By Marcus Leach
Within the next few hours the Chancellor will announce that developers will no longer need planning permission to convert commercial property into private dwellings, in the hopes of creating up to 250,000 additional houses or flats.
Alan Waxman, CEO and founder of Landmass who has been involved in the supply, financing, development and design of residential properties for over one decade with a focus on maximising space planning, provides us with his insight on the effects this will have in London.
"Relaxing the planning laws will somewhat ease the pressure on the high demand for residential property yet our experience is that the high demand for quality and purpose-built residential housing, especially in areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Chelsea and Belgravia, where the strong population influx from the UK and abroad will continue to widen the gap between supply and demand," he said.
"The point of easing planning regulations for developing commercial properties into private homes will only make a small impact, particularly as supply has not been able to cater for demand for several decades.
"The pressure is not just concentrated in the first time buyers’ market; homes which are designed and developed to a high standard are being actively sought after by buyers right across the spectrum and there simply aren’t enough residential buildings to cater for the demand. To add to the problem, growing instability around the world in recent years has seen London become widely positioned as a “safe” bolt hole by investors.
"Recently there has been a surge in demand for residential properties in Mayfair and as such many have been re-converted back into residential properties. Therefore relaxing the planning laws will somewhat ease the pressure on the high demand for residential property.”