Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buying Home 'Out of Reach for Many' Houses Six Times Wages

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Buying Home 'Out of Reach for Many' Houses Six Times Wages

Article excerpt

Byline: By Adrian Pearson

HOUSE prices have risen faster in the North-East than in the rest of the UK in the past five years, pricing thousands of people out of the market

With house prices rising four times faster than pay in the region, housing groups are warning the average cost of a new home will soon be out of reach of many workers.

Both the National Housing Federation (NHF) and the TUC have released figures highlighting the growing need for Government intervention.

According to NHF figures, there are now about 215,500 people in the North-East on social housing waiting lists, approaching 9% of all households in the region.

And the TUC has labelled Newcastle the area where "homes are most out of reach of local people".

The average house in the city costs pounds 141,000 - six-and-a-half times the average wage of just over pounds 21,000.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Housing is by far and away the biggest cost for most people at work in the North-East. These stark figures bring alive the housing crisis. They show just how quickly buying your own home has gone out of the reach of many working people.

"It is striking that house prices seem to have gone up in line with the pay of top directors and the super-rich, rather than middle and low earners. The Government is right to have put a new emphasis on housing, though it's a shame that this didn't start earlier. We desperately need more quality affordable homes to rent and to buy."

Estate agent Richard Sayer, of Rook Matthews Sayer, said the price rise would not change the position of most owners.

He said: "I'm 48 and ever since I first started looking for a house it has been difficult for first-time buyers. If I was a betting man, I would say it would be difficult for my children to get on the housing ladder. It has always been difficult. …

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