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County’s house prices up to 13 times average wage



by Kent Messenger reporter

Workers are being priced out of the housing market in Kent with property prices 13 times more than the average wage in some areas.

Maidstone is ranked sixth out of all boroughs in Kent, with the largest difference in Sevenoaks, where prices are 13.7 times the average wage.

But even in Maidstone, where the average wage is £29,892 a year, the average house price is 9.3 times higher, at £277,692.

In July last year, the average price was £247,006.

The average multiple in the county now stands at over 10.4 times the average wage.

Banks and building societies will only lend people a maximum of 4.5 times their income, meaning workers in and around the County Town have £134,514 to spend.

But last year the average price of a flat in the borough was £149,588.

According to the online property search website, Right Move, the most property sales in Maidstone involved terraced properties last year at an average of £235,859, while semi-detached properties sold for £291,458.

The problem is the same across Kent and the whole of the South East according to a new report from trade union GMB.

Stock image

Stock image

In the South East as a whole, the average house price in July 2016 was £313,315 which is 10.4 times the average full time earnings of £30,074. Average house prices in the South East increased by 11.9% in the year to July this year. The situation is most extreme in South Bucks where average house prices are 18.5 times average earnings.

Paul Maloney, GMB regional secretary, said a massive programme to build more houses is absolutely essential and has to get under way without delay.

He said: “We have been talking about this problem for far too long, there can be no excuses for not providing housing to people that they can afford to live in on average wages.”

According to the National Housing Federation, the South East needs to build 39,000 homes every year from 2011 until 2031. In Maidstone Borough’s emerging Local Plan it sets out the need to build 18,560 more homes by 2031.

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