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News that South Lakeland is bucking the house price trend shows why we need truly affordable homes

February 20, 2012 12:59 PM

Tim Farron MP with SLDC Empty Homes Officer Lynne GilbertsonSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today said that new figures show that we need more truly affordable homes to allow young people to get onto the property ladder.

According to the Halifax bank, there are only two areas in theUKto increase house prices which were Rochford in Essex andSouth Lakeland. Sixteen of the top 20 best performing areas were in southernEngland.

The report said exceptions included holiday and retirement areas such asSouth Lakeland, the Derbyshire Dales and Ceredigion.

The average house price inSouth Lakelandis £212,457. But within theLake DistrictNational Parkit is much higher - £255,835 - according to the land registry in 2011. That means that average house prices are eleven times higher than average incomes. Responsible mortgage lenders are not supposed to lend more than three and a half times a person's income. This makes home ownership well out of the reach of most local people, especially young families.

Tim recently launched the Home Truths report in Kendal with the National Housing Federation which concludes that nearly 5,000 families in Furness andSouth Lakeland are on the social housing waiting list. At the current rate it would take 66,458 years to clear the backlog of people on waiting lists within the county.

Tim said: "There is a chronic need for housing in our area. But we need the right kind of housing - social housing, truly affordable housing and homes for local families. I will continue to do all I can to push the council and others to do more for local families and I will continue to champion the need for truly affordable homes in areas that the local community supports. The evidence that house prices in our area continue to rise is in one sense a welcome sign of the strength of our local economy, but it brings no comfort to thousands of families desperate for a home. We can and must do more to help thousands of young people and families get a home in the South Lakes.."