The gap between house prices and the average salary has more than doubled over the last 16 years, according to figures released this week.
In 1997 the average house cost 3.1 times the average annual salary. But by last year that had risen to 6.4 times the average annual salary.
Megan Dobney, regional secretary for the Trades Union Congress (TUC), claimed that this meant new homes needed to be built.
She said: “Over the last 16 years, the increase in house price rises in Milton Keynes has outstripped peoples’ pay packets. There is now not a single local authority area in the region in which housing can be regarded as affordable for those on an average salary.
“This has a massive impact on families and communities, and also on the transport system, congestion and our environment, as more and more people can no longer live near where they work.
“We need to build more homes to get house prices under control. With interest rates low, now is the perfect time for an ambitious programme of home-building. And a programme of building public sector housing would increase local employment opportunities, decrease the housing benefit bill and increase revenues to the government from income tax and national insurance.
“But as more people have no choice but to give up the hope of buying a home, we also need a better deal for those who rent so that they don’t get ripped-off by soaring rents and by those landlords who fail to meet their responsibilities.”
She added: “To secure housing affordability in the long term we need stable house prices and decent wages, with above-inflation pay rises over a sustained period of time.
“Only then can the economy be said to be delivering for those who live and work in the South East.”
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