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Home buying costs in South West London skyrocketed over last 25 years

A new housing data tool has shown home buying costs have ballooned in South West London over the last 25 years.

Campaign group PricedOut’s data tool shows the costs of buying a home – which include the price of the home as well as rent while saving for a deposit – have increased by more than half a million pounds in all south west London boroughs over the last 25 years.

The data show that costs for buying a house in Kensington & Chelsea have increased by more than £1.8m since 1996, with house prices £980,000 higher, while Westminster home-buying costs have increased by £1.5m.

The findings were compiled from the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) average house price and rental price data.

Adam Kessler, a volunteer at PricedOut, created the tool after realising costs were increasing by hundreds of pounds per month for the average prospective buyer.

He said: “There isn’t the level of urgency and anger in our generation that the problem merits.

“It’s something where there isn’t political momentum to take it on, so it was important to present the problem in a way that’s very real to people.”

Source: PricedOut, ONS

In Lambeth, the tool shows that an average couple would need to save for an additional 32 years to afford a 15% deposit on the average home, during which time they would pay more than £600,000 in rent.

Buying a detached property in the council area would involve costs that are £2.1m higher than 25 years ago.    

In total, there are five south west London councils where home-buying costs have increased by more than £1m.

The costs of saving to buy a home look more endemic when compared against the rise in renting in south London.

Data from the ONS shows renting has increased across every south west London borough except Wandsworth between 2006 and 2018.

In Sutton, the share of households renting increased from 6.5% in 2006 to 23.2% in 2018.

Source: ONS, London Datastore

Emphasising the need to improve the supply of affordable homes, Kessler offered a stark warning that future generations risk being priced out completely if price rises continue to outpace incomes.

Kessler said: “The Government needs to focus on supply side issues like inflation targets and better rewards for developing properties.

“Otherwise, what will it be like for our children if house prices keep increasing at 13% per year?”

Kessler also noted that house price increases in south west London were more concerning given the impending flooding risk to homes in the area.

In his manifesto, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to increase the supply of affordable homes in London, while Lambeth council recently announced plans to do the same in the borough.

More information on the data used for the tool can be found on PricedOut’s website.

Featured image credit: Jim Linwood via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 2.0 license

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