Essex: Cost of buying a house in the county rising faster than the average salary

Househunters being priced out of the market Househunters being priced out of the market

Friday, March 14, 2014
8:00 AM

House prices in Essex are rising twice as fast as the average salary.

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Gross annual income needed versus average salary for average mortgage

Braintree £49,961 - £23,946

Chelmsford £58,680 - £22,916

Colchester £47,529 - £21,252

Maldon £55,816 - £27,066

Tendring £39,720 - £20,218

Uttlesford £76,499 - £24,575

And three of the county’s politicians are united in calling for more housing to solve the problem.

The alarming statistics are part of a report from the National Housing Federation which looked at average house prices and salaries for the 10 years from 2002.

While the average salary has risen by 24% in that time the jump in house prices is more than double that at 56%.

The report also highlighted the shortfall in new houses being built compared to the number of new households expected to form each year.

More than 28,000 new households are expected in the East each year but just under 14,000 homes were built in 2012/13.

Sir Bob Russell, MP for Colchester said the large number of people unable to get on the housing ladder despite the large number of new houses being built was a “contradiction”.

“It’s all to do with supply and demand,” he said, “and because demand is greater than supply it drives the house prices up.

“We have a completely skewed housing market to the extent we are seeing home ownership, for the first time in 50 years, dropping.

“The buy to rent scheme is further distorting the market.

“We need to do de-heat the housing market by building more council houses to rent.”

MP for Harwich Douglas Carswell called the statistics “disturbing” and said “responsible developments” were needed.

Mr Carswell said: “The government’s provision of cheap credit and mortgages is simply pushing up prices. What we also need is new houses.

“I’m very pleased that Tendring District Council his looking to build council houses for the first time in 30 years in certain areas.

“Of course you need to be sensible about it but we do need to allow poorer homeowners to buy a house by allowing responsible developments.

“I can’t impress enough how important I think building new council homes is going to be.”

Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Transformation, Alan Gogging, said: “The figures are correct but he only thing I would say is the house prices were starting from a low base.

“The house prices are key because it’s very much about who we can attract to live here.

“It’s an issue we’re aware of. We are aiming to get the balance right for entry level houses and what I like to call the aspirational level.”

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