At one stalled scheme at St Andrew’s Park in Uxbridge, work started in early 2022 but was halted last summer (Matt Writtle)
Thousands of homes under construction have been left abandoned at stalled “ghost housing developments” across London as a result of last year’s sudden downturn in the property market, the Standard has learned.
At the year end, construction work at 61 house-building sites where at least 20 homes are due to be completed had been halted with the gates padlocked. Together they accounted for just over 6,000 half-built homes at a time of severe housing shortages across London.
Industry experts say the number of schemes on hold is unprecedented in recent history, apart from the early months of the first pandemic lockdown. By contrast, in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 only 10 schemes were put on hold.
Developers blame a “perfect storm” of setbacks. They include the dramatic spike in interest rates after Liz Truss’s mini-Budget in September 2022 that sent demand for new homes plummeting and prices falling, the collapse of a number of major building contractors in 2023, soaring costs that have made some schemes unviable and new safety and environmental building regulations from the Government that have forced builders to redesign their plans.
In total, 24 out of London’s 32 boroughs had at least one halted construction site. Croydon had the most mothballed projects — 12 — representing 841 homes. Tower Hamlets had the highest number of homes on hold, a total of 1,684 at four sites.
The figures were compiled by data analysts Molior. Founder and director Tim Craine said: “We were surprised to see just how many sites there were across London where no work was being done. That is different to the situation after the financial crisis and different to the situation in the