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Suffolk house prices soar to nearly NINE times average salary

PUBLISHED: 21:28 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 16 May 2019

Latest figures show Suffolk's first-time buyers have it harder than ever Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO

Latest figures show Suffolk's first-time buyers have it harder than ever Picture: GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO

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Shocking new figures have revealed the scale of the housing crisis in Suffolk - with buyers forced to fork out nearly nine times the average person's salary for a standard home.

The data, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows house prices have grown at nearly three times the rate of earnings in the last decade, leaving many first time buyers severely out of pocket.

Between 2008 and 2018, the median house price in Suffolk rose by £68,000, while average annual workplace earnings crept up by just £3,255.

This is equivalent to a 40% increase in house prices, compared with a 14% rise in salaries in the same time frame.

In the year ending September 2018, the average Suffolk house cost 8.86 times the standard workplace salary.

This ratio falls to 7.2 for 2008, and was at an all-time low of 3.85 in 1999 - the earliest year for which data is available.

Sarah Finnegan, external affairs manager at the National Housing Federation said it is not "harder than ever" for local people to get on the property ladder.

"Stagnating incomes coupled with rising house prices, rising private rents and a severe shortage of social housing mean it is now harder than ever for local people of all generations in Suffolk and across England to afford a safe and secure home," she said.

"People are flooding into private rent from both ends of the spectrum, either unable to afford to buy a home, or unable to access social housing.

"Those on the lowest incomes face huge barriers renting privately with many, including families, ending up homeless."

An assessment of housing need for the State of Suffolk Report 2019, published yesterday in new council cabinet papers, found the county will need 62,000 new homes built over the next 20 years to meet demand.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not respond to a request for comment.

'I work more than 40 hours a week and struggle to pay my way'

Robson Lavis-Hovells, a builder from Bury St Edmunds, who is struggling to get on the housing ladder Picture: ROBSON LAVIS-HOVELLSRobson Lavis-Hovells, a builder from Bury St Edmunds, who is struggling to get on the housing ladder Picture: ROBSON LAVIS-HOVELLS

A younger builder from Bury St Edmunds has spoken of a "culture of hopelessness" among first time buyers as new figures show house prices in Suffolk have skyrocketed in recent years.

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After leaving school at 16 and diving straight into the world of work, builder Robson Lavis-Hovells was excited to fly the nest and start earning his own way.

Needless to say, he did not expect to find himself living at home with his parents eight years later, struggling to get by on a day-to-day basis, and unable to afford a house of his own.

The 24-year-old, from Bury St Edmunds, said there is a "culture of hopelessness" among first time buyers, as houses prices are "overinflated" - confining many young people to their family homes.

"I work more than 40 hours a week and struggle to pay my way," he said.

Megan Aldous, 23, is struggling to save for a first home in Suffolk, despite living at home with her parents to reduce her monthly outgoings Picture: FACEBOOKMegan Aldous, 23, is struggling to save for a first home in Suffolk, despite living at home with her parents to reduce her monthly outgoings Picture: FACEBOOK

"I live with my mum, dad and sister - there is four of us in a small council house.

"There needs to be a support system or a charity to help young people get ahead in the workplace."

Jack, a stock reworker and relief shuttle driver from Bardwell, is also still living at home at 24.

"I have wanted to move out for the last three years," he said.

"I have already got a couple of thousand for a deposit and have checked with my bank at what kind of loan I could get.

"For £10,000 or even £15,000 I would only get a loan of £80,000 which still wouldn't be enough for most single bedroom homes.

"All I see is house prices rising and the same for rent, so I feel unless I have money left to me or try to get something with a group of people it doesn't feel possible to buy a home."

Megan Aldous, who is looking to buy a house with her boyfriend, said: "I worry and stress about when I'll finally be able to own a house all the time.

"Growing up I didn't think I would still be living with my parents into my mid 20s but that's the reality - I refuse to rent as that would make saving for a mortgage even more impossible."

The 23-year-old from Ipswich added: "I think there is extra stress on those who went to university to get on the property ladder as you're obviously three years behind on savings compared to those who didn't go to uni.

"I know if I didn't have a degree and just worked full time after college I would already have a mortgage. I feel like I'm at a disadvantage because I wanted to further my studies which now means I won't have my own place until at least 25."

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