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North Yorkshire families warned of looming housing crisis

For sale board - housing

12:01am 4th November 2011

Owning a home is no longer an option for thousands of families in North Yorkshire, the National Housing Federation has warned.

The Home Truths report paints a bleak picture of North Yorkshire's housing market where families can no longer afford to buy or rent homes. Households are now languishing on social housing waiting lists, as spiralling mortgage deposits and private rents push affordable housing out of reach for many.

It requires 2.9 times the average North Yorkshire income, around £57,360, to obtain a mortgage for the average property, even with a 10% deposit.

House prices in Yorkshire and Humberside have risen faster than in any other region and almost four times faster than regional incomes in the past decade.

Across North Yorkshire:

Region   Average (mean) house price 2010 Average (median) income 2010 Ratio of house price to income    Gross annual income needed for mortgage (90% at 3.5x income) Number of adults needed to pay for a mortgage 
Yorkshire and Humberside  £161,466  £19,677  8.28.2    £41,520 2.1
North Yorkshire  £223,065  £19,958  11.2       £57,360 2.9
Craven  £218,926  £17,789  12.3       £56,295 3.2
Hambleton  £233,893  £20,020  11.7       £60,144 3.0
Harrogate  £274,166  £21,263  12.9       £70,500 3.3
Richmond-shire  £244,615  £18,788  13.0       £62,901 3.3
Ryedale  £230,834  £17,831  12.9       £59,357 3.3
Scarborough  £165,414  £18,377  9.0         £42,535 2.3
Selby  £178,917  £22,578  7.9         £46,007 2.0
York  £202,823  £19,812  10.2       £52,155 2.6

Published by the National Housing Federation, which represents not-for-profit housing associations across England, Home Truths reveals:

"       Despite the recession, housing in Yorkshire and Humberside is still too expensive. In the past decade house prices have risen by 136% in the region.

"      Homelessness rose in Yorkshire and Humberside in 2010/11 for the first time in seven years. 4,420 households were registered as homeless.

"       Buying an average priced home for most places in the North is now beyond the reach of the majority. It is only an option for someone earning more than twice the regional average wage.

"       At 4.7 years, the average wait for social housing in Yorkshire and Humberside is now more than three times longer than a decade ago.

Derek Long, the National Housing Federation's northern head, commented:

'Caught in an impossible can't buy/can't rent dilemma, Yorkshire and Humberside families face life-changing years on social housing waiting lists. With the lowest number of new homes for 90 years, the only things we are building up are long term problems for schooling, health and jobs.

'The North desperately needs a strong social housing sector to help economic development. The Government must act quickly so more affordable homes are built and empty homes are brought back into use before the North's broken housing market gets any worse.'

Meanwhile, average rents in the private sector are set to soar in the next five years across Yorkshire and Humberside by 19.0%.

Housing associations are doing their best to make a difference. They own 190,384 affordable homes across Yorkshire and Humberside, housing one in 12 of the region's households. In 2010/11 they built or refurbished 3,467 new homes, a massive 79% increase on the previous year despite difficult economic conditions.

Yet more needs to be done. Only 8,950 new homes in the private and social sectors were built in Yorkshire and Humberside in 2010/11, providing homes for just 33% of the households projected to form in the region each year.

The National Housing Federation is calling on the Government to fix Yorkshire and Humberside's broken housing market. The Government is being urged to renew its commitment to building new homes at scale and to restore the £300 million annual funding to regenerate inner-city neighbourhoods across the region. This will support housing which is a key driver of economic activity across the North.

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