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The issue of affordable housing in the UK is a highly complex one, with a range of factors limiting property availability and supporting high prices. Recent news items serve as a reminder that the topic is very much on the minds of would-be house buyers.

Rural housing

House prices in rural areas have in some cases risen beyond the means of many locals. To an extent these high prices are due to people from outside the local area buying properties as second homes for sums that are out of reach for those living nearby.

In St Ives, Cornwall, a referendum is to be held to see whether or not people from outside the coastal town should be prevented from owning a St Ives property for use as a second home.  

The potential new rule would form part of the Neighbourhood Development Plan, an initiative that would require proof that newly-purchased properties would be used as a main residence. The move has met with some resistance from housing minister Brandon Lewis.

Winchester most expensive city to buy a property: Lloyds

Recently, the topic of housing affordability in the Home Counties has also come under scrutiny, as Winchester saw the highest house price growth over the last ten years of any UK city. According to the Lloyds Affordability Survey, between 2006 and 2016 the average Winchester house price grew by 79 per cent – from £249,703 to £446,796. Cambridge, Brighton, St Albans and Aberdeen completed the top five cities with the highest growth – having seen prices rise between 50 and 70 per cent over the decade.

Edinburgh tops Bank of Scotland list

However, while Aberdeen was listed as the most expensive Scottish city to a buy a property in by the Lloyds report, The Bank of Scotland Affordable Cities Review named Edinburgh as the least affordable to by a new home. The report found affordability in Scottish cities was at its lowest level since 2009.

In terms of house price/earnings ratio, a property in the Scottish capital costs 6.12 times more than average earnings. This was followed by Inverness at 6.03, Aberdeen at 5.72, Dundee at 5.38 and Perth at 5.24.

Iceni Homes and affordable housing

Iceni Homes continues to undertake housing developments in the UK that meet the needs of locals, both in terms of liveability, sustainability, space – and affordability. Delivering high quality housing while maintain controls over costs is key to our success, with numerous diverse projects delivered on time and on budget.

By working closely with our partners – and by drawing on our many years of industry experience – Iceni Homes has become one of East Anglia's leading housing developers.

Learn more about Iceni Homes' development solutions today.