WARWICKSHIRE desperately needs more affordable housing.
The message comes from Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) as a new report reveals the county being one of the most expensive areas to buy a home in the West Midlands.
The National Housing Federation’s West Midlands Home Truths 2016/17 report shows local people are facing a housing crisis, with a shortfall of 45,000 affordable homes across the region.
In Warwickshire, the gap between house prices and salaries is higher than the West Midlands average, according to the report. Across the West Midlands, the average home costs around 7.8 times the average salary, but in Warwickshire this rises to 8.8 times higher.
Potential home buyers looking for an 80 per cent mortgage would need to be earning over £58,000.
Some parts of Warwickshire see an even wider gap between average earnings and the cost of buying a home. In Warwick district, the average home costs 9.5 times the average salary, and in Stratford district the figure rises further to 10.6. Only those earning over £75,000 would be able to afford an 80 per cent mortgage.
The huge discrepancy means people have no choice but to rent privately, but monthly rents average £724 in Warwickshire, rising to £802 in Warwick and £836 in Stratford – the most expensive in the West Midlands.
WRHA spokesman Craig Felts said: “The Home Truths report exposes the extent of the housing crisis in Warwickshire. Our work to develop affordable homes in villages throughout the county is more crucial than ever before.
“We propose to develop a potential 42 much needed affordable homes in six Warwickshire villages this year and all these properties are being built specifically for local people.
“Our new homes will make a big difference, helping to develop communities where people can afford to live.”
WRHA provides affordable homes in rural Warwickshire for local people and families who would not otherwise be able to afford to live within their own communities. Established in 1989, it now manages over 500 homes in 43 rural communities in the county.