Effect of international migration on London's housing

Ian Gordon and Christine Whitehead, London School of Economics and Political Science and Alan Holmans, University of Cambridge

[Project number 30069]

An analysis will be made of the housing circumstances of international immigrants to London (defined as persons enumerated as usually resident in London but whose usual residence one year before was outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) and how their circumstances change through time. Analyses will be made of data for this population in the 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 Longitudinal Study (LS) samples for London, with comparisons of the characteristics of international immigrants in the four LS samples. Longitudinal analyses will be made of changes over time in the housing circumstances of international immigrants, with a distinction drawn between international immigrants who remain in London and those who move out to parts of the United Kingdom.

The London School of Economics (LSE) has been commissioned by the Corporation of London to prepare an assessment of the effect of international migration on London's economy and living conditions. The effect that international migration has on London housing is a very important part of its total effect. Important are the housing circumstances of international immigrants when they arrive, and how their circumstances change through time. High proportions of recent international migrants rent from private landlords, for example, where conditions are frequently poorer than housing that is rented from councils or housing associations, or is owner-occupied. What proportion of those that start by renting from private landlords subsequently move to other tenures is therefore important, and so too is how many remain in London and how many move to other parts of the United Kingdom.

Whether the housing courses of international immigrants have changed over the years is also important. Have there been differences in the proportions remaining in London between LS sample members who arrived in 1970-71, 1980-81, and 1990-91, for example? And if so, could they be related to differences in housing market conditions and in housing policies (e.g. priorities in letting by councils to new tenants)?

International immigrants are very diverse in their characteristics, and it would be important to study (subject to limits set by sample members) whether their housing experiences have been related to this diversity. Aspects of diversity studied here could include occupation and place of origin, in very broad groups of course.

Top of page