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  1. ITV Report

What's behind London's housing shortage?

New properties are being built in London - but there's still a mismatch between supply and demand. Photo: ITN

London's ever-changing skyline spells out the message that the city is expanding.

But are new properties being created to help people find affordable housing, or provide bankable investments for those with money to spend?

The Rahman family deserately want to move out of their one bedroom flat, but are struggling to afford the type of home they want. Credit: ITN

On Monday - we spoke to a family who live in a one bedroom flat but even with a £400,000 budget their dream of a three bedroom home seems as far away as ever.

We need the space, we need to just get on to the next stage of our lives and it just feels like we're stuck.

– Saira Rahman

Our desire to own our own homes has led to a huge decline in the number of council houses, as they have been purchased through Right to Buy. And that shortage has pushed people away from the centre of London.

Over the last two years we've seen a significant increase in the demand for rental property. In fact, if we judge that by the number of properties viewed on Rightmove that's up around around 80 percent over that two year period.

And when we ask tenants why they're renting, 59 percent in February mentioned the reason they're renting is that they can't afford to buy.

It's still very difficult to get onto the housing ladder - to buy a property - so people are turning to the rental market.

– Tim Bannister, Rightmove
Many council homes are now privately owned. Credit: ITN

Those rising rents have had a knock-on effect on the Government's cash too, forcing up the housing benefit bill - that means cuts to the service.

I think it's getting more and more difficult because of higher rents, because there is less traditional social housing being built, it is more and more difficult for people who really need it to stay living in London.

– Maeve MacAvock, Octavia Housing

Help to Buy - intended to help people get onto property ladder - only really works in areas where property is cheap, and it simply isn't in London. The increasing trend is likely to continue - leave london, or pay the price.

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