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More homes in less space: living in high-density housing in London

by Kath Scanlon, Fanny Blanc and Tim White December 2018 London has historically been a low-rise city of terraced houses and private gardens, but if it is to accommodate its rapidly growing population without impinging on the Green Belt (as Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised), then new homes must necessarily be built at higher densities. This densification is recognised as inevitable and indeed is an explicit policy target. Densification is an important… Read More

Are planners really the problem? Christine Whitehead presents at RTPI’s Annual Lecture

On November 8th Christine Whitehead gave the RTPI Nathanial Lichfield Annual Lecture on ‘Are planners really the problem?’ to an audience of more than 200 planners. Her presentation focused mainly on issues around new build. Organised in three parts, she spoke about the main barriers to delivery and how these relate to planning, described her experience with several initiatives with which she’s had direct involvement, and concluded with an answer to the… Read More

Planning risk and development, our report on planning certainty for RTPI

In late October, Kath Scanlon talked to the Highbury Group about our research undertaken for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) by LSE London and the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL) to the past presidents of the Institute. The report, Planning risk and development: how greater planning certainty would affect residential development, is part of the RTPI’s ‘Better Planning’ programme. The context to this work was the pledge the Government made in… Read More

Rent controls: lessons from international experience

Yesterday, the Residential Landlords Association published a new LSE London report by Christine Whitehead and Peter Williams on changes in rent regulation in a number of countries (click here to view report). The starting point for this research was the growing concern about whether the private rented sector is suitable for its growing role as a mainstream tenure especially given the large numbers of family households that are now living there. One… Read More

Four of our reports make it into ThinkHouse´s curated library of the year´s best

Officially launched in 2018, Thinkhouse.org.uk is a new site comprising a library of innovative pieces of housing research. The library is curated by an independent editorial panel made up of experts with breadth of experience in the housing sector from academia, central and local governments, and the private and voluntary sectors. The main reports they feature are thought to have the best chances of influencing policy makers; they also have a section… Read More

Is SDLT helping or interfering with the housing market? Updated economic analysis of policy impact

The Problem Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has become an increasingly important source of revenue for the Treasury – with £9,275m raised from 1.1 m residential transactions in 2017/18. Yet many commentators regard stamp duty as a poor tax reducing transactions and interfering with the workings of both the housing market and the labour market. The latest such statement is in last month’s IMF annual report of the health of the UK… Read More

Longer-Term Tenancies in England: observations about the recent government consultation

England currently has some of the shortest leases in the advanced world: the typical assured short-hold tenancy lasts either 6 months or a year. At the end of the lease period landlords can evict tenants without giving a reason. Such evictions are currently the main cause of homelessness in this country, and one reason why tenants find it difficult to complain about poor quality and services. The Government’s consultation on introducing longer… Read More

Reducing the risks of mortgage default and possession in the UK

In late 2017, we published a blog entry summarising some of the findings of the report Challenges for our home ownership safety net: UK and international perspectives, published by UK Finance and authored by LSE London’s Christine Whitehead and her colleagues, Peter Williams and Steve Wilcox. In this blog post, we report on the findings of the article Reducing the risks of mortgage default and possession in the UK; an international perspective,… Read More

Section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy in England, 2016 to 2017

In March 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published the report The Incidence, Value and Delivery of Planning Obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy in England in 2016-17. LSE London’s Christine Whitehead was one of the authors alongside Alex Lord, Richard Dunning, Bertie Docerill, Gemma Burgess, Adrian Carro, Tony Crook and Craig Watkins. The cohort of authors was made up of academics from various UK universities. The report is the… Read More

Will the private rented sector continue to grow? Our report for Shelter

Current forecasts suggest that perhaps one in four households in England, and one in three in London, might be living in the private rented sector by 2025. However there have also been signs that growth is slowing—as indicated by the black line on the figure below, which has flattened since 2012. In this context, Shelter asked us to look at possible future scenarios for the private rented sector [1]. To view or… Read More