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Peer2Peer Finance News | October 17, 2018

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Lendy: Lack of bank funding has hit London housebuilding

Lendy: Lack of bank funding has hit London housebuilding
Suzie Neuwirth

THE PACE of private-sector housebuilding in London is lower than the national average due to a lack of funding, new research from Lendy claims.

The peer-to-peer property lender said on Monday that developers started just 15.5 homes per 10,000 people in the capital in 2016, which is 34 per cent lower than the England-wide average of 23.4.

Eight out of the bottom 10 performing areas in terms of new housebuilding are in London and the South East, including the London boroughs of Westminster, Camden and Kensington & Chelsea.

In contrast, the Midlands dominates the top of the table, with five out of the 10 best performing areas for per capita rates of new private-sector housebuilding including Stratford-upon-Avon, and parts of Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

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Lendy argues that a lack of competitively-priced funding from traditional banks to smaller developers has resulted in the lower pace of housebuilding in London and the South East, where site purchase costs are highest.

“Funding is the critical missing piece of the jigsaw, with banks still reducing lending to this sector,” said Liam Brooke, director and co-founder of Lendy.

Ensuring all land is registered with the Land Registry to make it easy to see who owns potentially suitable sites would also help, the peer-to-peer lender said.

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“Enabling developers to regenerate more pockets of under-exploited land needs to be made easier, to make the most of the available space,” said Brooke.

“There are, for example, plenty of brownfield sites in and around the capital which are ripe for redevelopment, but there are also areas on the edges of the green belt, which are not environmentally or agriculturally valuable or attractive that could also be considered.

“While a highly charged political issue, there needs to be a sensible, rational debate which takes into account that not all green belt land is actually beautiful rolling countryside that warrants blanket protection.”

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