First time buyers struggle

STAMP duty on houses in parts of Somerset has soared making it one it of the hardest places in the country for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder

STAMP duty on houses in parts of Somerset has soared making it one it of the hardest places in the country for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder.Average house prices for homes with a BS26 postcode, which includes Loxton and Christon, have risen from £140,687 in 2001 to £280,804 in 2006.The percentage of properties paying over the stamp duty threshold of £250,000 has risen from seven per cent in 2001 to 53 per cent in 2006, one of the 10 highest increases in the country.Weston MP John Penrose said the figures highlight the growing problem in the country for first time buyers and illustrate the need for more shared equity and shared ownership schemes to allow people to buy their own homes.He said: "A young family saving up for a deposit is going to battle to keep up with this level of soaring costs. This increase is great for existing home owners but grim news for first time buyers and young families struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder."It reinforces the need for the council to review its approach to affordable housing." Mr Penrose has been appealing for North Somerset Council to review its housing and planning strategy.The MP is campaigning for more social and affordable housing in Weston and the villages.He has also been consulting with local and national housing providers to see what more the council could be doing to help first time buyers.He said: "Some people are paying as much in rent as they would on a mortgage, all because they can't raise a deposit on a house.


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