The Office of National Statistics has just launched a Housing Statistics Portal, featuring 15 Housing Summary Measures calculated using official statistics. Covering every local authority in England and Wales, they provide a fascinating insight (across a number of years) into the availability and affordability of privately owned housing, social housing and private rented housing.
The raw data is here, a 24 page statistical summary is here, and there's a whizzy interactive space to explore here. If you like numbers, you'll enjoy the latter.
I've dug into the statistics to see how special* London is.
* for special, read "vastly overpriced and out of control"
Median house price (2014) Over £½m: Kensington and Chelsea (£1195000), Westminster (£875000), City of London (£720000), Camden (£675000), Hammersmith and Fulham (£665000), Richmond upon Thames (£535000), Wandsworth (£535000), Islington (£532500) Under £100000: Kingston upon Hull (£97000), Rhondda Cynon Taf (£95000), Stoke-on-Trent (£95000), Pendle (£92750), Merthyr Tydfil (£87500), Hyndburn (£86000), Burnley (£85000), Blaenau Gwent (£75000)
In London in 2014, Barking and Dagenham had the lowest median house price, at £215,000. Despite having the lowest median house price in London, this was still higher than 60% of all local authorities in England and Wales. In general, median house prices for West London boroughs were higher than for East London boroughs.
In Westminster the median house costs 24 times the median salary of £36500. By this measure the most affordable boroughs are Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Bexley, each with median houses costing 'only' 9 times the median salary. Newham is, by some distance, the London borough with the lowest median salary (£20500).
Median house price (1995) Over £100000: Kensington and Chelsea (£181750), Westminster (£135000), South Bucks, Camden (£122000), Isles of Scilly, Chiltern, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Elmbridge, City of London, Islington, Mole Valley Greatest increase 1995-2014: City of London (×6.7), Kensington and Chelsea, (×6.6), Westminster (×6.5)
Of the 20 local authorities to see the greatest rise in median house price between 1995 and 2014, 17 were in London (the other three were Brighton and Hove, Cambridge and St Albans). The London boroughs with the 'lowest' increases were Havering, Bexley and Croydon (approx ×3.5).
Median monthly private rent (London, 2014) Over £1500: Westminster (£2382), Kensington and Chelsea (£2275), City of London (£1928), Camden (£1842), Islington (£1731), Hammersmith and Fulham (£1582), Wandsworth (£1582), Richmond upon Thames (£1556), Hackney (£1517) Under £1000: Sutton (£997), Barking and Dagenham (£950), Havering (£925), Bexley (£900)
Almost all of the 42 local authorities with median monthly private rent greater than £1000 are in, or immediately adjacent to, Greater London. The cheapest places to rent in the UK are Hull (£365pm) and Burnley (£395pm).
In Westminster, Camden, Newham and Brent, median rent is over 65% of the median salary. In only nine London boroughs is median rent less than half of the median salary (with Bexley the most affordable, at 40%). In Hull, the median rent is only 25% of the median salary.
Average weekly social housing rent (London, 2014) High 5: Newham (£129), Camden (£128), Harrow (£126), Redbridge (£125), Kingston upon Thames (£124) Low 5: Lewisham (£104), Bexley (£106), Merton (£110), Havering (£110), Greenwich (£111)
In Newham and Barking and Dagenham, the poorest 10% of residents earn less than the median social housing rent.
Social housing stock (as a percentage of total housing stock, 2014) Over a third: Southwark (44%), Hackney (43%), Islington (42%), Tower Hamlets (39%), Lambeth (36%), Camden (35%), Greenwich (33%) Over a quarter: Barking and Dagenham (31%), Lewisham (31%), Hammersmith and Fulham (30%), Newham (29%), Haringey (26%)
London is easily the social housing capital of England. Outside London the only local authorities with more than 30% social housing stock are Norwich, South Tyneside, Harlow and Manchester. Meanwhile Redbridge (9%), Harrow (10%) and Kingston upon Thames (11%) rank highly among the English local authorities with the smallest proportion of social housing.
At 94%, Waltham Forest has the highest social housing shortfall in London, (not as bad as Medway's 239% shortfall but still in the national top 10). Meanwhile at just 0.3% Hammersmith and Fulham has the smallest social housing shortfall in London (only three other local authorities do better).
Number of new homes built (as a percentage of privately owned housing stock, London, 2014) Over 1%: Tower Hamlets (1.8%), Newham (1.3%), Greenwich (1.2%), Croydon (1.1%) 0.1% and under: Harrow (0.1%), Haringey (0.1%), Kensington and Chelsea (0.03%), City of London (0%)
Over the last five years, more new homes have been built in Tower Hamlets than in any other local authority in the country (relative to the size of the existing supply). Nationally Tower Hamlets really is way out in front, only Corby comes close. Meanwhile only the Isles of Scilly and Blackpool are down at the very bottom of the house-building chart with Kensington and the City.
Number of residential house sales (as a percentage of privately owned housing, 2014) Over 8%: City of London (10.3%), Wandsworth (8.5%), Bracknell Forest (8.5%%), Harlow (8.2%), Brighton and Hove (8.2%), Tower Hamlets (8.1%) Under 5% (London): Havering (4.8%), Newham (4.7%), Barking and Dagenham (4.5%) Under 4% (UK): much of Wales, and the Isles of Scilly
Just to restate that first statistic, more than 1 in 10 of private residential properties in the City of London changed hands last year. Tower Hamlets is the only East London borough with a particularly vibrant property market (1 in 12 properties were sold last year), while Brent (1 in 20) and Hounslow (1 in 19) are the least bubbly West London boroughs.