Uttlesford one of worst places for first-time buyers

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Uttlesford is the fourth most difficult place in the East of England to get a foot on the property ladder, according to new statistics revealed on Friday (June 5).

Average wages, house prices and limited ability to save for a deposit are all factors which come together to price out would-be homeowners in the area.

Research by the National Housing Federation found that almost all of the local authority areas in the East of England have housing prices ten times the average wages of first-time buyers.

Statistics show the average house price in Uttlesford is £217,500 with the average income at £14,078.

Three Rivers, Hertsmere and Epping Forest were listed as the three most difficult places in the East of England for first-time buyers to find themselves a home.

Average first-time buyers now need a £30,000 deposit which many are unable to afford given their annual salary.

Howard Rolfe, Uttlesford District Council leader, said: “It doesn’t come as any surprise as Uttlesford is a very attractive and expensive area to live in.

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“We are doing our best to fulfil government requirements to find homes for first time buyers.”

Decades of successive governments failing to build enough properties has been highlighted as causing demand to far outstrip supply.

This has lead to a rise in housing prices and resulted in home ownership to falling to a 29 year low.

Julian Carder, of Arkwright & Co estate agents, Saffron Walden, said: “Uttlesford is a higher value area and first-time buyers are competing with investors.

“We have sold some properties to first time buyers but there will be just the same amount, if not more, investors.

“Quite a few sellers prefer to sell to someone with a low mortgage requirement than someone with a large one.”

Claire Astbury, external affairs manager for the East of England at the National Housing Federation, said: “Younger people in the East of England, especially those whose parents can’t help financially, can find themselves stuck living in their childhood bedrooms or paying high private rents that make it almost impossible to find a home that is genuinely affordable.”

Ms Astbury added: “If the new Government doesn’t urgently address the chronic shortage of housing, young people and families will continue to be locked out of ever owning a home in future.”

A YouGov poll recently found 87 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds say it is difficult for their generation to get a foot on the property ladder in Britain.

Two appeals to build homes in Saffron Walden and Thaxted were rejected last week.