‘Drought’ of affordable homes

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Almost 75 per cent of homes on the market in Erewash are unaffordable for first-time buyers, new research shows.

Figures from homelessness charity Shelter reveal that out of 626 properties available, only 158 were ‘affordable’ — even for those who had saved deposits or taken out a loan.

This means that only a quarter of houses in the area, with two bedrooms or more, are considered attainable for a typical family.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said thousands of people are being forced to wave goodbye to their dreams of a home of their own.

He said: “When a family looking to buy their first home searches a whole town for a place to live and finds nothing they can afford, it’s clear we’re not just facing a housing shortage any more: it’s a full-blown drought.”

Ben Bishop, 35, of Quantock Road, Long Eaton, has been renting a house for nine years with his girlfriend as they cannot afford to get on to the property ladder.

He told the Advertiser: “Renting is dead money but it’s the only way we’ve been able to live. We’re constantly looking for a house of our own but we just can’t get enough money together to even get near making it a reality.”

Recent figures from the government show that average house prices in the UK have risen by 9.9 per cent in a year to £260,000 - higher than their pre-crisis peak in 2008.

Mr Bishop added: “The situation at the moment is hopeless. It’s appalling but I really can believe the statistics and they seem to be getting worse as the years go on.”