YORKSHIRE RISKS being faced with a shortfall of over 200,000 homes by 2031, with successive governments standing accused of failing to address both the region and nation’s housing crisis.
Figures published today by the National Housing Federation reveal an increasing gulf between average earnings and property prices in Yorkshire.
The average house price is now £159,180, yet the average salary is £23,306 - significantly less than the £31,309 gross annual income needed for a mortgage. The chasm between is worst in North Yorkshire, where the average house price is £216,570 and the average salary is £24,398, almost half the £49,502 needed for an 80 per cent mortgage in the area.
The data is published as it is claimed that more and more people will be pushed into poverty as demand makes the struggle to get on the property ladder even greater over the next two decades.
The NHF has called upon all political parties to take ‘urgent action’ and commit to a strategy ahead of next year’s general election.
“Supply is an issue everywhere in Yorkshire and every year we are failing to keep up with demand,” said Daniel Klemm, the NHF’s regional external affairs manager.
“In the last couple of years there has been a huge rise in the birth rate, 2013 had the highest number of births since 1972. If it is hard for people now, how hard will it be in five to 10 years time?
“This problem has got so serious it’s now at the point where we need parties to take the politics out of it and commit to a long-term plan.
“It is imperative that politicians treat this matter as the crisis it is.”
Yorkshire’s social policy research charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has echoed the call for ‘urgent action’ to tackle the crisis.
Housing policy officer Kathleen Kelly said: “For us there is growing evidence that people are being driven in to poverty by housing costs because there is not enough to go round.
“We need a strategy to build homes which are genuinely affordable.”
The call comes as the Office of National Statistics reveals house prices reached a new all-time high of £274,000 on average in August, after surging by 11.7 per cent year-on-year.
Official figures also show first-time buyer typically faces paying 12.9 per cent more for a home than they did a year ago, with the price of a starter home now standing at around £210,000.
While growth in property values in London were largely responsible for pushing up prices across the country the NHF’s Home Truths report has exposed how residents in Yorkshire and the Humber are struggling to balance low wages with increasing housing costs in the region.
The number of people in work yet forced to claim housing benefit has risen to 16 per cent - up more than five per cent since 2010.
Meanwhile, average private rents have soared to £535 from £496 in the last three years.