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Harlow has “no affordable homes” says new report

Politics / Sun 24th May 2015 am31 10:38am

HARLOW has no homes on sale which are affordable to the average family and first time buyers are being priced out of 90 per cent of properties in England’s East, a new study has revealed.

A separate study also shows that Harlow is the most sought after commuter town with nine prospective tenants hunting for every single available room in the town, according to website spareroom.co.uk.

Homeless charity Shelter found the “scandalous” house prices by comparing figures sourced from property search engine Zoopla, with the average wage and what a family could afford to borrow.

The research revealed that only eight per cent of houses in the region cost below £111,963, the amount an average Harlow family could spend on a home, based on their likely wages and the amount they could borrow.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, called for the next government to build the homes needed to meet the shortage.

He said: “This is nothing short of a scandal. Decades of failing to deliver the homes we need is leaving millions trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or in their childhood bedrooms, with barely a hope of saving for a home of their own.

“For the next government, it’s time for the talk to stop and the work to begin. Politicians need to act swiftly to deliver the plan that will build the 250,000 homes a year we need.”

Some different statistics from house buying website home.co.uk found there to currently be 321 properties currently on sale in Harlow, with 12 under £100,000- but the figures do not take into consideration properties that may not be a suitable size for a family.

Meanwhile the demand for a single room to rent in Harlow has soared by 350 per cent in the last two years, which is largely put down to commuters taking advantage of the town’s fast rail link to London to escape the high rent prices in the capital.

The average room available to rent from spareroom.co.uk costs £443 per month, which is a significant amount cheaper than the average London room rent of £734, even considering the extra commuting costs.

Matt Hutchinson, director of spareroom.com, said: “Across the capital, there are currently five people searching for every room available, but in certain satellite towns like Harlow, there are close to double that number.

“What we’re seeing is the housing crisis rippling out along the train lines from London. In many cases that means increased competition and rising rents. At the moment there are still towns and cities offering a good balance between journey time and cheaper rents but, unless we address the need for more affordable homes, particularly in the South East, that won’t be the case for long.”

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2 Comments for Harlow has “no affordable homes” says new report:

Lee Dangerfield
2015-05-25 14:42:16

What is affordable? Define the term?

UKMaverick785
2015-05-27 15:45:07

The definition of affordable Lee, is "below market value". Strictly speaking of course, this is ludicrious - and during the election campaign, I said so numerous times as the UKIP candidate for Chelmsford. This means of course that if a home in London was valued at £3M - selling it for £2,999,999 qualifies it as affordable - an absolute joke. To me, the definition should be 3.5 times the average salary - which is what level you can get a mortgage at. The average salary is apparently £26.5k - so to me affordable should be defined as £92,750! This is why we had crazy things like Prescott coming to Harlow and defining New Hall as a "Great example of affordable housing" - this is clearly nonsense - how many properties in New Hall sell for under £92,750? I would suggest NONE!

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