Study points out issues with ‘broken’ housing market

News.
News.

A new study says the housing market in this area is ‘broken’ and laid bare the scale of the financial gap between what people in Boston earn and what homes cost.

The National Housing Federation has published ‘Broken Market, Broken Dreams’ for the East Midlands – its annual look at ‘home truths’ in the housing market.

The study shows that the mean house price in Boston is £132,659 – 6.9 times the mean salary of £19,141.

The federation calculates that to afford an 80 per cent mortgage on a home in Boston people would have to earn £30,322. It also highlights that the mean private sector rent in Boston is £560.

That cost is above the average for Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire and higher than all Lincolnshire council areas bar South Kesteven.

Kate Warburton, East Midlands external affairs manager at the federation, said: “Although the housing crisis is very different in different parts of the East Midlands, the solution is the same.

“Building the right houses in the right places at the right prices is integral to creating stronger communities where people want to stay.

“The housing crisis in the region has been a generation in the making so short term initiatives aren’t going to fix it for this generation, or the next. We are calling on the next government to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by publishing a long-term plan for housing within a year of coming into power.”

Of all the council areas in Lincolnshire, Boston has the lowest average house prices but also the lowest average annual earnings.

The study also shows that, as of May 2014, 29.3 per cent of the people claiming housing benefit in the borough are in employment. The borough has just 255 ‘long-term vacant’ homes, the lowest in the county.

The mean rent has risen by 8.3 per cent between 2011 and 2013. The rise is the fifth highest in the region and the federation says many parents fear their children will be unable to afford to buy a house where they grew up.

Kate added: “How will our communities survive if young people can’t afford to live there? This is the situation we’re facing if we don’t tackle the housing crisis.”

Boston’s unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent is 0.1 per cent above the county average but sits below that of East Lindsey (6.4 per cent), Lincoln (8.6 per cent), South Holland (6.4 per cent) and West Lindsey (7.1 per cent).

Statistics held by the charity Shelter show the impact of the recession on the housing market in Boston.

The number of homes built by private developers are:

2004/5 - 380

2005/6 - 260

2006/7 - 240

2007/8 -250

2008/9 - 130

2009/10 - 170

2010/11 - 130

2011/12 - 90

2012/13 - 100

2013/14 - 120

The number of people on the social housing waiting list:

2003 - 1,247

2004 - 1,456

2005 - 1,842

2006 - 1,882

2007 - 1,026

2008 - 1,693

2009 - 1,977

2010 - 1,781

2011 - 2,283

2012 - 2,042

2013 - 2,564

Working age unemployment (%):

2004 - 4.4

2005 - 6

2006 - 7

2007 - 8.9

2008 - 2.6

2009 - 6.5

2010 - 5.4

2011 - 10.4

2012 - 5.9

2013 - 3.7