London MPs have said that they would no longer be able to afford to buy homes in their constituencies should they be looking to buy today, despite their £66,000-a-year salaries.
As concern over London’s housing bubble grows, the Commons heard that any initial “smugness” at growing house prices from those who own property in desirable areas of London has begun to evaporate as those people realise that their children would be unable to afford a home.
London Labour MPs Diane Abbot, Heidi Alexander and Meg Hillier said that even well-paid professionals would be unable to buy homes in their constituencies.
Hillier, the Hackney South and Shoreditch MP said: “Even someone on the generous salary of an MP could not buy a flat in my constituency.”
Alexander, Lewisham East’s MP, said during the debate on London housing that she was not “pleading poverty”, but added: “The capital’s housing crisis is as much about the young professional couple unable to buy their first home as about the family of five who rent an overcrowded flat from a slum landlord.”
Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said three-bedroom houses could cost more than £1m in Hackney. “That means I couldn’t buy a family house there on an MP’s pay if I was starting out now.”
During the debate, Islington South and Finsbury Labour MP Emily Thornberry said: “There’s the smugness of Islington dinner parties where people talk of their home’s rising value. Then they wonder where their grown-up children will live.”