New government figures show that the North East is one of the most affordable places to live in the country compared to other regions in England.
SRNews has investigated what makes the region the best place to live when considering the average house price and earnings for each region in the country.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the North East has the smallest gap or ‘ratio’ when it comes to the average earnings and house price side by side with other regions. The North East has a ratio of 5.21 compared to others, such as the South East (10.26) and the East Midlands 6.78).
The most recent data (above) is from 2017 and shows the North East’s average house price is around £135,000, with the average working wage at £25,905. This, compared to the other regions seems rather low.
However, to put this into perspective, the capital city, London, has the average house price of £460,000 and an average wage of £37,209, which is just under 10 per cent of the average house price in the city. The margin between these two figures is 12.36 which is over double of the North East’s ratio.
Paul Neary, Regional Operations Director for Reeds Rains estate and lettings agency, located in all around the region said:
“The North East has seen a slight decrease in terms of house prices, however all the evidence suggests that the market is still strong. Within Reeds Rains’ North East region we’ve seen an eight per cent increase in net sale transactions in Q3 compared to the same period last year.
“Strong buyer demand, along with affordable property prices and low mortgage rates has helped to drive this increase.”
Paul continued: “The best thing about the North East has to be the people. We are friendly and welcoming and fiercely passionate, whether about the region itself or perhaps the football – whether you prefer the black and white of Newcastle United or the red and white of Sunderland AFC.
“Based on this, and everything else the North East has to offer, why would you want to live anywhere else?”
Paul Carbert and Marianne O’Sullivan, chamber policy advisers for the North East Chamber of Commerce, said:
“We think the North East is a great place to live and work. In our region, we have some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in the country, inspiring sporting and cultural venues, and a great variety of innovative companies offering fantastic career opportunities.
“This data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the ratio of average earnings to house prices is one of the lowest in the country. Although average wages in our region can be lower than other areas, housing costs and the cost of living is also lower, meaning that your money goes further.”
They continued: “Whilst it is positive that the North East is an affordable place to live in order to attract more people to live in the area it is important that the housing stock in the North East is improved to ensure that the region can offer a range of housing to suit peoples’ needs.
“The Government’s proposals in the NPPF for a standardised methodology for projecting housing need across the country could mean less homes are built in the North East. We believe that local authorities should continue to set ambitious housing targets to ensure that homes continue to be built in the North East to support the region’s growth.”
First time buyers, Amy Thayne and Ben Johnson, have both recently brought their new home together and have now moved in to their new-build house.
Amy, 25, from Newcastle, shared her thoughts on the process of buying their first home within this market: “It’s an amazing feeling as nowadays many people, especially first time buyers, struggle to get their own home due to having to find deposits. I feel really happy and very proud of us for what we have achieved. Working all the extra days has paid off.”
Ben, 25, also from Newcastle added that: “The journey was a massive roller-coaster of emotion from getting the offer accepted to finally moving in. It was unreal.
“My advice to people buying houses is save as much as possible for your deposit and just enjoy moving in and starting a new chapter in your lives.”
Amy concluded by saying: “I would say that although a deposit might seem a long way off, the budgeting and working hard towards it is achievable and results in an amazing feeling knowing you’ve got your own home, so keep positive.”
For more information on the housing market in the North East visit: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/housepricesinthenortheastofengland/2007to2017