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20,000 families wait for homes in city.

Almost 20,000 families are waiting to find a home in Birmingham as the city becomes gripped in a housing crisis, report has revealed.

A total of 17,750 families are currently listed for social housing in the city - representing a dramatic 26 per cent increase from 10 years ago when 14,077 families were listed.

The report by the Home Builders Federation further shows that just a quarter of the homes needed for local families are being built.

Meanwhile, average house prices have more than doubled since 2000 from pounds 59,250 to pounds 130,000.

And the rocketing house prices have left young families needing an average deposit of pounds 20,000 simply to get on the housing ladder.

Birmingham's current low levels of house-building also mean the area is missing out on more than pounds 15 million of annual Government investment and the creation of around 4,500 local jobs.

New research released today reveals that house-building in Birmingham has plummeted by 50 per cent over the past six years from 2,010 starts in 2005-06 to just 990 in 2010-11.

Yet official Government projections reveal that the number of households in the area is expected to increase by around 3,960 annually. The report says: "Average house prices in the area have more than doubled in the last decade, from pounds 59,250 in 2000 to pounds 130,000 in 2010. A lower quartile house - those most often bought by first-time buyers - costs pounds 100,000, around 5.3 times income, in Birmingham, meaning that young families need to find a deposit of around pounds 20,000 to get a foot on the property ladder."

Pressure on the area's social housing is growing with the waiting list rising 26 per cent from 14,077 families in 2000 to around 17,750 families last year.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation, said: "Birmingham is suffering from a serious under-supply of housing.

"It is crucial that more homes are built, particularly for younger families and first-time buyers.''
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 3, 2011
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