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25 June 2014, 05:41
New research by housing charity Shelter shows 93% of properties for sale in the East of England are unaffordable for the average working family looking to buy their first home.
The charity 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 Bury St Edmunds, researchers found 389 properties with a minimum of two bedrooms available.
Of these, using the above formula, four were deemed as affordable. That works out at 1% of the homes available.
In Babergh, there were 552 similar properties available, with ten deemed affordable.
In Breckland, 29 of 1087 properties were available.
In Mid Suffolk, 17 out of 631 homes were.
For South Norfolk, the number is 41 out of 1090.
Broadland 34 out of 769 homes were affordable.
Suffolk Coastal, 61 out of 1054, Norwich 61 out of 433 and North Norfolk 57 out of 859.
117 out of 1234 in King's Lynn and West Norfolk were affordable.
Ipswich, Waveney and Great Yarmouth fare slightly better.
89 of 547 homes in Ipswich were affordable - that's 16.3%
While in Waveney 156 out of 793 were (19.7%), and Great Yarmouth came out as one of the most affordable with 171 out of 667 homes affordable, 25.6%.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, 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."