House-buying in Kent gets tougher as gap between house prices and wages increases


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Four Kent districts rank in the top 10 spots that saw the biggest rise in the gap between wages and property prices.

And the same research revealed it is now more difficult to afford to buy a home in all areas of the county.

The gap between wages and house prices is growing
The gap between wages and house prices is growing

It comes after research from Online Mortgage Advisor which analysed ten years of median house prices from local authorities across England and compared them to the median gross salary in each area.

Underlining the challenge in being able to afford a home faced by many, the average person in Kent can only afford 13.4% of properties currently for sale in the county.

Gravesham's property prices outgrew its local wages more than any other local authority in the county.

In 2011, the average full-time employee in the district could typically expect to spend around 6.03 times their annual salary on buying a home. This ratio has risen dramatically to 9.64, creating an increase in ratio of 3.62.

It makes Gravesham the fifth highest ratio leap in the South East.

How the gap between house prices and wages is widening
How the gap between house prices and wages is widening

Hot on its heels is Canterbury which has seen a rise from 6.8 times the average salary to 10.1 - a ratio rise of 3.32.

Sevenoaks is next, up 3.22 - and requiring 11.5 times the average salary to buy the average house price.

Maidstone was up 2.94 with 9.8 times the salary required.

Across the South East, 62 out of 63 local authorities, where comparable data was available, became less affordable to locals in 2020 compared to 2011.

Only London and the East of England have seen a larger ratio increase than the South East between property prices and earnings in the same period.

It's now more challenging than ever to buy a property
It's now more challenging than ever to buy a property

The researchers analysed every property for sale in Britain from Zoopla's listings in January 2021 to find out what percentage of these properties the average person is able to afford in their local authority.

Of all the properties for sale in Kent, single residents in the area can afford 13.4% of them, and couples can afford 55.4%.

However, in Sevenoaks, the average couple can only afford 30.5% of properties currently for sale making it the least affordable location in the South East for local couples to buy property in the current climate.

Meanwhile, a single resident in Epsom and Ewell in Surrey can only afford 3.2% of properties on the market in their local authority, making Epsom and Ewell the least affordable location in the South East for single buyers.

In comparison, couples can afford 53.6% of properties on the market in the whole of Britain on the national median salary, while singles can afford 15.4%.

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