Futures Forum: Identifying housing 'need' in the West Country
Of course it depends on who you speak to as to what is 'needed' and what is 'affordable'...
The National Housing Federation wants more housing built - but housing which is truly 'affordable':
The National Housing Federation (NHF) is an umbrella organisation for member social housing providers in England... representing providers of housing, much of it termed 'affordable housing' in England.
It represents the work of member housing associations and campaigns on a range of housing and social policy issues. The Federation's members provide approximately two and a half million homes for more than five million people. Each year they invest in a diverse range of neighbourhood projects that help create strong, vibrant communities.
The Federation campaigns at a local and national level to ensure housing associations can continue to deliver affordable housing, contributes to the housing and social policy agenda on issues such as sustainability, care and support, equality and homelessness, organises events including conferences and exhibitions for the social housing sector, provides training specifically aimed at housing professionals and member organisation board members, publishes guides, books, manuals, online resources and free downloadable documents for housing professionals and delivers services encompassing a range of organisational and business support for member organisations and their tenants. The Federation is also one of the steering group partners for Neighbourhoods Green.
National Housing Federation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Our mission and aims | National Housing Federation
And whereas Westminster politicians promise 200 000 new houses
Balls pledges billions to build homes | The Times
Judy Terry: Labour’s pledge for 200,000 new homes lacks credibility | Conservative Home
... the NHF is very clear that it wants them to be affordable, as a report just published shows:
22 October 2014
The South West has been hit by a combination of high housing costs and low wages. With rural and coastal beauty spots commanding premium house prices and attracting wealthy second home owners, many areas have seen prices pushed out of reach for local people.
- Private renters in the South West are paying 35% of their earnings on rent – the third highest rent-to-income ratio in the country.
- The average house price in the South West is now close to £230,000 but in some places that rises to £300,000 and beyond.
- Average earnings in the region are among the lowest in England, making house prices on average nearly ten times annual incomes.
It is clear that we have a severe housing crisis in the South West. It has been decades in the making and short-term initiatives aren’t going to fix it for this generation, or the next.
Home Truths 2014/15: South West | Browse publications | Publications | National Housing Federation
This appeared in yesterday's Express & Echo:
New warning over South West housing affordability crisis
By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: October 22, 2014
The National Housing Federation is warning that spiralling house prices and stagnant wages are forcing many young people to move elsewhere to set up home
High housing costs and low wages are pushing many areas of the South West out of reach for local people, according to a new report from the National Housing Federation.
South West Broken Market, Broken Dreams warns that while the average house price in the region is now close to £230,000, earnings in the region are among the lowest in England, making house prices on average nearly 10 times annual incomes.
In Exeter, the average house price (£216,548) stands at 9.3 times average earnings (£23,327). It means an income of £49,497 is required for an 80 per cent mortgage, according to the report.
In rural and coastal areas, the situation is even worse. With beauty spots commanding premium house prices and attracting wealthy second home owners, spiralling prices are forcing young people to move elsewhere.
In East Devon, the ratio of house prices to incomes is 11.2, with the average salary of £22,870 dwarfed by the average house price of £256,312.
The most unaffordable areas in the South West include the South Hams, where the average house price of £304,012 is 13.5 times the average salary of £22,443.
As more people in the region are priced out of buying a home, the number of private renters is increasing. As well as having short-term contracts that offer little stability, private renters in the South West are spending over a third (35 per cent) of their earnings on rent – the third highest rent-to-income ratio in the country.
In Exeter average private sector rents stand at £840 a month, compared to £687 in East Devon, £582 in Torbay and £563 in Plymouth.
To fix the housing crisis in the South West, the National Housing Federation says an increase in the supply of homes is urgently needed.
Over the next 20 years, 439,000 new households are expected to form in the region. At the current rate of house building, that would leave a shortfall of almost 200,000 by 2031.
Jenny Allen, external affairs manager for the South West at the National Housing Federation, said: “Spiralling house prices and low, stagnant wages are changing the nature of many towns and villages in the South West as many young people and key workers are forced to move elsewhere to set up home. New affordable homes are vital for the stability of communities across the region.
“The housing crisis in the South West has been more than a generation in the making so short term initiatives aren’t going to fix it for this generation, or the next. We are calling for the next government to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by publishing a long-term plan for housing within a year of coming into power.”RELATED CONTENT
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New warning over South West housing affordability crisis | Exeter Express and Echo
South west homes out of reach for local people, NHF warns » Housing » 24dash.com
And this appeared in today's WMN:
'Dream' of buying home in South West shattered by rising prices and low earnings
By Western Morning News | Posted: October 23, 2014
The distant possibility of a obtaining a mortgage is shattering the home ownership dreams of many average wage earners in the South West, a new study has warned.
A combination of high house prices and low incomes means average properties cost almost 14 times the typical salary in parts of Devon, according to a new report from the National Housing Federation (NHF).
It says house builders must dramatically ramp up construction, particularly in terms of affordable homes, or the region could see a shortfall in homes of almost 200,000 by 2031.
The study – “Broken Market, Broken Dreams” – calculates the average house price in the region to be close to £230,000. This figure is almost ten times annual incomes at a time when lenders normally calculate home loans using a multiplier of four. However, in rural and coastal areas, such as the sought-after South Hams, the situation is even worse.
House prices in the picturesque area, beloved of holiday home owners, are on average £304,012, or 13.5 times the average local salary of £22,443. Only the affluent Cotswolds had a worse ratio, at 14.6. This, the NHF says, is increasingly attracting wealthy buyers looking for second homes, sending prices spiralling further and forcing young people to move elsewhere.
Jenny Allen, from the federation in the South West, said soaring prices and stagnant wages were “changing the nature of many towns and villages”. “Many young people and key workers are being forced to move elsewhere to set up home,” she added. “The housing crisis has been more than a generation in the making so short term initiatives aren’t going to fix it for this generation, or the next. We are calling for the next government to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by publishing a long-term plan for housing within a year of coming into power.”
The NHF research found that renters in the South West are increasing, and now spending 35% of their earnings on rent – the third highest ratio in the country. Over the next 20 years 439,000 new households are expected to form in the region, the organisation says. At the current rate of house building, that would leave a shortfall of almost 200,000 by 2031, it added.
Orlando Kimber, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England in Cornwall – where the council wants to build 47,500 new homes over 20 years – said 35% of the Cornish population now earned less than £15,000 a year. “We found one affordable home for £270,000 – the whole issue around affordable housing is broken and it just doesn’t add up,” he added. “There remains a huge amount of brown field available yet green fields continue to be gobbled up.”
'Dream' of buying home in South West shattered by rising prices and low earnings | Western Morning News