Homeownership less affordable says ONS

ONS: home ownership less affordable than in 2002.

Homeownership in England and Wales has become less affordable since 2002 according to analysis published by the Office of National Statistics on Friday.

ONS data shows average house prices have risen from 4.1 times average earnings in 2002 to 6.3 times earnings in 2015.

New analysis of the housing market has shown that Westminster remains the least affordable place to buy a house in England and Wales, while Burnley has overtaken Blaenau Gwent to become the most affordable area.

For the first time since 2007, the affordability of social housing has improved following increases in average salaries which have risen faster than average rents.

In the private rental market the 30 most affordable areas mainly in the north of England, while 14 of the 15 least affordable local authorities are located in London.

Nigel Henretty, head of housing analysis at ONS, said:"Whilst social housing became more affordable in 2015, the cost of buying a house has continued to rise, increasing by 6.4 per cent over the last year. However, mortgage repossessions are at their lowest levels in over a decade, helped by historically low interest rates.”