Research shows average North-East worker can not afford to buy a home

Buying a house is now of reach for most first-time buyers in the region, according to auditors and tax-advisors KMPG.

The company says that its research shows that the minimum annual wage a first-time buyer would need to buy a home in the North-East is now just under £24,000, with the actual average annual wage at £20,000.

A poll commissioned by KMPG showed that 67 per cent of people in the region believe there isn’t enough affordable housing in the UK, 69 per cent of North-Easterners would rather buy than rent and 52 per cent agree that owning property helps save for retirement.

Research from KPMG also shows that the divergence between house prices and wages has grown so that a first time buyer in the North-East would need an annual wage of £23,616 to get onto the property ladder, with the actual average annual wage in the region at £20,149.

However there was some good news for North-East potential house buyers. The survey showed that the North-East has the closest gap between required and actual annual wage in England, with a UK average of £40,553 annual income needed to buy a home while the national average wage is £22,044.

Of those not already on the property ladder in the North East, 39 per cent would like to buy within the next ten years. However there is 22 per cent more non-homeowners in the North-East than in the rest of the UK who intend to buy.

Mick Thompson, office senior partner at KPMG in Newcastle, said: “These figures make for concerning reading and show that housing affordability in the region is no longer just a problem for lower wage earners.”

Summary findings and the full KPMG/Shelter ‘Building the Homes We Need’ report can be found on a dedicated website at thehomesweneed.org.uk

Source – Northern Echo, 04 May 2015

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