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Priced out of market; Region's housing is too dear.

Byline: By SANDY McKENZIE

MORE affordable homes need to be built in the Tees Valley and the North-east to end housing misery, claims the National Housing Federation.

House prices in the North-east have risen at a faster rate than any other region in the country in the last five years according to a new report published by the Federation.

It says getting a mortgage is out of the reach of more and more people.

The Federation's survey North East Home Truths - The real cost of Housing 2007-2012 envisages a brief dip over the next two years but then average house prices in the region are set to rise to nearly pounds 190,000 by 2012 - an increase of 30%.

According to the Federation, which represents 92 housing associations in the region:

On average a house in the North-east currently costs over eight times the average income.

House prices in the region have gone up five times faster than incomes since 1997 - 150% compared to 30%.

One in every 12 North-east families are now waiting for an affordable home.

There are now 215,500 people waiting for an affordable home.

The report also highlights the diverse housing market across the region.

Homes in Castle Morpeth cost over pounds 230,000 - more than double the Hartlepool price of around pounds 110,000.

But in the past year previously lower priced areas like Hartlepool, Blyth Valley and Middlesbrough saw house price rises double the national rate.

The Federation, is calling on the Government to support the delivery of around 1,300 new social homes a year.

Monica Burns, National Housing Federation regional manager, said: "It is time to face up to a few home truths. Without urgent action the housing crisis in the North-east will deepen further. House prices have risen faster than any other region and latest forecasts suggest further rapid rises after a brief pause. Now is the time to tackle this issue."

According to the report the average house price in 2006 in Middlesbrough was pounds 115,269, average income was pounds 14,929, but the gross annual income needed for a 95% mortgage was pounds 31,287.

In Redcar and Cleveland the average house price was pounds 126,036, average income was pounds 15,080, but the gross annual income needed for a 95% mortgage was pounds 34,210.

In Stockton the average house price was pounds 142,473, average income was pounds 17,467 but the gross annual income needed for a 95% mortgage was pounds 38,671.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 5, 2007
Words:420
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