House price hike - to cost seven times your income

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 October 2011

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A HOUSING charity website has revealed North Somerset homes are now seven times the average person's income - which has provoked an outcry from councillors who say banks should start lending to give people a fair chance.

The results from the Shelter England website show last year’s houses had an average price tag of £175,000 - making them unaffordable for would-be North Somerset buyers on an average annual income of £27,564.

This is compared to10 years ago when house prices were just four times a person’s average income.

Councillor Clare Kingsbury-Bell said: “It is getting harder for local families and young people to get on the housing ladder.

“In the town centre particularly, too many families are forced into low quality rented accommodation because buying their own home is simply not an option.

“We need to do more to get affordable homes onto the market, but crucially banks have got to start lending and giving people a fair chance.”

John Hobbs from Weston estate agent Hobbs & Webb, in Waterloo Street, said house sales have been very quiet, with some properties having to be brought down in price to actually sell.

Mr Hobbs said: “It’s a difficult market at the moment. Many properties priced around £60,000 have come into play, whereas before they were a lot higher. It seems people that want to put their property on the market for a high price have had to come down to one that will sell.”

Councillor Richard Tucker said: “Myself and councillor Catherine Gibbons have dealt with ward cases recently where people have struggled to keep up with their bills and have fallen behind with their council tax payments, whether in privately owned or rented accommodation.

“Weston has always been an area of relatively low pay, yet house prices link in to the edge of the Bristol commuter belt. Trying to save up the higher deposit levels demanded by mortgage lenders these days must also be a struggle.”

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