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06/02/2018

Mayor to offer homes to Londoners first

Words: Laura Edgar
Flat interior / Shutterstock: 526355959

The Mayor of London has announced that Londoners and wider UK buyers will be offered ‘first dibs’ on new homes in the capital.

Sadiq Khan has been having discussions with London homebuilders about how to make more new homes available to Londoners.

Now, he has said he has received offers from members of the Home Builders Federation and the g15, the representative body for the capital’s largest housing associations, to restrict sales of all their new-build homes up to £350,000 to UK buyers before overseas marketing can take place.

The offer will see Londoners who live or work in the capital being offered “first dibs” exclusively for up to one month within this time period.

The offer from the industry is backed by the capital’s biggest homebuilder, Berkeley Homes, and represents the first time ever that sales from leading homebuilders have been restricted to UK and London buyers only, explained the mayor.

Last year research commissioned by the mayor into the role of overseas investment in the capital’s property market suggested that half of new London properties bought by overseas buyers were homes under £500,000, which a statement from the mayor notes as being, “typically the price range for many first-time buyers and those looking to access support through schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’”.

Khan said: “I am determined we take meaningful steps to help Londoners buy more new homes they can afford, and the offer from across the housing industry will mean we can move quickly to make this a reality for our city.

“Through the extensive research I commissioned I was alarmed to discover that overseas buyers were focusing to such an extent on the lower-cost end of new-build homes – many of which were being sold long before Londoners even knew they were available.

“That is why I have been discussing steps with the capital’s leading homebuilders and I welcome their landmark offer to give Londoners ‘first dibs’ for up to a month on all their new homes under £350,000, with sales ring-fenced to UK buyers for three months before they are marketed overseas.”

Khan said he would now work with the homebuilders to put the offer into practice.

Helen Evans, chief executive at Network Homes, said: “g15’s primary objective is to help people who live and work in London access the housing they need. London’s leading housing associations are committed to building more genuinely affordable homes and that’s why we are fully behind the mayor’s ‘first dibs’ scheme on homes for sale to ensure Londoners get a short period of exclusivity on new-builds under £350,000 in the capital.”

Image credit | Shutterstock

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