Lewisham's Housing Map

London Tonight reported on London's housing shortage, using the case of Lewisham pensioner Yvonne Iles, who currently lives in an air raid shelter in St Johns to illustrate the sometimes-acute problem.

In addition to a plug for People Before Profit's squatting operation, the feature mentions the London Housing Map, which provides live data about housing shortages across the capital, mapped to each borough.

Here are the stats for Lewisham borough:

Average selling price of a home in this area: £260,885
Average house price to income ratio: 7.91
Vacant dwellings: 2,355
Households in temporary accommodation: 1,001 (second only to Croydon in South East London)
Affordable housing delivery: 520
Average private rent: £1,018.25


Matt-Z said...

Some killer figures there:

The average monthly rent is more than many people's mortgage, yet first-time buyers, low earners and those without massive deposits find it very difficult to buy their own home.

There are more than twice as many empty homes as there are families in temporary accommodation. There seems to be an obvious solution. but how do we get to it?

kolp said...

I have to admit witnessing this kind of things stresses me out (mediation needed indeed).

Theres' kids out of jobs. There's empty buildings. There's people needing homes. There is money (huge sums) being wasted by government on botched franchising.

Some one sort it out!

Slumdog billionaire ;) said...

It's all greed by landlords, property developers, banks and the government.

The simple solution is for first time buyers is to stop renting and buy up social or private, housing stock for themselves.

How do we get there? indeed...

The banks need to deal directly with first-time buyers and low earners rather than the landlords.

I can see the landlords get itchy feet already, if they have to come out of semi-retirement to pay the rent, or be taxed on something with a lower yield ;)

Would they be forced to sell, if it wasn't for buy to let mortgages? mmm more than likely... and if the market value was a appropriate... a modern utopia in metropolis.

A taxable income from buy to let? There is profit there, the numbers don't lie. Rent vs Mortgage? Who's keeping the profit?

What we need is:

1) The government needs to say you can only have one mortgage, and scrap the multiple buy to let mortgages. That are currently in your wife and elderly mothers maiden name and that child who's not at school yet's trust fund.

2) The sub letting of social housing stock, which some occupiers do, as there circumstances improve over time, should be made illegal.

Private renting is painful solution to a social problem.

3) Price and sell the property accordingly in a non profit and realistic way, that is tax free to first time buyers and those on low income.

If we follow these 3basic steps above stock will come up, the 3rd one is slightly more trickier, but not unachievable, in a crash and then buy and build scenario.

Why are we in this mess?

Because non other previous governments and the current government have really made this a priority.

Or asked why we the target audience, don't want to buy a shared ownership scheme... because it's not in our favor... it's basically a crap deal, that's all about you and less about us.

As a tax payer who effectively bailout the bank, why can't they lend to us, what is necessary and is sustainable solution.

I'm less riskier than the banks ever where, I've cleared my debt, increased my income, I looking for some thing modest and still can't buy.

A windfall tax on landlords, who will be mortgage and debt free. Could also stimulate the market and pay for more social housing? ;)

This will all effect everyone, but we need landlords to put there money in stocks, bonds and businesses rather than property, as we rebuild the economy.

To get the wheel spinning again... so to speak.
Before it grinds to a holt.

Anonymous said...

You would think with one party in power locally for the past 41 years you'd think they'd have worked out a way to easy the problem.

Slumdog billionaire said...

Unfortunately, I don't think it's just a local issue. But surly;) local government should be leading the way, by example.
Good old fashioned leadership hey :)

Power to the people.

Anonymous said...

... empty dwellings should be heavily taxed or nationalized and leased out again!!

Average selling price of a house in Brockley is 3x the average of Lewisham.

The Council and housing associations own over 150 in the conservation area alone. If sold they can provide funding for 450+ average houses in Lewisham.

Half of the houses are occupied by smaller families than they were intended to.

Sell high, buy low and they could immediately host almost half of the people in temporary accommodation.

Problem solved. Oh I forgot, the current Council wants to be re-elected. So let's do nothing and complain with statistics.

Brockley Nick said...

Whilst it is of course fair to question Lewisham's housing strategy - check the map out. There are many similar boroughs. And as for house prices - Lewisham's average is still one of the lowest in the capital.

Tim said...

Is this true? Lewisham Council owns a whole bunch of properties in the Conservation area that it could sell and build even more social housing elsewhere? If so, seems wrong. Does it have a policy on this?

Anonymous said...

Oh! I get it. Sell off the Council and HA stock in the Conservation Area and then buy/build affordable homes in cheaper areas with the proceeds.
Two linked benefits of this are that it gets rid of the hoi polloi and our property prices rise as a result. The places the poor are shunted-off to we could call The Projects.
Alternatively we could continue living in a diverse, multi-cultural, mixed tenure area. I know which I prefer.

broker said...

'The banks need to deal directly with first-time buyers and low earners rather than the landlords.'

They already do. Landlords face much tougher restrictions in terms of the number of properties owned as well as their overall leverage.

Restricting property ownership to one per person is unworkable and unfair. If you can afford to own more than one property then you should be able to. Not everyone is a dodgy landlord and people own properties for their parents, children etc.

Banks welcome first time buyers and some discount their fees as an incentive. A new lender specifically for first time buyers launched this week and a major major building society has reported a 32% increase in FTB lending in the first half of this year, compared to 2011.

People on low incomes is a different story. People can borrow what they can afford and the reality in London (and anywhere) is that homeownership is not realistic for everyone. That is why there needs to be adequate social housing to accommodate them.

The wheel is spinning, albeit slowly.

Ben H said...

One of the directors in my office bought a second flat down the road as an investment and to store all of hers and her husbands junk. They already own and live in a large two bedroom flat and have no intention of letting their new flat.

They're in their 40s, have no kids and I imagine quite a big surplus income. They are probably not the only ones with uninhabited second homes in London. Council tax rules need to change and make unoccupied second homes more expensive and hence unattractive for people like this.

Of course building more homes is needed but land in London is at a premium and other measures now need to be taken.

Anonymous said...

@Anonim 21:24

you may have not noticed, but house prices in the conservation are on line with Black Heath, East Dulwich and East Greenwich.

So your point is silly, whether the Council keeps the properties or not will not change much to the prices here but would make a huge difference to those families that are waiting for a house.

I do believe that the Council should take advantage of the situation.

Anonymous said...

The housing situation should have largely been resolved years ago, the last major event in London to impact housing was 70 years ago.

In a rush to deal with the housing issues in the 60's/70's poorly designed social housing was erected.

Some of which the council has been demolishing to replace with 'new' housing.

Which in 20 years the experts are likely to say is inappropriate.

I fear we are going to repeat the mistakes of the 60's.

At local level the council pushed under the carpet it's failure to obtain 2 stars to qualify for 'Decent Homes' funding.

The council's failure to secure the funding for 10 years meant its residents suffered and the actual amount secured was reduced.

As for temporary accomodation check the Mayor's record it's a disgrace yet 'One Nation' Labour councillors sat on their hands and said nought.

The rise in temporary accomodation rose signifincantly during the boom period of the previous government.

Lewisham Homes which took over Lewisham Council housing had its budget cut in 2006 before any financial crisis.

The most damaging aspect in Lewsiham is the party machine that operates to control councillors.

Lewisham has a directly elected mayor who states he is not responsible for the views and actions of the councillors.

The councillors need to recocognise they are not responsible for the Mayor and have the right to stand up and express their concerns, rather than sit on their hands as he is 'one of us'.

We have too many councillors who believe party comes first to the detroment of Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

As previously stated turning empty retail units into residential units seems to be a trend within Lewisham planning.

Where as many planning applications used to toss in a green roof and bike provision, many these days begin stating there is a shortage of housing.

Tying in with another thread about pubs, if the choice is pub or housing what's it to be??

I see at the Catford Bridge Tavern there is a proposal to convert it into a major chain retail unit so the upper floors can become flats.

On the other side of the bridge their is a proposal to build flats on a site which has no vehicle access.

Anonymous said...

We should thank People Before Profit for bringing this issue into public view - many others have tried of course, but they have succeeded very well - and the mayor did a U-Turn as a direct result of their action.

Anonymous said...

You mean the People Before Profit that occupies homes that are for sale. I think they are a sad regurgitation of 70s thinking, in line with the Council strategy on poorly developed dormitory homes.

Lewisham is in a time warp, the place were time stood still for 40 years.

Lou Baker said...

Some people - misguidedly - believe that more tax is the answer to every problem. (If we all paid less tax we'd have more money to spend on housing ourselves).

Others believe - also misguidedly - that the very poor should have an absolute right to live wherever they choose. They shouldn't. I pay my own way. I don't claim benefits and my choice of housing is therefore limited to what I can afford. Frankly, I'd prefer to live in Dulwich or Blackheath than Telegraph Hill. But I can't afford it.

The fact that some people who can't afford it are housed in these nice areas - at our expense - is scandalous. Why should my taxes pay for someone else to live in an area I can't afford? If those on handouts don't like bring housed, for free, in less desirable areas they could always get a job and move.

Also - we do need more housing. That means a war on
Nimbys. Every time someone suggests turning a house in to a flats the Telegraph Hill Society stamps its feet and has a tantrum. There are similar such organisations all over the country - thwarting progress. It's time to reject the local busybodies to move the country forward.

Oh, and People Before Profit - what a bunch of morons. Let's hope they're arrested under the new squatting laws and jailed for crimes against intelligence.

Anonymous said...

War on Nimbys haha brilliant.

People want to live in London because a) its fun and b) all the jobs are here. We can't do anything about a) but for jobs the government should look to shift departments outside London. People will follow these jobs and the demand on housing will ease.

Anonymous said...

The houses on Telegraph Hill are huge, they'd make great flats!

Anonymous said...


Midtown Man said...

A few years ago, when homeownership was around 70%, people complained about the lack of rented property. Now that homeownership has fallen to around 66%, there's disquiet over BTL.

All silly. The problem is lack of homes. Build more and the housing crisis will ease one way or another.

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