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Housing crisis 'hits new low' - SW England



By Plymouth Herald 

HOUSE-BUILDING has stalled so much in the South West that the homes shortfall has grown by 36,000 properties since the coalition Government came to power.

Labour today publishes figures showing the "gap" between the number of homes built under since 2010 and those required to keep pace with demand has leapt to more than half-a-million equivalent to a city the size of Birmingham.

In the six county-wide South West region, 60,570 homes have been built in the four years. But developers needed to complete 96,600 properties to meet the estimated annual demand.

Labour said the figures underline how owning a home is out of reach of many low and middle-income earners.

But the Government this month claimed a series of measures since coming to power was "helping people move on and up the housing ladder".

Devon, Cornwall and Somerset's housing crisis is arguably the worst outside of London, with house prices in places more than 10 times local wages, fuelled in part by holiday home owners snapping up the most desirable homes.

The figures were compiled by the House of Commons library after being commissioned by Labour.

Labour has committed to getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.

The Government has introduced the mortgage guarantee Help to Buy scheme. Housing starts in England are at their highest since 2007 and it has already delivered over 445,000 new homes since April 2010. said Communities Secretary Eric Pickles this month.

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