Housing affordability gap widens

Purchasing a property in popular towns or London boroughs can cost between 10 and 20 times local incomes, research from the ONS has found.

The average home in Westminster, London cost 24 times more than a typical gross annual salary in England and Wales.

The boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Camden also see house price multiples over 20 times local incomes.

However, the average property price in Blaenau Gwent in Wales was only four times greater than the average salary

Additionally rents now account for up to 78% of earnings some areas. The 15 least affordable areas for private renting were all London boroughs, with tenants in those such as Newham and Brent expected to hand over 65% of their pay for the average private flat.

The most affordable borough was Bexley where the average private rent accounts for 40% of a tenants’ monthly salary.

But it is not just London where house prices and rents are far outpacing salaries. In Cornwall, Herefordshire and north Norfolk, average house prices exceeded 10 times pay in 2014.

The average house price in England and Wales was 6.4 times local salaries in 2002, hit 8.65 in 2007, then fell back before reaching a new peak of 8.78 in 2014.

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