Charity highlights lack of affordable houses for families trying to buy first homes in East Surrey (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Charity highlights lack of affordable houses for families trying to buy first homes in East Surrey
10:51am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
Research into the availability of affordable homes for families hoping to get onto the property ladder in the South-east has shown all three districts in the Life area as being among the areas with the worst shortages.
Homeless charity Shelter this week published findings revealing that only 6% of the suitable homes for sale in the region are affordable for a typical family hoping to get on the first rung of the property ladder.
In a ranking by affordable homes shortage of the region's 67 local authorities, the charity flagged up Mole Valley, Tandridge and Reigate and Banstead districts as being the areas with the 6th, 12th and 35th worst availability for a couple with children.
Shelter looked at asking prices for all of the properties for sale in the South-east on a single day, and compared them with the mortgage that families, couples and single people on average wages could afford as first-time buyers. The cause called the results “shocking.”
“In almost half of all local authority areas in the South-east, fewer than 3% of the homes on the market were affordable for families - even assuming that they were able to save a large 20% deposit,” it stated in a release this week. Its analysis of the housing market was carried out by comparing asking prices for properties on sale with affordability thresholds for three different household types, derived from average earnings figures. Asking prices were acquired from Zoopla.co.uk on one day in August. Additional research into the time it takes to save for a deposit was drawn from Shelter’s A Home of Their Own report. The results found Mole Valley district ranked sixth out of the 67 local authority areas with 471 two-plus bedroom homes, only four of which were affordable, or 0.8%.
Tandridge district followed in 12th place in the ranking with 653 two-plus bedroom homes, only seven of which were affordable, or 1.1%.
Reigate and Banstead borough fared a little better in 35th place, with 956 two-plus bedroom homes, 36 of which were affordable, or 3.8%.
Topping the list of 67 was Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority with 1,662 two-plus bedroom homes, none of which were affordable.
Ranking second was Elmbridge with 1,035 two-plus bedroom homes, three of which were affordable, or 0.3%.
Shelter stated its previous research showed that, on average, young families in the region face more than a decade of saving before they can afford the deposit for a home of their own.
It said its new study shows that, even when they have saved a large deposit, there simply are not enough properties on the market that first-time buyers can afford.
“This means that the reality for many will be years spent in expensive and unstable private lets, often forced to move from one short tenancy to the next and unable to put down roots,” it continued.
“The situation is even worse for single people looking for a home of their own in the South-east, with just three affordable homes in every 100 on the market.
“For couples without children, one in five two or more bedroomed properties were affordable over-all, but in almost a third of areas the figure was one in ten or less. “ Shelter is warning that unless the Government tackles the shortage of affordable homes, things are only going to get worse.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “When the number of affordable properties in an entire town can be counted on one hand, it’s not difficult to see why a stable home of their own is quickly becoming a distant dream for the next generation.”
Mr Robb said: “It’s right that young people who aspire to own their own home should work hard and save each month, but with such a pitiful number of affordable homes on offer - even with a generous 20% deposit – our housing shortage is holding them back. “Unless we build the affordable homes we desperately need, house prices will continue to rise and as a result more people will be forced to live at home with their parents into their thirties, or move into the expensive and unstable private rental market.”
He concluded: “Young people are working hard and doing their bit. “Now the Government has to meet people halfway and increase the supply of affordable homes - not the supply of credit - or the prospect of a home of their own will slip even further out of reach for future generations.”