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Shared ownership hope for rural buyers in 'crisis'

BROMFORD Homes is backing the call for more affordable home building in villages and market towns as a new statistical snapshot highlights the worsening plight of rural first-time buyers and other households.

Their struggle is brought into sharp focus by National Housing Federation figures − released to mark the start of Rural Housing Week − that show our countryside has some of the least affordable places to live in.

Average house prices in rural areas are said by the NHF to be 11 times the average salary, pay rises are lower than average and there's a serious shortage of local affordable housing. It's a budget-breaking mix that is pushing many younger people and families out of their countryside communities because they simply can't afford to buy or rent a local home.

The rural housing problem is a familiar one for Alan Bradley, Head of Sales for Bromford Homes, which helped well over 200 lower-income buyers to get onto the property ladder last year and has just reported a successful first quarter of 2014-15 with another 27 completions.

Bugbrooke 4

"The NHF figures make grim reading for anyone under the age of 40 who wants a home they can call their own in a typical village like Bugbrooke (pictured above) or market town − and very much reflects what rural first-time buyers across central England tell us," says Alan.

"We support the call for a sensible increase in the amount of affordable home building and share the NHF view that this is the way to end the rural housing crisis.

"As a shared ownership specialist, Bromford Homes is proud to play its part in delivering more affordable homes in villages and market towns − and urban areas, of course. In the first three months of this year, we've already handed over the keys to buyers in several rural communities that range from Bugbrooke in Northamptonshire and New Arley in Warwickshire to Winchcombe (pictured below) in the Cotswolds.

Pennylands 960

"The good news for now is that we're already building many more shared ownership homes − with prices that start from £67,275* for a three-bed house at Colliers Green (pictured below) in New Arley, or £90,000** for a two-bed at Mulberry Gardens in the Solihull village of Meriden − and plan to build many more in the future."

Colliers Green homes

The rural statistics were launched yesterday (Monday) with NHF chief executive David Orr saying: "We know how difficult many under-40s are finding it to afford a home in towns and cities, but it's becoming impossible for people to put down roots in our villages and market towns.

"We are not talking about concreting over the countryside. It's not ruining the countryside to build 10 high-quality, affordable new homes in our villages and 50 in market towns. That's all it would take across the land to end the rural housing crisis and help to solve the country's housing crisis within a generation."

* £61,650 buys a typical 45% share of a three-bed home with a full market value of £137,000 at Colliers Green, New Arley. Your minimum deposit would be £3,083 assuming a 95% mortgage on the share you buy. ** £90,000 buys a 45% share of a two-bed home with a full market value of £200,000 at Mulberry Gardens, Meriden. Your minimum deposit would be £4,500 assuming a 95% mortgage on the share you buy.

01 July 2014