45,000 too few homes built in the West Midlands, says National Housing Federation
1 February 2017
The housing crisis in the West Midlands is worsening and a new report by the National Housing Federation reveals today the source of all this misery: nearly 45,000 too few new homes have been built over the last five years in the region.
In Birmingham alone, the five-year deficit of homes needed stands at 18,000. Last year alone, less than 12,500 homes were built in the region, which is far below what is required to accommodate the 19,000 new households that are formed each year.
As outlined in the Home Truths 2016/17 report, the housing market in the West Midlands is characterised by its diversity – from ambitious cities and their urban surroundings, to historic market towns and small rural communities. House prices vary widely, from £330,000 in Stratford-on-Avon to £112,000 in Stoke-on-Trent.
The report, which provides local data on the housing market in the West Midlands, reveals that many people are priced out of home ownership. While the average salary in the West Midlands is below the national average of £25,000, only those earning upwards of £45,000 a year can now afford the typical mortgage. The average home costs around £197,600, almost eight times the local typical salary, rising to nearly 11 times in areas such as the Malvern Hills and Wychavon.
The cost of renting privately has added pressure on people’s income. Average monthly rents now stand at £607, but also vary greatly across the region (from £450 to over £800). Home Truths 2016/17 also reveals the most expensive and least expensive places to buy a home in the region.
As a sector, housing associations are working to end the region’s crisis, completing over 3,500 new homes, and having started to build almost 5,000 more. They built more than 40,000 homes across the country in 2015/16, 29% of all new homes in England. Housing associations have ambitions to work with Government to build thousands more new homes across the country.
Kate Warburton, External Affairs Manager for the National Housing Federation in the West Midlands, said: “Every new statistical release paints a bleaker picture of the current state of the housing market. The reasons for the situation we are in are varied and complex, but one thing is clear: we simply haven’t built enough homes as a nation. And this year’s Home Truths findings for the West Midlands are a stark reminder of this.
“Housing associations are a vital part of the solution to the housing crisis. The sector is buoyed by the additional funding and flexibility secured in the Autumn Statement and is ambitious about delivering even more houses.”
The report can be downloaded from the National Housing Federation's website.