London: a gentrifier's playground

Wednesday 3rd February 2016 | Teresa

It’s no secret that in the past decade, the price of living in London has risen; affordable housing in London now sounds like a paradox. The areas that were once considered affordable are now bougie spin-offs of what they once were. In the past year London saw a 4.5% increase in the price of housing and in the next 10 years, estate agents have estimated a 50% rise. Based on the increase in 2015, they don’t seem too far off.

Yet, it’s worth noting that the jump in housing is highest in areas like Newham in East London with an increase of 22% in the past year, contrasting some of the most expensive boroughs like Chelsea and Kensington who only saw a 1% increase. If anything, this speaks volumes about the gentrification of London. 

As a young 20-something currently looking for 'affordable housing' in London, the task is daunting, and the effects of gentrification on the housing market are tangible. Areas that are generally affordable for young people, like Peckham, are now standing face to face with gentrification. Right now, the beloved Bussey Building is threatened by plans for luxury flats in the same building. This dichotomy between Bussey, a place for young artists, and luxury flats shows us that it is not just the housing costs that are at stake, but also the areas where the housing is being built, and their cultural cornerstones.