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Densification, Development and/or Displacement: accommodating migrant-induced population growth in London (and its extended region) Ian Gordon Geography Department, LSE London and Spatial Economics Research Centres London School of Economics LSE London/HEIF 5 conference on How London is being transformed by migration , March 24 th 2014
Introduction • London Mayoral Plans all avoid recognition of – driving role of international migration in London’s population turnaround; and – high degree of integration of housing / labour markets across London metro region and beyond • But size of gap between estimated housing need and (half) credible supply growth makes crucial to: – look much more closely at how immigrant-induced growth has been accommodated so far; – with realistic view of the displacement effects along extended chains of interaction in space-constrained region ; – and of the dynamic effects of migrant settlement - as economic position and housing aspirations change
The Back Story • For 50 years GL population contracted because – rising prosperity increased demands for personal space – beyond the capacity of available land inside the ‘green dam’ • Situation changed in late 1980 s and then late 1990 s: – partly cumulative effect of enlarged YUPpy cohorts of singles / graduates with strong taste for city life – but clearly tied to upswings in international migration, reflecting strong external stimuli + weak border control • Migrant impact on London population is not 1 for 1 – clear indications of displacement in inter-regional movement • graphs and Hatton/Tani (2005) work suggest more like 50% – but important questions about; • how 50% gets fitted in – generating development, or just crowding ? • Is this a temporary accommodation – or sustainable ?
London’s ‘Mirror Image’ Migration Trends
Evidence from Inter-Censal Change • Investigated 2001 -11 changes in: – numbers of (occupied) rooms + average persons per room – 5 population groups: • UK born • Migrants since 2001 – from Poor countries & Rich countries • Earlier migrants – from Poor/Rich countries • Across the Greater South East - at 2 spatial scales: – neighbourhoods (LSOA), where relations with densification (or reverse? ) expected to be compositional (shifting mixes) – Local (sub-) Housing Market Areas (Coombes’ 73 ‘lower’ units) where demand pressure may exert more general effects • on occupation density and on supply of dwelling space (rooms) • Maps suggest some possibly important links
In Broad Terms – Over the Decade • Population grew right across GSE – but fastest towards the core (IL) • Reflecting growth in foreign-born – Primarily from poor countries – particularly in OL where UK born numbers fell significantly – But also from rich countries – principally in IL – There was a dispersal of earlier arrivals from both groups – though Poor. C group going further (including beyond GSE) • Room numbers also grew across the GSE – Especially in IL – though patchy even there – And not particularly in immigrant areas • But in London population per room also grew – accommodating c 40% of growth – Notably in/near areas of new poor country arrival
Statistical Evidence on. . . Densification • Analyses of 2001 -11 change across LSOAs point to: – significant effect of job accessibility on densification • with zero pop growth, prediction is of + 5. 8% in IL vs. 2. 9% in outer RGSE – but strongest effect from (local) rate of Poor. C arrivals • 55% absorbed by denser occupancy - cf. 10% for UK born – much weaker effect from change among earlier arrivals (30%) • indicative of substantial convergence in housing expectations – generally weaker among Rich. C arrivals – but strikingly so in IL • the main concentration, but quite atypical – maybe no net effect on densities • though among longer stayers impact seems close to that for Poor. C group – additional to these local (compositional effects) there is evidence (from LHMA pop. change) of a demand pressure effect • • about 24% for growth from all sources except for Rich. C arrivals in IL (zero impact at LHMA scale) but for Poor. C arrivals densification absorbed c. 80% of additional numbers Adding 12. 9% to IL room occ. density vs 3. 4% in outer RGSE
. . . Development Effects • Similar analyses of change in room numbers – with controls for land availability, as well as job access: – suggest no significant effect from new migrants at LHMA level – where we might expect to find it – at neighbourhood level there is apparent evidence of positive (local) effects on the supply of rooms (equivalent to 20% of Rich. C arrivals and 7% for Poor. C arrivals) • but this could only represent a local diversion of development activity • not a net contribution to accommodation of growth at the sub-regional scale
. . . Displacement • Time Series analyses for GL and for the rest of the GSE (1981 -2011) show: – Strong effects of state of (UK) housing demand (for GL partic? ) and some of overall GSE conditions (U/E and house prices) – but also • International migrational gains into London appear to be 40% displaced into other areas (after 2 years) – though primarily beyond the GSE: i. e. the chain of displacements stretches right through the GSE, ending up outside • Tho maybe still within Peter Hall’s original larger version of this super-region. • No such evidence of displacement by RGSE immigration – consistent with assumption that it reflects the incidence of housing market constraints, rather than labour market processes (or ‘white flight’? ) • Tho’ findings for densification / development suggest rich country migration must generate more displacement – there is no indication of this at the regional (GL) scale (or of the reverse)
Conclusions • Accommodating migrants involves some combination of : (a) induced additions to local room stock; (b) denser occupation of those rooms; and (c) displacement elsewhere • Impacts in a metro region such as London’s are greatly complicated, however, because: – displacement occurs at many scales – with knock-on effects across them; – different groups of migrants occupy substantially different HM positions; and – these change markedly over time. • There is much still to be sorted out about processes/impacts operating in London over the past 25 years - and the next • But it is clear that: – the dense (self-)housing of Poor. Country migrants has been key to location of population growth within London; – they will be demanding much more space (somewhere) soon – though despite UKBA et al others may well come to take their place; and that – the process has ramifications right across southern England which need more careful (and open) examination.