For the locals in the West Country, owning a home is becoming more of a distant dream every day. According to a report by the National Housing Federation (NHF) the SW is the only region in England where the multiple between avreage income and house prices is actually rising. The bubble is not yet deflating in the West Country.
The income multiples required for a local on the average local wage to buy a local averagely priced house is somewhere between 14 and 15 times.
This has led to a massive 44% increase in social housing waiting list.
As a response the NHF wants the government to spend more money on social housing, commit more money to shared ownership and compel banks to lend.
So who does own these houses? Second home owners and rich retirees in all probability. The first thing we need to do is tax second homes to force sales.
But forcing banks to lend and pouring money into shared ownership schemes is a short term plaster and a long term disaster, as it just further fuels the bubble.
With a dearth in lending in the foreseeable future there is only one realistic route to go down. We need to restart the social housing building programme and remove the stigma from living in council houses. Otherwise people will be thrown to the mercy of private BTLers or forced to live with their parents for a much longer period. This applies across the whole country, not just Devon and Cornwall.