The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has criticised the chronic failure of Boris Johnson’s flagship scheme that aimed to stop new homes in the capital being sold first off-plan as ‘golden bricks’ to overseas investors.
The previous mayor’s ‘Concordat’ scheme was originally unveiled as the solution to stop major developers advertising London homes abroad first for overseas buyers, many months before ordinary Londoners had the chance to purchase them. Over 50 developers signed up to the pledge to prioritise home buyers in the capital and the previous administration hailed the scheme a roaring success.
However Sadiq Khan has today criticised the previous mayor for designing a ‘toothless’ Concordat that meant homes could still be launched overseas at the same time they were made available in London, and that had no official Greater London Authority process of monitoring whether the signatories to the Concordat were keeping to their promises.
There were no powers or processes to enforce the marketing activities of the signatories, and when it was broken – as evidence suggests it has been – there was no effective sanction available to the mayor. Consequently, only one organisation was ever found to have breached the Concordat, and this was due to a national paper alerting the previous administration (to a developer breaching agreement by targeting Hong Kong customers before Londoners).
Today during Mayor’s Question Time, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London set out this information as part of an ongoing audit of the housing crisis in London. The new Mayor has asked GLA officers to bring forward a range of options to replace this housing scheme that are meaningful whilst being mindful of the needs of homebuilders to raise project finance.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said:
“We all know that Boris Johnson left the cupboard bare on housing in London, and it will be a hard and long process to fix his mess. The previous Mayor’s ‘Concordat’ is yet another housing failure we have inherited – a scheme that claimed to help Londoners get first dibs on new properties but in reality did nothing to stop the problem of London homes being sold off-plan as gold bricks to overseas investors.
“This is the same Mayor who oversaw planning permissions being given with just 13 per cent affordable housing last year. I am determined to give more Londoners ‘first dibs’ on more new and affordable housing, and have asked officers to bring forward a range of meaningful options to replace Boris Johnson’s failed, frankly embarrassing attempt.”