6.5.7 Lower quartile ratios are a measure (for more see of how unaffordable housing is for the least well off and for first time buyers, particularly those who have no other sources of wealth (such as parental help). In 2010 the ratio of lower quartile house prices to lower quartile earnings in the South West was 8.17, compared to a national average of 6.69. This represents a slight increase on 2009 following two years of decreases after the peak of 8.96 in 2007. The current credit crisis has not improved the affordability of housing. Prices may be falling but the large deposit required by lenders and their reluctance to lend high income multiples as in recent years has prevented many first-time buyers from taking advantage of reductions in price.
Figure 6.5.4 Lower quartile house price to Lower quartile incomes ratio
Lower quartile house price to Lower quartile incomes ratio (Fig 6.5.4). Source: DCLG.
6.5.8 The worst affordability problems, in terms of the lower quartile house price to earnings ratio, are in the far west and south east of the region. The least affordable local authority area in the South West in 2010 was East Dorset, with a ratio of 11.8 to 1, and the most affordable was Plymouth (6.3 to 1).
Figure 6.5.5 Lower quartile house price to earnings ration, South West Unitary and District authorities
Lower quartile house price to earnings ration, South West Unitary and District authorities (Fig 6.5.5). Contains OS Data; SourceL DCLG Table 576.
6.5.9 The average house price in the South West and England peaked in Q3 2007, at £237,314 for the South West and £232,345 for England. The recession caused prices to drop and in Q1 2009 the average house price in the
South West was £200,468 (£200,539 in England). Since then house prices have been generally rising with the latest (Q3 2010, provisional) average of £236,101 in the South West, £249,868 for England.
Figure 6.5.6 Average House Prices
Average House Prices (Fig 6.5.6). Source: DCLG.