24 February 2010

A report from the National housing and planning advice unit (NHPAU), Evaluating requirements for market and affordable housing (12 February 2010), calculates affordability in housing in the districts of England. Read the report here. The method of deciding affordability, the relationship of local pay and local house prices, is explained on page 61 of the report.

Read the data itself here. There are several sets of data for purchase and rent for three different circumstances of households under forty years of age: all, working, families. I have extracted the Cornwall data for all households under forty that could afford to buy in 2008: Kerrier 19.1, Carrick 24.6, Penwith 26.0, North Cornwall 27.4, Restormel 27.7, Caradon 33.2 percent. For England as a whole the somewhat meaningless mean average is 40.6 percent.

The report makes depressing reading and confirms in detail what we already know about the problems of people on local Cornwall wages buying a house. The affordability figures for renting privately are also largely depressing. The Cornwall percentages for all under-forty households who can afford to buy are among the very lowest in the 352 districts of England, seven London boroughs only, with a total population of about 1.5 million, having lower figures than Kerrier. Around sixty districts across England (excluding Cornwall ones) have lower figures than Caradon.

For other dismal figures for the Cornwall districts see appendix 2, schedule 2 of The geography of affordable and unaffordable housing by Steve Wilcox which gives figures for 2005 for the proportion of defined households who cannot afford to buy in defined parts of the housing market (published December 2006 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation). Appendix 2, schedule 3 gives figures (for 2005) for the income needed to purchase a house in the various districts.

Part 2 of this post is on its way.

Other posts on affordable housing and Cornwall
Affordable housing and Cornwall Part 2
Affordable housing and Cornwall Part 3
Affordable housing and Cornwall Part 4

Housing the people in Cornwall
Goldilocks and Cornwall