Playing Monopoly may be the only way to buy a house in Central London, an MP has warned.
Cities of London and Westminster MP Nickie Aiken has cautioned London is being “hollowed out” by short-term holiday lets.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the MP pointed out there are more than 4,000 families waiting for social housing in the City of Westminster, but there are over 7,200 properties available for holiday lets in the borough.
The Tory MP said: “It’s getting so bad that I fear the only realistic possibility for young people to find a property in central London is when playing Monopoly.
“I am worried that we are witnessing a hollowing out of Central London as properties convert all too easily from homes and into holiday lets.”
Since 2015, landlords have been turning more and more properties in Westminster into holiday accommodation. Rents have also risen 13 per cent in the last year, according to the politician.
Nickie Aiken also warned that the huge number of holiday lets is leading to more antisocial behaviour, noise complaints and dumped rubbish.
To solve the problem, the MP called for a licensing scheme to be brought in to protect homes in Central London during a parliamentary debate.
She added: “We need local authorities to be given the powers to do what they feel is right for their unique area. I believe in Westminster, a licensing scheme is much needed.
“A licensing scheme means we can offer localised tourism that people desire, but balance it with local needs.
“The number of properties listed to rent across London at the start of 2022 was 35 per cent lower than pre-pandemic.”
A similar scheme is already in place in Lisbon and Barcelona and a short-term lets licensing scheme is set to be introduced in Scotland by October.
Housing minister Eddie Hughes said evidence was needed about how the housing market was operating.