A GENERATION has been locked out of a broken housing market in Essex with the average property costing £247,062 –£10k more than the East of England average –according to a report by the National Housing Federation.
The average worker in Essex needs to earn £52,942 to obtain a 75% mortgage at 3.5 times income. The average salary in Essex is £22,428 from which buyers must save every penny for almost three years just to raise the £61,765 deposit. Even buying a lower value home (in the bottom 25% of prices) for £154,000 requires an average salary of £33,000 and a £38,500 deposit.
The Federation’s Claire Astbury said: “Our report shows the only way is not always Essex as there is a desperate need for more affordable homes in rural and urban communities. A reformed planning system must support the building of affordable homes and the use of suitable surplus public land.”
The Home Truths report notes that the average property in the East of England region is 10.8 times the average income of £21,923. A salary of £50,929 is needed for a mortgage while renting a home in the private sector is forecast to rise 21% in the next five years – the second largest rise in the country.
The Federation, which represents England’s housing associations, warns that huge social housing waiting lists and sustained high prices are making it desperately hard for younger people and low-to-middle income earners across the region. And the chronic under-supply of homes threatens to get worse as the number of new households requiring homes in the East of England is forecast to rise 34% by 2033, the largest in the country.
Claire added: “Essex has become unaffordable for ordinary hardworking people who have little realistic chance of buying their own house, triggering even greater demand for good social housing or a desperate search for a home in the more expensive private rented sector. Ministers should make a renewed commitment to building the affordable homes we need and identify housing as a key driver for economic activity.”
The table below shows average property prices, price-to-income ratio and salary required:
- Epping Forest £351,785 – 12.8 – £75,383
- Brentwood £347,749 – 11.6 – £74,518
- Uttlesford £335,952 – 15.6 – £71,990
- Chelmsford £260,003 – 11.5 – £55,715
- Rochford £245,029 – 11.7 – £52,506
- Maldon £244,630 – 9.6 – £52,421
- Basildon £225,478 – 10.2 – £48,317
- Braintree £221,633 – 9.9 – £47,493
- Castle Point £215,094 – 10.6 – £46,092
- Southend-on-Sea UA £211,140 – 9.7 – £45,244
- Colchester £205,822 – 9.7 – £44,105
- Harlow £187,990 – 9.8 – £40,283
- Thurrock UA £181,786 – 8.1 – £38,954
- Tendring £175,405 – 8.8 – £37,587
(Note: Price-to-income ratio is average house price divided by average local income)
Affordability remains a huge problem across the region with Uttlesford, Essex (average price: £335,952) the most unaffordable at 15.6 times local income, while Thurrock (average price: £181,786) is third most ‘affordable’ at 8.1 times.
Launched at the House of Commons, Home Truths also showed that:
- 155,900 households are on the social housing waiting list in the East of England, up 59% since 2000;
- Over 4,220 households were accepted as homeless by local councils in 2010/11, up 15% from the previous year and the first increase in homelessness since 2004;
- The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise by 65% in the East by 2033 and the population aged 85+ by 149%, the second largest rise of any region;
- The proportion of households owning their own home is expected to drop from 71% today to 64% in 2021.