House price explosion sees values quadruple - North Devon
In 1995 the average house price in North Devon was £53,000, compared to £199,000 in 2014.
NORTHERN Devon experienced an "explosive" rise in house prices between 1995 and 2014 – with the average property price nearly quadrupling.
In 1995 the average house price in North Devon was £53,00, compared to £199,000 in 2014.
Torridge experienced a similar rise, with house prices increasing from £48,500 in 1995 to £188,950 in 2014.
The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics and make for startling reading.
Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of Torridge District Council, said: "Certainly on the face of it, the increase in house prices over the 19 year period in Torridge has been explosive. This has to be tempered by the fact that generally across Devon, the average house price has increased to nearly £200,000 with an average growth rate over the period of +268%.
"Large increases such as these are no doubt a common feature of the trend in prices across many parts of the UK. However the percentage increase in Torridge over the same period at +290% is noticeably the highest in Devon.
"As councillors we are acutely aware that these sorts of figures, coupled with very low average earnings, the lowest in the country, have an adverse impact on affordability."
Mrs Whittaker said the income ratio for first time buyers was 15 – meaning the average house price was 15 times their income – topped only in Devon by North Devon at 16.
"That is why we need to ensure that affordable housing stays high on the agenda and that with our social housing partners we continue to deliver more units," she added.
"Last year saw 132 affordable units delivered across Torridge which is an excellent improvement. However, we need more of these, and will encourage developers and partners to support us in this aim."
Councillor Brian Moores, lead member for housing at North Devon Council, said the average prices ranged from a flat up to a detached house which made them seem higher.
"This isn't to say that the increase in price doesn't look frightening but we must remember that this has happened over a 20-year period," he said.
"At the council we ensure that a quarter of all affordable housing schemes include houses that are for sale, not just for rent."
Mr Moores said the local authority mortgage scheme and Lend a Hand schemes had helped residents get mortgages with a 5% deposit.
RICHARD Douglass, manager of Webbers Bideford branch, said when the house price rise in North Devon was compared to the rise in London the difference was stark.
"Properties around the £53,000 mark back in the early 90s in London would now be closer to £350,000, which is a lot more of a rise," he said. "But then everyone earns more money and it is a more affluent area.
"I am sure North Devon has gone up as much as elsewhere, but when you factor in places like Sandbanks, Padstow and even Croyde there is a huge differential between the average house price and those little hot spots, so it can be confusing when you get these averages."
Richard estimated Westward Ho! had experienced a 10% rise in house prices in just the last 12 months. "Westward Ho! is sucking interest into it at the moment, but other areas are more stable," he added.
Richard said the market was not quite back to where it was in 2007, when the average house price in North Devon was £202,000 and in Torridge £187,500.