Dreams of owning a home in Northampton are "impossible" thousands of people on an average wage, says a national report.
A home in Northampton now costs more than eight times the average salary and the average worker would need a 75 per cent pay rise just to afford the mortgage.
The "Home Truths" report from the National Housing Federation published yesterday (March 20) cast a spotlight on Northampton's housing crisis, where the average home now costs over £206,000.
"The housing market has seen a relentless rise in the gap between house prices and people’s salaries," said Helen Greig, external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation. "Northampton is no exception.
"Attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and private sector rents make saving up that bit more difficult.
"As this year’s Home Truths report shows, it is more important than ever for the sector to be able to deliver homes that are truly affordable. If we want to get serious about ending the housing crisis, we need to start looking at unlocking more land so we can build homes faster."
The report says the average homeowner in Northampton would need to earn over £47,000 a year to afford a mortgage. But the average salary in the town is just short of £27,000.
It means more and more people are stuck in private sector renting and are unable to build the deposit for a house. The average rent in Northampton in 2016 stood at £646 a month, swallowing up around a third of private renters' income.
Over a quarter of Housing Benefit recipients in the town are in work, yet are still unable to afford their rent. This is higher than the average for England. This shows rents across Northampton are increasingly unaffordable.
Meanwhile, the borough council is racing to meet their targets to build 20,000 by 2029 to meet population growth. But the report says between 2012 and 2016, the council fell short of their targets by 3,000 homes.