Just 86 London homes for sale are affordable, Shelter report finds

Only one in five homes across the UK are affordable for local families, the housing charity has claimed

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The Independent Online

There are only 86 affordable properties for local families with children in the whole of London, a report by housing charity Shelter has revealed.

The report, which looked at more than 325,000 properties with at least two bedrooms for sale across England, warned of a "drought" in affordable housing when it found less than one in five of them (17.9 per cent) were financially viable to buy for a household with children trying to get on the property ladder.

The north west fared better in comparison to the capital, with 16,134 affordable homes found by the report.

But even in the north east, where the highest proportion of affordable family properties was found, almost two-thirds (62.7 per cent) of homes were still found to be out of the average local family's reach.

In Exeter, out of 553 homes advertised for sale, only eight, amounting to one per cent of properties, were found to be affordable for a typical household.

Meanwhile, on the wider south east region, only four per cent of properties were considered to be within a typical local family’s means.

Shelter also found 14 local authority areas where there were no homes for sale that were deemed affordable for young families starting out.

These areas were identified as Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Ealing, Brent, Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Waltham Forest, Islington, Sutton, Slough, Epsom and Ewell, Adur and Watford.

foxtons.jpg Using official statistics, the research also took variations in local wages across England into account. Incomes were adjusted to reflect the lower ages of first-time buyers.

Researchers assumed that a family with at least one child might include one adult on a full-time wage and another working part-time. Across the country, the average full-time wage for someone aged in their 20s is just over £21,000.

For a property to be deemed "affordable", they assumed that the typical first-time buyer would put down an 18 per cent deposit and borrow around 3.4 times their income, in line with average figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders' (CML) database.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "When a family looking to buy their first home searches a whole town for a place to live and finds nothing they can afford, it's clear we're not just facing a housing shortage any more: it's a full-blown drought.

"As the pool of affordable properties shrinks ever smaller, thousands of people are being forced to wave goodbye to their dreams of a home of their own - even those who've been able to put aside a large deposit."

Summary of affordable homes to buy for families with children:

:: North East, 9,748, 37.3 per cent

:: North West, 16,134, 29.8 per cent

:: Yorkshire and the Humber, 12,440, 31.3 per cent

:: East Midlands, 6,070, 19.5 per cent

:: West Midlands, 7,465, 22.6 per cent

:: East, 2,174, 7.1 per cent

:: London, 86, 0.3 per cent

:: South East, 1,712, 4.2 per cent

:: South West, 2,437, 6.0 per cent

:: England, 58,266, 17.9 per cent

Additional reporting by Press Association