Landlords reclaim record number of rented homes

To Let copyMore Londoners than ever are losing their rented home through landlord repossessions. Data analysis by Urbs shows that in the last 3 years the rate of landlord repossessions has risen sharply. And the data shows that this is a particular problem for London, as the rate for England as a whole has seen only a gradual rise.

In the third quarter of 2014 (the most recent data available) there were 4,137 rented home repossessions in London. That’s rate of 2.45 per thousand, and double the rate for England as a whole.

Renting has become more popular as high property prices make buying a home unaffordable for many people. That problem is most acute in the capital, particularly for younger Londoners.

Rising prices have also seen the end of the negative equity trap, which used to lead to large number of mortgage repossessions in London. These have fallen from their peak in the third quarter of 2006 of 1,181 homes to just 218 last summer. That is back to the level for repossessions last seen in 2003.

The picture of home repossessions across the capital shows a clear divide between richer and poorer boroughs. Southwark, Croydon and Newham have nearly three times the number of the more affluent Sutton, Kingston and Richmond.

Landlord repossessions 2 map

Repossession figures are based on county court action rather than actual incidents. Some homes are repossessed without court action and some court actions do not lead ultimately to repossession.

Source data

Breast cancer screening lag

Breast cancer scan copyBreast cancer screening rates for London remain below the national average in England for the fifth year in a row. Data analysis by Urbs shows that 68.9% of eligible women aged 53-70 were screened last year. But that’s 9% below the rate for England as a whole.

London has managed to close the gap over the past five years. In 2007-08 London lagged 16% behind the national average.

The data is collected at borough level and shows a clear division in the capital between the performance of inner and outer London. The four best performing boroughs of Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Harrow all beat the average rate for England. The nine worse performing boroughs were all inner city. Islington came bottom, 24% below national average, followed by Kensington and Chelsea, 22% lower.

Islington’s performance has dropped year-on-year by 15%. During the same period the number of eligible women fell by 2%. Lewisham, Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston also saw a drop in their year-on-year figures but all saw some increase in the numbers of eligible women.

671,463 women in London were eligible for breast cancer screening in 2014. Women aged 50-70 are offered the service as they are seen as the highest risk group who can benefit most through screening.

During the process a radiographer creates a special kind of X-ray called a mammogram, where an image of the breast is created by passing very low dose x-rays through the breast tissue.

In a study in 2011 Cancer Research UK estimated that screening saves the lives of approximately 1,300 women each year.

Source data
More information about breast cancer here.

 

Childhood obesity highest in London

Obesity_London_ 2The rate of obesity in young people aged 10-19 is 40 per cent higher in London than the rest of England. While London enjoys a good record compared to the national average in all adult age groups the numbers for youngsters suggest future health problems for London families.

Across England 3.1% of youngsters are classified as obese. But in London that figure jumps to 5.3%. In all other age groups London levels are below the national average.

Adult Obesity by age

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here.  A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Obesity is broken down into three categories – severely obese, morbidly obese and super obesity. All the children in London are in the first category. Across England there are a small number of teenagers in the other two.

Obesity is linked to a number of health problems, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

Source data

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Tourists and casual customers not London commuters are the big users of the city’s cycle hire scheme, the so-called Boris Bikes.

Boris bikes

Data analysis by Urbs reveals that in 2014 more journeys began from the bike docks around Hyde Park, one of London’s busiest tourist and leisure spots, than the combined total of journeys from 4 of the capital’s busiest railway stations – Waterloo, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross and Victoria.

In 2014 (figures Jan to Oct) 8.3 million journeys were taken using the bikes. Of those, 749,000 began at the Hyde Park bike racks – Hyde Park Corner, Albert Gate, Black Lion Gate, and Kensington Gate. That compares to 214,000 journeys that started at Liverpool Street and 213,000 at Waterloo.

The data also indicates that many users are taking the bikes for a leisurely ride rather than using them to get to a specific destination. More than half of the journeys that started in Hyde Park also ended there.

The numbers gathered by TfL show that commuters arriving from out of town into the city’s main rail terminals are the biggest users of the bikes in the morning rush hour between 7-9am. In that period the top 5 hire locations are all at the big stations, including 3 racks at Waterloo. And users are pushing the bikes back into the racks in the City. The top 5 dropping off points in the morning rush hour are all in the financial district. The average journey time in this period is 16 minutes.

Later in the day the average journey time goes up to 24 minutes and the focus of activity moves west. Across the day the top 3 busiest locations are around the entrances to Hyde Park.

27,000 journeys are taken each day, on average. Across the year it varies from a January average of 15,000 to the peak in July with a daily rate of 35,000. As might be expected the numbers go down on rainy days, though it seems the commuters are hardier folk than the visitors. Weather data shows that on January 29th 2014 it poured with rain and bike journeys dropped by 30% from 15,000 daily average to 10,000. It also rained heavily on August 25th, at the peak of the London tourist season when many Londoners are away on holiday. The 30,000 daily average plummeted to just 6,000, a fall of 80 per cent.

The cycle hire scheme was introduced on July 30th 2010. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said at the time that it would transform travel for Londoners and visitors.  The data suggests that the tourists have got the message, and commuters who travel into the city to work are the other significant group of users. But Londoners living outside zone 1, who are helping to subsidise the scheme through their taxes, don’t appear to see the bikes as part of the home to work solution.

There are currently 11,500 bikes and 748 docking stations. The scheme was extended to the west and south west of the city in 2013. But many of the new locations are among the least used, including Clapham, Shepherd’s Bush, and East Putney. The Clapham Common site takes the low usage award with just 469 hires last year – an average of 1.28 per day.

Cycling has grown remarkably in the city in recent years. In 2014 600,000 journeys were taken each day by bicycle. The 27,000 daily Boris Bike journeys make up a fraction of that. For most Londoners getting on your bike means buying your own rather than tackling the miles across the sprawling city on a chunky 23 Kg machine.

Source data:

Cycle hire numbers 

Cycle journeys in London