Shock homes survey claims first-time buying could become a "distant dream" in Dudley (From Dudley News)
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Shock homes survey claims first-time buying could become a "distant dream" in Dudley
8:00am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Local
DUDLEY'S housing crisis is placing more than 80 per cent of family homes beyond the financial reach of most first-time buyers.
Shocking new research by housing charity Shelter shows just 19 per cent of suitable borough properties are affordable for average wage earners.
Shelter argues more affordable housing must be built before owning a home becomes impossible for the majority of young people.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “When the number of affordable properties in an entire town is so small, it’s not difficult to see why a stable home of their own is quickly becoming a distant dream for the next generation.
“It’s right that young people who aspire to own their own home should work hard and save each month, but our housing shortage is holding them back.
“Unless we build the affordable homes we desperately need, house prices will continue to rise and as a result more people will be forced to live at home with their parents into their thirties, or move into the expensive and unstable private rental market."
The government claims their Help To Buy scheme, which guarantees up to 15 per cent of a mortgage, will help young people buy their first home.
However critics say without more houses for sale - Shelter says in Dudley just six out of every 100 affordable homes are on the market - prices will be driven up by greater demand due to more easily available mortgages.
The Shelter study found on a specific day Dudley borough had 2,078 homes with two or more bedrooms for sale - with 398 having asking prices which people on average incomes could afford.
Dudley has a lower percentage of affordable housing on the market than Wolverhampton, Sandwell or Birmingham.
However Dudley South's Conservative MP, Chris Kelly, argues Shelter did not consider the prices buyers were actually paying and the charity assumes a deposit of 20 per cent, which ignores the impact of government schemes on what buyers can afford each month.
He said: "The number of first-time buyers is now at a five year high, and our efforts to tackle the record deficit we inherited from Labour have kept interest rates low and ensured home ownership is at its most affordable for six years."
"The Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the financial policy watchdog the government set up to look for threats to the system, have made it clear that there is no evidence of a housing bubble. Relative to earnings, average house prices across the UK are around 2003 levels."
Mr Kelly added the government's separate equity loan scheme, which lends house buyers 20 per cent of the value of their home, is already working and housing supply is now at its highest since 2008.
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