Wakefield house prices lower than UK average but 'stagnating pay' is a barrier for potential buyers

The average price of a house in the Wakefield district currently stands at around £157,000, a report on the state of local housing has revealed.

By David Spereall
Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 3:11 pm
The local authority wants at least 30 per cent of all new homes built to be classed as affordable. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Council.
The local authority wants at least 30 per cent of all new homes built to be classed as affordable. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Council.

The figure marks a rise of around £12,000 from the last public estimate of house prices in the area last July, and the cost of a mortgage remains significantly lower here than the UK average.

A Wakefield Council report said that housing in the area was "attractive and affordable" to people who work outside of the district because "wages are higher" elsewhere.

However, it added that those working locally were finding it harder to buy a home.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The price of a home in Wakefield has gone up but remains significantly lower than the UK average. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Council report.

The report said: "Despite modest house price rises and the earnings gap between Wakefield district residents and the Leeds City Region and England averages narrowing in recent years, local pay appears to have stagnated, meaning that housing affordability for people on lower wages continues to be more difficult.

"Every local authority in England has serious issues with meeting affordable housing need therefore the problem is not unique to Wakefield, and it is much worse in many other authorities."

Senior councillors will discuss a new housing plan for Wakefield at a Cabinet meeting next week.

This will see a continuation of several long-standing policies, including the necessity for at least 30 per cent of all new homes to be deemed affordable.

The local authority has also said it is committed to raising standards of living for those renting in the private sector.

The report said that a survey of such homes in Wakefield estimated that around 12 per cent had a Category 1 hazard - where they have the potential to seriously impact on people's health.

The report added: "The most common causes are trips and falls, dampness and excess cold hazards.

"The private rented sector has the poorest conditions and it is estimated that around 20 per cent of private rented properties have Category 1 hazards.

"Often these hazards are due to the construction of the property or a lack of simple home maintenance."

Speaking ahead of next week's meeting, the authority's deputy leader Denise Jeffery said: "Everyone deserves to live in a warm and comfortable home where they feel safe and secure.

"The new housing plan will support the lives of individuals, communities and support our local economy whilst creating jobs and opportunities.

"We aware of the impact on existing residents of the building works and are working hard to mitigate the impact, whilst balancing the benefits of sustainable economic and residential growth in our district."

Between 2013 and 2018, more than 6,600 new homes were built in Wakefield. 1,396 of these were classed as affordable.

Local Democracy Reporting Service