House prices run young buyers out of Uttlesford

YOUNG people are being priced out of the housing market in Uttlesford say the National Housing Federation.

The district is rated as the third most difficult place in the East to get one foot on the housing ladder and just to obtain a standard 90 per cent mortgage a buyer needs to be earning over �78,000 per year.

The average house price in Uttlesford in 2009 is well above �304,000 – THIRTEEN times more than the average local income.

In a snipe at fellow colleagues Uttlesford District Councillor Alan Dean said: “This is socially and economically unsustainable and is a moral challenge to those who are absorbed by planning process rather than by planning outcomes.”

However, UDC has boosted its housing stock by seven per cent since 2004 and is formulating ways of improving.

A spokesman said: “The council is looking for better ways to provide homes for individuals and families that need them most.

“It is one of the few authorities that this year successfully bid for HCA funding, enabling the development and construction of new properties.

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“It is also improving its social housing through the introduction of a new allocations policy that will ensure that provision is prioritised to those who need it most and represents a fairer, more transparent system with a greater focus on people within Uttlesford.”

In the last five years the council outperformed every local authority in Essex, increasing affordable housing stock by seven per cent and increasing affordable housing lettings by 30 per cent.

The spokesman added: “The council continues to increase its stock through agreements with developers and new schemes, and according to the Audit Commission is in a strong position to continue delivering new homes.

“It is proud of its work in the area of social housing, which was commended by the commission in its recent report.”

The commission noted that the council ‘is enabling a sustained level of affordable housing to be delivered, to a high quality that includes elements of sustainability’.

However, a Council of Mortgage Lenders survey of more than 2000 British adults nationally concluded that nearly 80 per cent think something should be done to make it easier for young people to buy a home. They believe that it is the government, rather than local councils, that should be doing more to help.

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