With the average house price of over £140,800 and average salaries of around £17,600 there is a massive affordability gap. The report Home Truths:- The real cost of housing 2007 – 2012 warns this is likely to widen even further over the next 5 years.
Forecasts by Oxford Economics predict that despite a brief dip over the next 2 years prices are likely increase by 30% by 2012. The huge affordability gap has led to over 43,250 households on waiting lists for an affordable home in Merseyside.
The report paints a bleak picture for the North West:-
• Since 1997 house prices have risen more than 150% while incomes have risen just 33%.
• House prices in the region have risen faster than the national average over both 1 and 5 years.
• The North West has a 13% share of national waiting lists but receives less than 6% of national expenditure in new social housing.
• About half a million people in 217,400 households are now on social housing waiting lists.
• Waiting lists have grown 93% in 5 years, the highest increase in the country.
The Government has made affordable housing a top political priority, the Federation are calling on them to keep their promise, invest more in social rented housing, speed up the planning system and ensure the North West receives its fair share of funding. To abate this crisis around 4,000 new social homes are needed each year in the region.
Housing associations are stepping forward to double the supply of much needed affordable housing in the North West, this can only be achieved with greater investment and better planning.
Sallie Bridgen, National Housing Federation North West Regional Manager said:- “It is time to face up to a few home truths. Without urgent action the housing crisis in Merseyside will deepen further.
The Home Truths report reveals that almost 45,000 households are now waiting for an affordable home and despite a brief dip in house prices, there will continue to be rapid house price rises.
The supply and demand mismatch must be addressed.
Housing associations are doing all they can to address this serious problem but need more investment and additional support to end the regions housing crisis.
The shortage of affordable homes is not only affecting the lowest earners but those on middle incomes.
The Government has to deliver the promise of substantially more investment in affordable housing to end the housing misery blighting Merseyside.” - Source: Provided by southportreporter.com