Soaring house prices 'crippling' county
VAST differences in wages and house prices are having a crippling effect on communities in Suffolk, it has been claimed.As spiralling house prices reach 10 times the level of average salaries in parts of the county, the EADT can reveal the full extent of the massive fluctuations.
VAST differences in wages and house prices are having a crippling effect on communities in Suffolk, it has been claimed.
As spiralling house prices reach 10 times the level of average salaries in parts of the county, the EADT can reveal the full extent of the massive fluctuations.
While houses in the Ipswich area are the cheapest in Suffolk, according to figures from the Suffolk Observatory, people working in the county town are among the highest earners.
Elsewhere, in places like Babergh and Mid Suffolk - where the average house prices are up to £70,000 higher than in Ipswich - workers earn considerably less.
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Last night, Louise Wilby, of rural campaign group Suffolk Acre, said: “It's a growing problem, particularly with young people not being able to afford to stay in their parish.
“We're finding that an awful lot of people are having to move away because they can't afford to stay in the place where they grew up. Places like Southwold and Aldeburgh are some of the worst affected but nowhere is immune to the problem.
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“We're worried about Aldeburgh because some of the key workers, like the lifeboat crews, are struggling to stay there.
“It's a big problem that impacts on communities. It might lead to an imbalance in communities with young people moving away. I know some of the village schools have expressed concern because young families can't afford to live there.”
The average wages and house prices are higher in many parts of Suffolk than Norfolk, although lower than the other neighbouring counties of Essex and Cambridgeshire.
George Ashford, economic intelligence manager at the Suffolk Development Agency, said work was under way to boost salaries in Suffolk.
“High house prices and low levels of affordability are undoubtedly a problem for those trying to get a foot on the housing ladder,” he said.
“Our challenge is to increase skill levels, encouraging investment that is linked to high value jobs in order to reduce the disparity between salaries and house prices. As such, our strategy is to ensure the development of Suffolk's economy in such a way that industry complements the character and lifestyle of the area for the benefit of Suffolk's population.”
What's the average house price in your area?
House Price (£)
Suffolk Coastal 222,331
Mid Suffolk 213,802
St Edmundsbury 213,641
Forest Heath 182,650
What's the average salary in your area? (£)
Suffolk Coastal 24,288
St Edmundsbury 21,600
Mid Suffolk 21,072
Forest Heath 20,256