A recent survey has revealed 7 out of the 15 least affordable cities in Britain are situated in Wessex. The Lloyds Bank Affordability Ratio, which compares average house prices with average earnings, showed the Wessex cities of Oxford and Winchester at the top of the ‘least affordable league’, even proving less affordable than London. The table does not include other data such as second home ownership in relation to house prices which is also an issue, especially in some Wessex coastal towns.
The Wessex Regionalists are concerned that house prices are moving beyond the reach of many people in the region, and feel little is being done to tackle the situation which sees property prices in some towns costing over 10 times the average local wage.
Commenting on the issue David Robins, Secretary- General of the Wessex Regionalists stated, ‘More bricks and mortar are most certainly not the only solution. Wessex house prices are high because of London's wealth cascading into the surrounding regions. The whole of England needs strong regional assemblies that can rebuild resilient local economies with the money now siphoned off to fuel London's expansion. Easing the pressure for unsustainable growth in Wessex will give our own first-time buyers some hope’.
The party’s Devon organiser and Communications Officer, Rick Heyse said, ‘We cannot sit back and allow house prices to run away beyond the reach of local people, and forcing some into financial difficulties trying to keep up with mortgage payments. The second home situation and people building large property portfolios which artificially inflates house prices must be dealt with, yet no lead is being taken from Westminster or its political parties to deal with the issue’.
He also described the situation which sees average house prices of £600,000 in the Devon town of Salcombe as ‘Something which has been allowed to get completely out of hand’.
The table below shows how the region is dominating the least affordable league
1. Oxford, Wessex
2. Winchester, Wessex
3. Greater London
5. Bath, Wessex
6. Brighton and Hove,
8. St Albans
10. Exeter, Wessex
11. Southampton, Wessex
12. Salisbury, Wessex
13. Bristol, Wessex
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