Sadiq Khan wins London: the property industry reacts

9th May 2016

Reactions from the property industry on Labour candidate Sadiq Khan’s landslide victory over Tory rival Zac Goldsmith in the London mayoral election

Labour’s Sadiq Khan was voted in as Mayor of London on Saturday after taking 57% of the total final vote, compared to rival Zac Goldsmith’s 43%.

The result gives Khan biggest personal mandate in British electoral history.

He beat Goldsmith by 315,529 votes, receiving a total of 1,310,143 votes compared to Goldsmith’s 994,614. Turnout was 45.6%, up from 38% in 2012.

Guy Grainger, UK chief executive, JLL

“Sadiq has pledged to be the most ‘pro-business Mayor of London yet’ which is a promising boost for London’s position as a global leader.

“Property is a vital component to consider in any business or personal decision – from the impact that office space can have on workforce productivity, to the affordability of housing & making buildings sustainable.

“Housing is top of the agenda and London will watch with eager anticipation to see if Khan can deliver 50,000 homes per annum and we will help him try to get there.

“Khan’s focus on affordability was a popular vote winner but the real test will be the delivery of these homes at a time when the capacity and cost of construction industry is so testing.

“We wholeheartedly support Sadiq’s London First commitment, but off-plan investors from all around the world are still vital to underwrite development finance and get construction happening.”

Miles Gibson, head of UK research, CBRE UK

“After the brouhaha of the election campaign, Sadiq Khan’s focus now shifts to securing London’s status as a global city.

“Adverse global economic conditions, a failure to attract global talent and a risk of London becoming a less open and less cosmopolitan place are of course risks outside the Mayor’s direct control – not to mention June’s referendum – but each needs a careful plan to manage their impact on the capital.

“There are however key areas, specifically housing planning, investment in infrastructure and ensuring London’s placemaking continues to be world class, which must be capitalised upon if it is to prove a successful term in office.

“To date there has been little detail on how the new Mayor’s manifesto will be funded, in particular the infrastructure investment and proposed surface transport improvements.

“It’s the detail behind these numbers which is most eagerly anticipated by the property industry.”

Patrick Flaherty, chief executive – UK & Ireland, AECOM

“New London Mayor Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall to face the challenge of improving London’s competitiveness to maintain its position as a leading global city.

“Housing, infrastructure and the ability to compete effectively for foreign direct investment all require his urgent attention.

  “The mayoral office plays an important role in promoting London as a viable location to invest. Yet a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the capital due to decades of dithering, delay and inaction over aviation capacity in the South East.

“The UK lags behind global rivals with nearly double the aviation capacity, significantly impeding its ability to compete on the global stage.

“Khan has opposed expansion at Heathrow throughout his mayoral campaign. There is now a real risk of the runway debate going back to square one.

“The damage this would do to the economy and the UK’s competitive standing would be irreversible for several generations. London cannot afford further political procrastination.”

What’s your reaction to Sadiq Khan’s win? Let us know in the comment section below this story

Claire Fallows, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys

“Sadiq Khan’s ambitious housebuilding targets for the capital, with an aim to construct 80,000 homes a year, are likely to be limited by his goal that half of new homes built on brownfield sites be ‘affordable’.

“This could well adversely affect development activity as some sites will become financially unviable.

“Sadiq’s victory in the mayoral election falls against the backdrop of the government’s commitment to increasing housing delivery, with the Housing and Planning Bill still passing through parliament and the government pushing to get its promise to build 200,000 starter homes into law.

“The emphasis on discounted starter homes in the bill will change conversations between developers and local authorities on affordable housing and we anticipate tension ahead where some authorities still seek the delivery of affordable and social rented units to meet their housing needs.”

Ian Anderson, executive director at planning consultancy Iceni Projects

“London’s Mayoral election is over, but Khan’s housing policies suggest that London’s housing crisis is set to continue.

“Both main candidates declared that housing was their number one priority, yet dodged the real debate: how do you provide homes for 10m people whilst vetoing a review of London’s city limits?

“Yes, our new Mayor should focus on developing brownfield land, but they should do so knowing that restricting development to these areas will see London continue its poor rate of housebuilding and do little for affordability.

“Khan needs to rally the industry to bring his plans to fruition and, whilst his policy may well be fit for our Nimby- inclined electorate, they are not the body of people that Khan needs to be planning and providing for if London is to deliver on its full potential.”