Suffolk house prices now 12 times salary

URGENT action was called for last night after it emerged property prices in some parts of Suffolk are 12 times the average wage.

Will Clarke

URGENT action was called for last night after it emerged property prices in some parts of Suffolk are 12 times the average wage.

Campaigners yesterday welcomed a parliamentary report by MP Matthew Taylor, who criticised rural housing provision and said more had to be done to ensure people could afford homes in the countryside.

The report found that house prices in parts of St Edmundsbury were more than 12 times the average salary while in the Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal areas the cost was 11 times the average pay.


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It urged the Government to “review the national target for rural housing in time to inform the next comprehensive spending review” and recommended local authorities move beyond a “tick box approach to sustainability”.

Richard Ward, director of the Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS), broadly welcomed the findings but was critical of the quantity and quality of affordable homes in Suffolk.

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He said although some authorities were meeting demands others were falling behind.

“Traditionally Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council have struggled to meet the targets they have set themselves whereas Babergh District Council and Ipswich Borough Council do meet their targets,” he said. “It is also a question of quality as well as quantity. We have to build the best schemes we can - we have shown in places like Elmswell, near Bury St Edmunds, you can build good schemes if you invest in good quality design.”

Gina King, head of East of England Federation, said: “Matthew Taylor shows how villages can be living, breathing entities, instead of fusty museum pieces that are the preserve of the rich and elderly.

“Unless the Government enacts his recommendations quickly, many villages will die, others will become dormitories of the rich, while others will simply become poor - as economic activity is steadily squeezed out.”

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk said they recognised there is a shortage of affordable housing in the district and that decent properties were a number one priority in the council's strategic plan.

“We are working in partnership with our Housing Association partners to deliver a programme of new homes within the area and hope to build around 190 over the next year,” she said.

Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal, said: “It has been recognised nationally that there is a need for more investment in rural areas which have missed out on new affordable homes, and we are more than ready to work with our partners to make sure our residents get their fair share.”

The report shows that the average home is now more than 12 times the average salary in some parts of Suffolk.

The cheapest average price in the county was in Forest Heath at £184,623 and the highest average price is in Babergh at £238,320.

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