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Saturday, 17 March 2018
HOME ownership in England and Wales has become less affordable since 2002, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The latest figures show that average house prices had risen from 4.1 times average earnings in 2002 to 6.3 times average earnings in 2015 — a 50 per cent rise.
The ONS’s analysis of the housing market reveals that Westminster remains the least affordable place to buy a house in England and Wales, while Burnley has overtaken Blaenau Gwent to become the most affordable area.
But for the first time since 2007, the affordability of social housing has improved following increases in average salaries which have risen faster than average rents. Meanwhile, in the private rental market, there is still a North-South divide, with the 30 most affordable areas mainly in the north of England, while 14 of the 15 least affordable local authority areas are located in London.
Nigel Henretty, the ONS’s head of housing analysis, said: “While social housing became more affordable in 2015, the cost of buying a house has continued to rise, increasing by 6.4 per cent over the last year.
“However, mortgage repossessions are at their lowest levels in over a decade, helped by historically low interest rates.”
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