In Elmbridge and other areas of the South East, including Brighton and Hove, people have to sacrifice over 50% of their income every month, according to a new report from the National Housing Federation.
According to the South East ‘Home Truths’ 2016/17 report, which provides local data on the housing market in the region, the cost of renting privately has become less and less affordable. Average monthly rents in Elmbridge stand at £1,845, and although the Borough has one of the highest average incomes (at £39,364 per year), local people now spend over 60% of their income on rent, leaving them very little for other outgoings.
The report shows that there is an acute housing crisis in the region, which is wide and varied. In some areas a chronic shortage of homes has seen housing costs spiral out of reach of many families, while in other parts of the region communities are struggling in desperate need of jobs and regeneration.
The situation is particularly dire as home ownership seems more and more out of reach for most people in the region. The average home in Elmbridge now costs over £707,588 – 18 times the average salary. The typical worker in the Elmbridge would need a staggering 247% pay rise, or an additional £58,236 a year. The South East region is polarised, however, with the average deposit in Elmbridge costing £141,517 while the average total house price in Gosport is £193,315.
Necessary deposits costing almost as much as entire homes, means home ownership is unattainable for many.
The report reveals one of the sources of all this misery: nearly 90,000 too few new homes have been built over the last five years in the region. This is the biggest shortfall in housebuilding in England outside of the London region.
Chief Executive at Elmbridge housing association, Crown Simmons Housing, Paul Yates, said of the report,
“As a housing association, Crown Simmons has been working for almost 60 years to provide affordable housing in Elmbridge. These latest figures show just how valuable our contribution is.”
“It’s a difficult environment for housing associations but Crown Simmons are still striving to build more homes. Our current plans include views to build 150 new affordable homes over the next 5 years. We currently have 2 planning applications lodged with Elmbridge Borough Council that will provide 25 new additional affordable homes by 2019 in Esher and West Molesey.”
Home Truths 2016/17 reveals the most expensive and least expensive places to buy a home in the region.
Five most expensive areas to buy in the South East
|Area||Mean house price||Mean salary||How many times house prices are average salaries|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||£548,609||£44,190||12.4|
As a sector, housing associations are working to end the region’s crisis, completing over 8,000 new homes, and having started building over 7,000 more. They built more than 40,000 homes across the country in 2015/16, 29% of all new homes in England. Housing associations have ambitions to work with Government to build thousands more new homes across the country.
Victoria Moffett, External Affairs Manager for the National Housing Federation in the South East, said:
“The pressures and instability of renting in the private sector are well known, yet every new statistic about the housing market is as shocking as the previous one. The fact that renting can swallow up more than 50% of the average worker’s salary in the South East is staggering.
“More than ever, we urgently need to find ways to offer truly affordable housing options to citizens of every walk of life.
“Housing associations are a vital part of the solution to the housing crisis. The sector is buoyed by the additional funding and flexibility secured in the Autumn Statement and is ambitious about delivering even more houses.”