Price rises making it tougher to get on housing ladder

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 August 2012

The gap between house prices and wages now stands at 52 per cent

The gap between house prices and wages now stands at 52 per cent


‘SHOCKING’ figures show that getting onto the housing ladder has become harder than ever for people in North Somerset.

Figures released by the National Housing Federation (NHF) reveal that average house prices in the district rose by 81 per cent from 2001 to 2011.

The rise (from £117,901 to £213,848) compares unfavourably against wages, which have only increased by 19 per cent in that time.

That means the gap between house prices and wages has risen 52 per cent in those 10 years.

And getting a mortgage has also become much tougher, with the average price of a typical 75 per cent mortgage deposit in North Somerset leaping a staggering 353 per cent from 2001-2011 to £53,462.

Jenny Allen, South West lead manager for the NHF, said: “These shocking figures show that it is getting increasingly hard for thousands of people in the South West to buy a home of their own in the current climate.

“With the gap between income and house prices having widened so substantially over the past decade, home ownership continues to be out of reach for ordinary families, and looks set to continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

“A shortage of homes means the price to buy them is being pushed ever higher by the market, and out of reach of thousands of hard working families. Unless we start building more homes people can truly afford, to match the demand, this will only get worse.”

James Rigby, a partner at Rigby Linham Estate Agents in Weston, said of the current situation in the district: “The main change I’ve seen in the past 10 years is that there is now a very buoyant private landlord market in Weston - there is a very buoyant rental market at the moment.

“One big factor that has made it difficult for first-time buyers is the stamp duty hike from one per cent for homes worth £125,000 or more to three per cent for homes worth £250,000 or more.

“That has had a big effect on houses which are selling at around the £250,000 mark, and I have written to the Government about this as I feel that it is unfair.”

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