London businesses optimistic despite concerns over staff housing

Half of firms in the capital plan to expand solely in the city over the next six months - the highest level in three years

London’s businesses are optimistic about their future economic health despite concerns that the cost of housing is having a negative impact on hiring and retaining staff, findings from the latest CBI/CBRE London Business Survey reveal.

Almost half (47%) of the survey respondents said they felt positive about the UK economy over the next six months, with 40% more positive about their business prospects and 50% planning to expand solely in the capital – the highest level since 2012.

Yet, 57% of London companies said availability and cost of housing is making it difficult to recruit entry-level staff and a third of employers claimed some of their employees had been forced to quit and move away because of the cost of living in the capital.

Alongside housing, companies involved in the study called for the next mayor to invest in London’s transport infrastructure to reduce congestion and for better digital connectivity to support the creative and financial technology industries.

Lucy Haynes, London director at the CBI, commented:

“The capital’s businesses are feeling upbeat about the economy, and the number of firms looking to expand in the capital is at a three year high. As a first class global city, London is alive and kicking to the changing demands of the twenty-first century.

“But relying on creaking infrastructure and failing to build enough homes for London’s workers is eating away at firms’ potential to grow and create jobs.”

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Adam Hetherington, central London managing director for CBRE UK, continued: “World-class infrastructure, whether it be road networks or digital connectivity, are the foundations on which a growing city and thriving economy must be built. London has a unique draw for employers and employees; it’s down to all those that have a stake in the city, not least the new mayor, to ensure this remains the case.”


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