 new homes on sites across the Capital.

“New homes should be of mixed tenures, designed to house families on a range of incomes and deliver the diversity of skills and labour required by the Capital.

“The City of London’s position as the leading financial hub would be severely damaged if people, and especially the young, are forever priced out of the housing market.”