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Gap between pay and house prices in Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets worst since records began

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 April 2019

The ratio between wages and house prices has increased. Picture:Andrew Matthews

The ratio between wages and house prices has increased. Picture:Andrew Matthews

PA Wire/PA Images

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

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Each year,ONS 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.

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

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

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.

“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.”

Nigel Henretty, head of housing analysis at the ONS, said: “After five years of decreases, the estimated affordability of homes in England and Wales remained static in 2018.
“It’s also notable that the estimates show newly built homes remained significantly less affordable than existing properties.”

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