Face home truths of housing crisis, campaign group warns
Fewer than three in five of the homes needed in the West are being built, a report reveals today.
The National Housing Federation has also found the South West has seen the largest increase in waiting lists in the country. It warns thousands of people will be left fighting for a home, as the shortfall is pushing up house prices, and private rents.
The NHF, which campaigns for affordable housing, today publishes a report called Home Truths 2012, calling for urgent action.
It says more than 27,000 new households were formed in the South West in the 2011-12 financial year, yet only 16,100 new homes were built, less than 60 per cent of the total needed. The social housing waiting list soared from 148,422 in 2010 to 186,305 the following year – up 26 per cent – one in 12 families is now on it.
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There was a 19.4 per cent increase in Wiltshire and Swindon to 27,093; a rise of 16.7 per cent in Gloucestershire to 16,286 and 14.5 per cent in Somerset to 20,792.
The West of England, including Bristol and Bath, recorded a 12.2 per cent jump to 36,945 and Dorset was up 7.1 per cent to 26,087. Devon saw a rise of 42.4 per cent, and Cornwall a rise of 138 per cent.
The report also found:
Private sector rents are predicted to rise 62 per cent over the next decade, with the average monthly rent on a three-bedroom house going up from £746 this year to £1,209 in 2022 The average home in the South West now costs £223,870, 11.5 times the average local wage, although it is 13 times higher in rural areas
South West house prices are expected to rise by half to around £335,700 by 2022
The standard 25 per cent deposit on an average price home is £55,967, taking a single person on an average wage over eight years to save enough for a cheaper home.
The report will be launched at Parliament today.
NHF South West lead manager Jenny Allen said: “High house prices, rising rents and the fastest-growing waiting lists in the country – they’re symptoms of the housing crisis having a huge impact on people across the South West.
“We’ve been building less than half the homes we need in the region for many years – the result is we now face the very real possibility that an entire generation will be priced out of being able to rent a home, let alone buy one.
“With rents set to rocket – particularly from 2015 – there are fewer and fewer choices open to people who want to live here."
The Federation is calling on the Government and councils to work with the housing sector to tackle the crisis, but says public support for building the right homes in the right places will be crucial.