House prices in Uttlesford now 10 times average local salary, new research shows

Julie Redfern

Julie Redfern - Credit: Archant

House prices in the Uttlesford area are now over 10 times the average local salary, according to figures published this week.

The TUC analysis of average (median) salaries and house prices by local authority area shows that the affordability ratio in the district has doubled since 1997. Average house prices in Uttlesford are £290,000, with average salaries of £27,103.

Seventeen years ago the only areas in the East of England with prices more than five times the average salary were Three Rivers, Epping Forest, Uttlesford and St Albans.

However, by 2013 every local authority area in the region had an affordability ratio above five – a level which the TUC believes puts home ownership out of reach for local people.

Uttlesford is the second most unaffordable area in the East of England, with a ratio of 10.70, up from 5.39 in 1997 and trailing only St Albans with 13.26.

Cabinet member for housing at Uttlesford District Council, Councillor Julie Redfern, said the figures reiterated what she has been saying for the past 18 months.

“Yet again these are more shocking statistics about how expensive it is to live and work in Uttlesford,” she told the Reporter. “This is why we need to keep trying to address our affordable housing need.

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“Unfortunately, as we all know, affordable housing only comes with market housing as well.”

The affordability ratio of five is particularly significant, says the TUC, as the Bank of England has recently instructed banks to limit the proportion of mortgages they offer that are more than 4.5 times applicants’ salaries.

The TUC believes that the combination of soaring house prices, stagnating pay in the run-up to the crash and the longest real wage squeeze in over a century will leave house prices more out of reach than ever before.

Cllr Redfern added that the council, which has a waiting list of almost 1,700, was also looking to increase its own stock of homes.

She said: “We have already built a number in Stansted and have just gone out to consultation on the possibility of building a small number in Saffron Walden.

“We are continuing to look at sites that we own across Uttlesford to see where we can maximise our own assets by building our own homes.”

• What do you think of the latest figures? How hard have you found it to buy a house in Uttlesford? E-mail