Bristol's housing supply 'in crisis'
AN entire generation risks being priced out of Bristol's housing market, campaigners have warned.
Workers need to be earning more than £44,000 a year to be able to afford a 75 per cent mortgage on the average house price in the city.
And in the social housing sector, just one affordable home has been built for every 44 people on the waiting list in the past year.
The National Housing Federation South West, which represents housing associations in the region, revealed the figures and warned that housing supply in Bristol is in "crisis" as spiralling waiting lists combine with a slump in new home building.
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Its study, published today, found:
â Waiting lists in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and B&NES soared by 4,000 in 2011 to reach 36,945.
â Just 848 affordable homes were completed in the same area last year – one for every 44 people on the list.
â In Bristol, average wages are less than half of what is needed to get a mortgage.
The federation's warning comes as the government pushes through new rules aimed at kick-starting stalled housing projects and increasing the overall number of homes being built.
Waiting lists are growing faster in the South West than anywhere else in the country, said federation spokeswoman Jenny Allen.
"We have been building less than half the homes we need in the region for many years," she said.
"The result is we now face the very real possibility that an entire generation will be priced out of being able to rent a home, let alone able to buy one."
The federation said the shortage of new homes was pushing up mortgage costs and keeping rents high.
Within Bristol City Council's boundaries, 11,167 people were on the waiting list last year – while only 387 housing association homes were completed.
Based on an average house price of £206,034 in Bristol, a wage of £44,150 would be needed to secure a 75 per cent mortgage.
Meanwhile, the number of new households being formed by people setting up home on their own or together continues to rise.
Projected figures for Bristol give an increase of 3,800 to almost 200,000 households in 2012.
But just 1,660 new homes, both mainstream and affordable, were completed – leading to a shortfall of more than 2,000 for last year alone.
The government's Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which aims to address the imbalance, is making its way through Parliament this week.
But it has raised fears about green spaces being targeted for development and threatens to strip councils of their power to decide on planning applications.
Conservative MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore said pressure was most acute in "growth" areas like South Gloucestershire.
He said: "The need to protect the green belt raises the question – where do you build?"
Mr Skidmore accused developers of "sitting on" sites with planning permission, waiting for more lucrative options to become available.
Work has yet to begin on the huge Emersons Green East development of 2,000 homes, near the existing Emersons Green estate.