Families unable to get on the housing ladder

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BUYING a first home is becoming almost impossible in parts of Yorkshire for average working families, according to new figures.

A survey of family homes on sale in York found only eight out of 817 - or just one per cent - were affordable to families on average wages with a typical deposit.

Fewer than 10 per cent of homes on sale with at least two bedrooms were affordable in Hambleton, Ryedale, Harrogate, Craven and Richmondshire.

The figures, produced by housing charity Shelter, suggest almost 70 per cent of homes on the market in Yorkshire are out of the reach of average first-time buyers.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb 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.

“Our failure to build more homes is leaving a whole generation of young people with no choice but to remain trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or stuck in their childhood bedrooms for years to come, no matter how hard they work or save.”

York Council has set out plans which would see land made available for 22,000 homes to be built over the next 15 years.

But critics have claimed building on such a scale will change the character of the cathedral city.

Council leader James Alexander said: “Shelter’s research articulates the stark reality of York’s homes crisis. Due to a lack of supply of new homes stoked up by political opposition to such developments, York has the lowest availability of affordable homes in the region.

“Whilst the Yorkshire and Humber has on average 31 per cent of homes affordable for a couple with children, York has only one per cent.

He added: “Every York hardworking family should be able to live in a decent home they can afford and this shouldn’t be a privilege of the few.”

Hull emerged as the most affordable of the region’s districts with 57 per cent of homes on sale affordable to first-time buying families.

In Leeds, the figure was 27 per cent, in Sheffield it was 37.4 per cent and in Bradford 37.5 per cent.

Scarborough was the most affordable part of North Yorkshire.