Homes in Mansfield and Ashfield less affordable than ever

People looking to buy a home in Mansfield need nearly six times their salary for a property on average, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 7:11 pm

Each year, the Office for National Statistics calculates housing affordability by comparing the median house price in a local authority area to the median full-time annual income of people who live there.

The higher the ratio is, the less affordable homes are to buy.

The median – the middle number in a series – is used instead of the mean average to ensure the figures are not skewed by extreme highs or lows.

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A recent report from the House of Commons suggests that Covid-19 may be responsible for a slowdown in the building of new affordable homes over 2020 and 2021.

The analysis shows the average house price in Mansfield is now £160,000, while the average annual salary sits at £27,099 – meaning house hunters need 5.9 times their wage to buy to a home, the same as in 2020.

In Ashfield, homes became less affordable as wages increased by 3 per cent in 2021, while house prices rose by 16 per cent.

The analysis shows the average house price in Ashfield is now £168,000, while the average annual salary sits at £27,366 – meaning house hunters need 6.1 times their wage to buy to a home. This is the highest ratio recorded since the ONS began analysing the issue in 2002. In 2020, the figure stood at 5.5.

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Decline

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, says the blame for worsening affordability lies with a ‘huge decline’ in affordable social homes, paired with less housebuilding.

She said: “House prices have been pushed higher by policies that have given some people greater purchasing power, like Help to Buy or the recent stamp duty cut. These policies coupled with a lack of supply means homeownership is now out of reach for most people on modest incomes.

“Many families are really struggling now that other bills are skyrocketing too - forced to choose between heating, eating or paying their rent.”

Last year, England saw the most severe decrease in affordability since 2003 — full-time workers now have to spend about 9.1 times their annual salary to buy a home, up from 7.9 in 2020.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at estate agency Knight Frank, said, while house prices have risen significantly over the pandemic he expects growth to slow over the next year.

He said: “For the moment, the cost of living is dominating people's thinking, but demand for homes remains sky high.

“Supply is normalising after Covid-19 and upwards pressure on prices may begin to moderate — double-digit house-price growth is likely to return to single digits by the end of this year.”

A recent report from the House of Commons suggests Covid-19 may be responsible for a slowdown in the building of new affordable homes over 2020 and 2021.

It notes the building of new homes for social rent has dropped off significantly in recent years — accounting for just 11 per cent of new homes built last year, down from 62 per cent in 2014-15.

A Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesman said building affordable homes remains ‘central’ to the Government's levelling up agenda.

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