Only 10% of homes affordable for working families in half of England's regions

Affordability blackspots include Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, and Brent

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The Independent Online

Research from housing charity Shelter indicates that in more than half of England, less than 10 per cent of suitable homes for sale are affordable for a typical family hoping to become first time buyers.

Using house price information from Zoopla, the charity compared asking prices with the mortgages that families, couples and single people on average wages could afford as first time buyers.

The results suggest that in over a third of local authority areas, more than 95 per cent of homes on the market were unaffordable for families. Particularly problematic areas include West Somerset (2 per cent affordable), York (3 per cent) and Warwick (4 per cent).

Affordability blackspots, where there were no affordable properties for sale at all, included Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, and Brent.

For single people looking for a home of their own, the figures were even bleaker - in over 80 per cent of the country less than 10 in every 100 homes on the market were affordable.

According to the report, for couples without children there were fewer than six in every 100 homes for sale affordable in 20 areas, including St Albans, Epping Forrest and Horsham as well as 10 London boroughs.

The findings follow figures from Rightmove earlier in the week which show huge price prices in London which were described as “unsustainable”.

Shelter is warning that unless the government tackles the root cause of our housing crisis – the desperate shortage of affordable homes - things are only going to get worse. This will not only affect future generations hoping for a stable home, but also the thousands of families already facing an everyday struggle to pay their rent or mortgage.

"When the number of affordable properties in an entire town can be counted on one hand, it’s not difficult to see why a stable home of their own is quickly becoming a distant dream for the next generation," said Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive.

"It’s right that young people who aspire to own their own home should work hard and save each month, but with such a pitiful number of affordable homes on offer - even with a generous 20 per cent deposit – 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."