House prices are increasingly ‘out of reach’ for many in Leeds

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THE AVERAGE price of a house in Leeds was more than seven times higher than the average earnings in the city last year, according to a new report calling for more homes to be built across the region.

The National Housing Federation said today that urgent action is needed to meet demand in the region which is facing an acute housing crisis.

Its report, Yorkshire and the Humber Home Truths 2015/16, claims that fragmented housing markets are failing to match the success and economic aspirations of the region.

And it says the cost of renting or buying a home is becoming further and further out of reach for many.

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In Leeds the average house price was said to be £178,516 which is more than seven times higher than the mean annual earnings for the city of £25,054. The federation’s report says the average Yorkshire worker would need a 62 per cent pay rise, or an extra £14,538 a year to be in with the chance of getting an average mortgage. The report says the income required for a typical mortgage in the city is £40,721. And it says there is demand to live in Yorkshire but that “nowhere near enough homes are being built”.

The report warns there were 11,040 too few homes built in 2014/15 across Yorkshire. And it adds that the shortfall will get worse without urgent action – with 342,000 new households expected to form in the region by 2037.

A council consultation has just closed on plans to identify the locations of 66,000 new homes in Leeds by 2028.

The consultation is on two plans produced by Leeds City Council. The Site Allocations Plan which covers all of the district except for the south east of the city centre, which because of its economic regeneration potential is covered by a separate Aire Valley Leeds Area Action Plan.

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Coun Richard Lewis, the executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said: “We want everyone in Leeds to live in decent, affordable homes.

“That desire is seen through our creation of new council homes, our planning policy that places quality and housing mix at the heart of decision making and our work to ensure suitable brownfield land is used for housing.

“But those ambitions are put at risk by central government’s focus on starter homes – which could be for sale for up to £250,000- above all other types of housing and their attempts to reduce housing mix through extending right to buy and forcing the sale of council homes.”

Commenting on their new report Jo Allen, the external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation in Yorkshire said: “We are seeing divided markets in the region, with strong confident cities needing a housing offer which matches their growth ambition.”

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