A Twitter debate organised by BNP Paribas Real Estate and Property Week has sparked a flurry of dialogue from leading industry figures.

Using the #londonhousing hashtag, Redwood took part in the debate, which focused on key housing issues and explored an abundance of topics, such as:

-what the next London mayor needs to do to address the London housing crisis

-whether infrastructure will be a perennial problem as housing demand continues to rise

-what is best way is to boost affordable housing numbers

-how big a role local authorities will play in solving the London housing crisis

The debate preceded a new, residential research report from BNP Paribas Real Estate that accuses politicians of “skirting around the issue” of housing in the capital, and calls for drastic changes in policy to address the affordability crisis.

Using Boris Johnson’s mayoral term to articulate a point about affordability, the report highlights that by the time he leaves office on May 5, the average London house price will have jumped by 56 per cent over his eight-year term – a huge £170,000 increase. Comparably, the average wage in London has increased by less than £10,000 over the same period.

During the Twitter debate, the controversial topic of releasing green belt land for development was also discussed. A timely topic given the new report released by the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) this week, which gained nationwide coverage.

CPRE believes that planning policy is being weakened through loopholes and outline that the number of homes planned for England’s green belt increased by 50,000 in the last year alone, hitting 275,000 total homes.

However, BNP Paribas Real Estate’s report considers that releasing as little as one per cent of green belt land in ten outer London boroughs, will help build 12,500 affordable new homes. Although only a drop in the ocean, considering over 200,000 need to be delivered every year in London to meet demand, they believe it could be a start and that it has the potential to catalyse further development.

With less than a week to go until the elections, residential development and affordable housing has never been higher on the agenda in the race to elect a new Mayor of London. We wait in anticipation to see whether the City votes #BackZac2016 or #SadiqKhan.