Prince Charles: Housing out of reach for many
The heir to the throne also warned that London’s predicted house price rise is not “sustainable” and risks driving away young talent.
Speaking at the Housing London Symposium, held yesterday in Shoreditch, Prince Charles said: “The National Housing Federation estimates that in only six years’ time the average London house price will have risen 40% to £650,000.
“This isn’t sustainable and risks driving away talented young individuals who are starting their careers in London and spending most of their income on rent.
“Home ownership for this generation is seemingly “becoming further and further out of reach.”
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that house prices in London had grown by 13.2% in January and by 7.1% in the South East during the same period.
To help stem the problem Prince Charles called on city planners and builders to build homes which are both affordable homes and based around nature.
He said: “In order to continue to prosper, any healthy city requires a built environment that provides good quality housing, the integration of Nature and green spaces at its heart, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods, good public transport and an identity that fosters pride and a sense of belonging.
“The most successful cities and the most popular neighbourhoods within those cities all share these qualities in abundance.
“It is these qualities which attract so many people to London – not just for the opportunities it offers, but because of its mid-rise nature, its human-scaled streets, squares and parks and its series of diverse walkable neighbourhood ‘villages’ that foster a strong sense of community.”
But Prince Charles said that builders should avoid the high density high-rise solutions often favoured in the past due to the “alienation and social dysfunction” he claims they cause.
The Prince said: “It is why I feel so strongly that we must build places which combine market-rate and affordable housing seamlessly, and create places where people actually want to live, that are built with an eye to enduring appeal and where, for example, people can walk from their house or flat to the shop and to the local school.”
The Prince’s call for an increase in the number of homes available in London comes at a time when research from RICS has revealed that the gap between demand and supply is at the widest level since May 2009.