Prices on rise for West Lindsey househunters

The average house price has risen by 143 per cent  in 16 years
The average house price has risen by 143 per cent in 16 years

Prospective buyers in West Lindsey have to spend on average six times their annual salary to buy a home, housing affordability figures reveal.

And across England and Wales, the affordability gap between the most and least expensive places to live is at its widest since records began.

Each year, the Office for National Statistics calculates how affordable housing is, by dividing the median house price in local authorities by the median full-time annual income.

The higher the ratio is, the less affordable homes are to buy.

The ONS uses the median which is the middle number in a series, instead of the mean average, so the figures are not distorted between extreme highs and lows.

In West Lindsey last year the affordability ratio was 6, still below the average affordability for England and Wales, which is 7.8. The average house price was £175,000, and the average annual salary £29,388.

The average house price in West Lindsey increased by £10,000 in 2018. Median yearly earnings actually rose by £1,429, however this was not enough to improve housing affordability.

This gulf between earnings and house prices highlights the impact of the housing crisis, with buying a home out of reach for many.

The drastic increase in house prices since 2002, when the ONS first began comparing this data, reinforces this.

The average home in West Lindsey then cost £72,000.

The 2018 figure is 143 per cent higher. In that time the average annual salary has only increased by £8,898, a 43 per cent rise.

Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said: “The figures leave us in no doubt that owning a home is an all-but-impossible dream for millions of working families.

“Combined with the dire lack of social homes, this has left huge numbers of people with no choice but to rent privately.”

Nationally, the proportion of households renting has doubled over the last decade, creating a so called ‘Generation Rent’.

Poll continued: “It cannot be right that so many families, especially those on lower incomes, now face a lifetime in deeply unstable private renting, where they’ll have to pay well over the odds to keep a roof over their head.

“More families desperately need the option of social housing, and they need it now.”