Generation locked out of home ownership in East Sussex, says National Housing Federation Report

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AN ENTIRE generation remains locked out of the broken housing market in East Sussex with the average property price at £248,205.

This was the shocking conclusion of a report released on Thursday by the National Housing Federation.

Home Truths South East shows the average property in East Sussex is 12.3 times the average income of £20,166.

A £53,187 salary is needed for a 75 per cent mortgage at 3.5 times income.

The average worker must save every penny from their pre-tax salary for more than three years just to raise the deposit of over £62,000.

The Federation’s South East lead manager Warren Finney said: “Ordinary hardworking people in East Sussex have little chance of buying their own house, triggering demand for good social housing or a desperate search in the more expensive private rented sector.

“Everyone loses. Locals can’t even decide to ‘Go west’ as properties in West Sussex are £23,000 more expensive on average.

“Ministers should make a renewed commitment to building the homes we need and identify housing as a key driver for economic activity.

“The only answer is more affordable homes. We need a reformed planning system that supports the building of affordable homes and the use of suitable surplus public land to build on.

“The need for new affordable family housing has never been greater.”

Affordability and prices vary wildly in East Sussex.

The table below shows average prices, price-to-income ratio and the salary required for a 75 per cent mortgage:

Wealden £302,758 – 13.7 – £64,877

Lewes £268,915 – 12.5 – £57,625

Rother £253,136 – 14.2 – £54,243

Eastbourne £204,901 – 10.9 – £43,907

Hastings £163,152 – 8.5 – £34,961

The Federation, which represents England’s housing associations, warns of a unique triple whammy hitting first-time buyers and low-to-middle income earners: steep rises in the private rental sector, huge social housing waiting lists and sustained high house prices.

The fundamental problem remains a chronic under-supply of homes.

Despite the economic turbulence, house prices in the South East region are still 22 per cent higher than five years ago and 100 per cent higher than 10 years ago.

Even buying a lower value home – a property in the bottom 25 per cent of prices – in East Sussex for £153,000 requires a £32,785 salary. The deposit is £38,250.

Vivien Knibbs, managing director of Orbit South housing association, said: “The figures get worse every year but the solutions remain as clear as ever. There is an urgent need for investment in affordable housing.”

Home Truths also showed 215,373 households are on the social housing waiting list in the South East with 80,000 households in overcrowded conditions, causing great misery at a time when housing benefits are being slashed and unrealistic caps imposed

More than 3,500 households lived in temporary accommodation in the South East at the end of 2010

Over 4,500 households were accepted as homeless by local councils in 2010/11, up 17% and among the biggest increases in the country

Average rents in the private sector are set to rise 17.8% in the next five years.

Home ownership in the South East will fall over the next decade, with owner occupiers dropping from 72% in 2010 to 69.7% by 2021.