House prices rise almost twice as fast as salaries in the Fens

PUBLISHED: 10:34 14 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:54 14 March 2014

New housing development at Gaul Road, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

New housing development at Gaul Road, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

The housing shortage in Fenland is pushing house prices and private rents out of reach for people, according to a new study.

A national report warns that the annual income needed for an average mortgage in the Fens costs around £32,330 yet the average salary locally is just £19,001.

The average salary rise in the last 10 years was 28 per cent while house prices rose in the Fens by 47 per cent.

In the private rented market the rent rise average is around 26 per cent.

The report by the National Housing Federation, called Home Truths 2014: East of England, warns that private rents are soaring as demand increases from people priced out of buying a home.

Claire Astbury, East of England external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation, said: “High house prices, rising rents and low and stagnant wages in Cambridgeshire are not only making life extremely difficult for people living and working in the county, but they are also affecting employers and businesses and risk holding back economic growth.

“We need Local Enterprise Partnerships to work with councils, housing associations and others to take a strategic lead on getting more homes built at the right price in the right places, which will help revitalise communities and create jobs.

“With more support, housing associations in Cambridgeshire can be real catalysts for change for local communities. They are in it for the long term and can actively drive forward a balanced economic recovery.”

Rents in the East are expected to rise faster than anywhere else by 2020, up 49 per cent.

Rising housing costs are hitting the public purse, with a 96 per cent increase in working people claiming housing benefit in the East since 2004, the report said.

Only half of the homes the region needs are being built while out of reach mortgages mean young people are staying with their parents for longer.

The report says that a quarter of young adults in the region aged 20-34 are living with their parents while homelessness is up by 32 per cent in the past two years.

The number of households led by over 60s is set to rise by 23 per cent by 2015

The report will be handed to Parliament on March 13.

What do you think? email the editor john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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