So the Folkestone Herald informs us the average house price is £286’000 in Shepway.
Kent Online informs us the average salary in Shepway is £25’251
SDC inform us that the median salary at SDC is £24,780. The Chief Exec earns five times as much.
So both the average salary and the median salary in Sheway are below the UK average, which is £26,000.
32% of Shepway residents earn less than the living wage which currently stands at £7.85 per hour or £16’328 gross.
If buying a house entails you tripling your salary, those on or below the average or the median across Shepway cannot afford a house. Often we hear people ask “what is affordable housing?” Well there isn’t any for anyone on the average or median salary.
There are not enough houses in Shepway or elsewhere in the country and this shortfall is pushing up rents in the private rented sector and according to the Dept of Communities and Local Government average rents in Shepway stand at £561 pound per month.
The average Salary after Tax and NI leaves the earner with £20,500 or put another way equals £1708 a month. so Rent costs take nigh on one third of the average salary monthly. How does this allow a person on or below the average salary the opportunity to buy a house, or even save up for a deposit for a house? Quite simply it doesn’t. The only way to solve the housing crisis is for home owners to accept that house prices must fall.
Basic economics tells us we can make housing more affordable if we build enough houses. But only if those who already own their own houses are prepared to seriously revise their expectations about how well they’re going to do from it. It is this tension that makes the political consensus that we should build more houses not worth the paper it’s written on.
We don’t need another policy paper or thinktank report to help us solve the housing crisis. Instead, we need to understand how to build cross-generational support for solutions that involve some people taking a hit for the benefit of others.