Only third of couples can buy home in Uttlesford

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 February 2016

Houses could be out of reach.

Houses could be out of reach.

Archant

Only a third of couples can afford to buy a home in Uttlesford, new research has shown.

Estate agency Savills has released a survey of housing affordability which showed just 34 per cent of earning couples could purchase an average-priced home in the district, which is currently more than £320,000 in Uttlesford – even with a standard 20 per cent deposit.

The research also said just 14 per cent – one in seven – of single people could buy an average-priced home.

In half of Britain even two people on an average salary cannot afford to buy a house at an average price.

Despite this, last month saw an upsurge of first-time buyers in the district registering with estate agents.

The increase coincides with a deadline for buy-to-let purchasers who need to put in an offer this week or next, to comfortably beat the April deadline when stamp duty rises on investment properties.

The Uttlesford optimism goes against the national trend. Savills has compiled an online interactive map showing where in Britain you can buy a median price house on median pay.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average salary has gone down £164 since 2012, to £26,500. Meanwhile, house prices have rocketed so that – according to Savills’ survey – there are only 16 places in the Britain where an average income can buy an average priced home.

For people on one salary, the most affordable homes are in the north of England or Wales.

Tim Simpkins, branch manager at Intercounty Estate Agents in Saffron Walden, said 21 first time buyers had registered with them this year.

He said: “There is not much property around so that skews the figures. Every property will have seven or eight buyers wanting it.”

Kevin Moll, director of Kevin Henry estate agents, added: “It’s possible that the market could outprice itself.

“We had more first time buyers registering with us in January. This is going to be a really interesting year.”

In Great Bardfield, Bev Baxter, partner in Gray and Co, said first time buyers found it difficult to get the deposits

“Mostly, we have had people downsizing, possibly because of the economic climate. The irony is that you show them a smaller house and they say, we couldn’t possibly get all our furniture in here. But in Finchingfield we have had two bungalows which both went in 10 days.”

Are you struggling to buy a home? Send your views to editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk.

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