"The capital is now a city of tenants, proof that the Thatcherite property hegemony has had its day"
|Limk to web site|
"Politics often lags behind reality. But when the two get too badly out of sync, what’s produced is disaster. For proof, look at the catastrophe that is housing in London. We are in the final strait of the capital's mayoral race. An odd, ugly and racist contest, it is also a remarkable one – perhaps the first housing election ever held in postwar Britain. Housing is the thing that Zac Goldsmith, Sadiq Khan and the rest of the candidates bang on about the most – rightly so, as it’s the biggest topic for voters. Yet the terms used by politicians are as inadequate as the policies they devise.
"Take one of the lines most commonly trotted out: that this is a crisis for London’s young, who can’t afford to get on the property ladder. One of Britain's most respected thinktanks, the Resolution Foundation, has been digging through the government's own figures and given me exclusive access to its analysis for the capital. Perhaps its single biggest finding is this: the proportion of Londoners who own a home with a mortgage has been sliding since the early 90s – and has now dipped below the number who rent privately. In John Major's time, less than 20% of all Londoners rented privately, now that is in the mid-30s, and marching up to 40%."