House prices at a Peak after decade

Property Rise: House prices in the Derbyshire Dales have increased 88% in the past decade.
Property Rise: House prices in the Derbyshire Dales have increased 88% in the past decade.

Would–be homebuyers have been left in the lurch after a steep rise in house prices has overtaken wages.

The National Housing Federation has revealed that in the ten years between 2001 and 2011 average house prices have increased by 88 per cent, whereas wages have only gone up by 21 per cent.

This has left a gap between house prices and wage increases of 56 per cent.

Adrian Fidler, of Fidler Taylor estate agents, in Crown Square, Matlock has noticed the difference in prices and buyers over the years.

He said: “A lot of the local young people aren’t earning enough to buy at the level they want to buy at.”

Adrian explained that house prices have been pushed up by wealthier buyers, who work out of the area, as well as people buying second homes.

“The big problem at the moment is that the banks just are not helping with the availability of finance,” he said.

Derbyshire Dales District Council provides affordable housing, such as shared ownership properties, which enable local people on lower incomes to stay in the area.

However the council’s director of planning and local services, Paul Wilson, admitted the authority is unlikely to be able to resolve the problem completely.

“As the figures have revealed, the house prices on the Derbyshire Dales have increased significantly in recent years and despite the fact the Derbyshire Dales is one of the most successful authorities for providing affordable housing, we can’t provide it at the level to match the needs,” he said.

“We’ll always have mismatch between what is required and what is feasible.”

Paul explained that central government had reduced funding for affordable housing schemes, and the local authority was only likely to address around two thirds of its affordable housing needs in years to come.

Proposals made by the council to build 520 new homes in Matlock, Wirksworth, Darley Dale and Tansley have been met with some hostility by residents, who do not wish to see green spaces built upon.

Of the homes that have been proposed, Paul was unable to say how many may be affordable until decisions have been made as to where exactly they will be, however he said the authority aimed for around 40 per cent of them to be affordable.

“On all of the sites that have come forward, there is going to be a requirement to provide affordable houses,” he explained.

Paul said it was important that people understood new houses had to be built in order to meet the demand.

“You can not have an area which has high numbers of people coming in, which the Derbyshire Dales is one, with higher than average house prices and choke the supply of houses,” he continued.