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25 June 2014, 05:37
New research suggests the overwhelming majority of Cambridgeshire houses are unaffordable, for the average family wanting to buy a first home.
Housing charity Shelter trawled through thousands of properties on a website, on one day in April.
For a home to be affordable, they assumed the typical first-time buyer would put down an 18-per-cent deposit and borrow around three-and-a-half times their income.
In Cambridge, researchers found 126 properties with a minimum of two bedrooms available.
Of these, using the above formula, three were deemed as affordable.
That works out at 2.4 per-cent of the homes available.
In Forest Heath, there were 282 similar properties available, with eight deemed affordable.
In South Cambridgeshire, 19 of 454 properties were available.
In East Cambridgeshire, 12 out of 274 homes were.
For Huntingdonshire, the number is 53 out of 959.
Peterborough fares slightly better, with 202 out of 1,666 homes deemed attainable for first-time buyers.
Finally in Fenland, 155 out of 1,237 were listed this way.
Across the whole of the East of England, 2,174 properties out of a possible 30,508 were deemed affordable.
Chief Executive of Shelter Campbell Robb said: "When a family looking to buy their first home searches a whole town for a place to live and finds nothing they can afford, it's clear we're not just facing a housing shortage any more: it's a full-blown drought.
As the pool of affordable properties shrinks ever smaller, thousands of people are being forced to wave goodbye to their dreams of a home of their own; even those who've been able to put aside a large deposit.
It's a bitter pill to swallow when we know that politicians can turn the tide on our housing shortage in a single parliament.
Our failure to build more homes is leaving a whole generation of young people with no choice but to remain trapped in expensive and unstable private renting, or stuck in their childhood bedrooms for years to come, no matter how hard they work or save.
The only way to bring house prices back within reach is to fill the gap between the homes we have and the homes we need.
Help to Buy or tweaks to planning rules will only ever be sticking plaster solutions.
Bringing a stable home back within reach will take bolder action like helping small local builders to find the finance they need to get building, and investing in a new generation of part rent, part buy homes.
What we need right now is for politicians to roll up their sleeves and make stable homes for the next generation a top priority."