FIRST time buyers have a fight on their hands if they want to live in Warwick district.
So says homeless charity Shelter which named the district as the worst place in the West Midlands for affordable housing – with only five homes available to buy outright.
They make up just a few of the 5,000 affordable homes across the region available for sale.
Shelter analysed asking prices of properties for sale and compared them with the mortgage an average family buying their first home could afford. It was based on a couple in their 20’s with children and an income of around £30,000.
To buy non-affordable housing in the district, households must have an annual income of at least £60,000.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Nearly 80 per cent of homes on the market are off limits for a typical family in the West Midlands, and this is nothing short of a scandal.
“Decades of failing to deliver the homes we need is leaving millions trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or in their childhood bedrooms, with barely a hope of saving for a home of their own.”
Leamington Green Party county councillor Jonathan Chilvers said action was needed urgently to make more affordable homes available.
He said: “Lack of affordable housing in our area has a massive affect on people’s lives, whether they’re trying to get on the housing ladder or living in overcrowded conditions.
“We must build affordable houses on brownfield sites first that people in our area need, not just the ones developers thing will make them the maximum profit.”
Warwick District Council deem a house to be affordable if it is on sale below the open market cost of buying a home.
It has around 3,000 affordable homes available through housing associations and expect this figure to increase if the Local Plan is adopted next year.
Head of housing Andy Thompson told the Observer: “Shelter’s research investigated the affordability of market housing.
“Its findings demonstrate the very high house prices in Warwick district in comparison with local earnings. This creates a significant need for more affordable housing.
“This is a situation the council has recognised for some time and is working hard to address. The need for more affordable housing remains a priority.
“A range of sites and projects are in the pipeline- such as schemes with housing associations – which we expect will help make more affordable homes available to people living in the district of Warwick.”