Woe for first-time buyers as Cambridgeshire’s average property prices top �239,000

AN entire generation of first-time home buyers are being priced out of Cambridgeshire’s housing market as average property prices across the county top �239,000.

According to an investigation by the National Housing Federation, prospective buyers have “little realistic chance” of owning their own property as many would struggle to come up with a deposit, or save for one as they continue to pay ever-increasing private rents.

In its report released today, the Federation – which represents housing associations across England – has revealed the average Cambridgeshire worker needs to earn �51,245 and raise a �59,750 deposit to secure an average priced property, based on a 75pc mortgage.

But Fenland was said to be the most affordable where average 2010 house prices were �144,202 and the average wage �19,812 – meaning an annual income of more than �30,000 could be necessary to get on the housing ladder.

In Huntingdonshire, the Federation claimed the average house price was �209,246 based on 2010 figures, meaning a worker would need an annual income of �44,838 and a �52,000 deposit.

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However, its figures showed the county’s average employee earns �23,707 – �24,981 in Huntingdonshire.

The Federation is now pushing for more affordable homes to be built to help the 21-30-year-old generation who are finding it “desperately hard” to buy a home.

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The report said young buyers living in South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge where the average houses costs more than �275,000 and �320,000 respectively, faced the toughest climb onto the ladder.

Claire Astbury, the Federation’s lead manager in East England, said: “It’s sad but East England has become un-affordable for the average, hard working person who has 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.”

The Federation’s report ‘Home Truths’, which was launched at the House of Commons, also warned that first time buyers looking at properties at the lower end of the price range would struggle with finding a deposit.

To buy a home for �125,000 requires a salary of �26,785 and a deposit of �31,250, it said. The report adds figures average prices for ‘lower value’ homes, which in Huntingdonshire was given as �138,998.

Mrs Astbury added: “We see that there will be fewer people able to own in the next two years and at the same time – and probably as a consequence - renting privately will become more expensive, which diminishes peoples’ ability to save for a deposit.

“Anyone who’s trying to move on or set up home in the forthcoming few years or beyond will find it even more of a struggle.”

Last month Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg pledged to “unstick” the housing market and give first time buyers a helping hand by revealing a package of measures to boost the property market.

Among their proposals was the introduction of a taxpayer-backed 95 per cent mortgage for newly built homes, which would cut the deposit needed for prospective buyers to 5 per cent. They also want to plough �400million into building up to 16,000 new homes.

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