Belfast Telegraph

Warning over homes affordability

Many parts of the UK are on the verge of an "affordability crisis", with up to nine out of 10 houses out of reach of local people, according to a study.

Research by property search engine Adzuna.co.uk showed that 91% of homes in London were too expensive for locals, while other areas highlighted were Brighton, Oxford, Chelmsford and Cambridge.

The comparison of property prices and average local salaries showed that Belfast, Sunderland, Salford and Hull were the most affordable places for first-time buyers.

In these areas, average property prices were 2.5 times average local earnings compared with over seven times in the most expensive cities.

Andrew Hunter of Adzuna said "Despite government schemes like Help to Buy, it's clear that many parts of the country are on the verge of an affordability crisis, with young first-time buyers being almost completely priced out of the market."

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "Help to Buy is both helping people on to the housing ladder and getting more homes built - nearly 20,000 home-owners have bought through the schemes, leading developers have said they'll build more as a direct result of the scheme, and last year housebuilding rose by 23%.

"We've also taken action to reduce the record deficit we inherited, which has kept interest rates at a record low and made mortgages more affordable.

"On top of this, since 2010 the Government has helped deliver 170,000 new affordable homes, and we have a £20 billion investment programme in affordable housing up to 2015, and a further £23 billion after it."

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