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Build 80,000 New Council Houses Each Year

Monday, June 9, 2014

80,000 New Council Homes In 250,000 New Build Annual Target Needed As GMB Members Priced Out Of Owing Own Home In Most Of UK

Phase out expensive private sector landlords funded by taxpayers to provide these houses for rent as an extra £1 billion in Housing Benefit will be paid to people in work by 2018 says GMB.

Average house prices in London are now more than thirteen times average wages for full time workers in living in London GMB Congress in Nottingham was told today.

Average house prices are now 6.3 average wages for full time workers in living in England and Wales and are 5.8 times average earnings in Scotland. See the table below for the figures for all regions in GB.  The figures for 205 areas in GB are set out in a pdf at foot of this release and the figures for the top 60 of these areas are in notes to areas below.

In some London boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster average house prices in are now more than twenty times average wages for full time workers resident in those boroughs. There are 21 boroughs where average prices house are now more than ten times average wages for full time workers resident in those boroughs

In 169 areas out of 205 areas in Britain average house prices are more than the four times average wages for full time workers which is considered to be the prudent level for taking out a mortgage. 

GMB Congress in Nottingham today agreed new strategic policies for the housing market as a whole. This makes radical and realistic proposals for a comprehensive housing strategy for an incoming Labour government. The special CEC report to Congress on Housing is attached as a pdf at foot of this release.

Ratio of average house prices to average earning by region in GB

 

 

Average house prices (£)

Median Gross Annual Pay - full-time employees (£)

ratio

 

 

 

 

 

 

England and Wales

£172,069

£27,193

6.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

London

£435,034

£32,800

13.3

 

South East

£225,650

£29,732

7.6

 

South West

£178,918

£25,632

7.0

 

East

£187,963

£28,323

6.6

 

West Midlands

£135,150

£25,359

5.3

 

East Midlands

£128,988

£25,399

5.1

 

Yorkshire & The Humber

£120,118

£24,982

4.8

 

Wales

£117,581

£24,482

4.8

 

North West

£112,064

£25,300

4.4

 

North East

£99,001

£24,229

4.1

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary speaking at GMB Congress, said “These figures show that GMB members are priced out of the owner occupied housing market in vast areas of Britain. They need houses for rent.

Using expensive private sector landlords funded by taxpayers to provide these houses for rent needs to be phased out. Rachel Reeves told Congress that an extra £1 billion in Housing Benefit will be paid to people in work by 2018.

The country needs a target for new build homes of 250,000 per year plus a minimum of 30,000 empty homes brought back into use. At least 80,000 of the target need to be in the social housing sector. This cannot be done without a major programme of council house building.

GMB Congress is calling for strategic changes in policy to deliver this ambitious target as follows:

  • All Housing Policy and resources for England focussed in one Whitehall Department
  • A long Term Plan to switch over 20 year Government support from Housing Benefit to New Build and improvement
  • Establishment of City Region level Housing Delivery Bodies with equivalent bodies in Devolved Administrations and for Rural Housing

GMB Congress also calls for action on specific policy areas as follows:

  • Halt the integration of Housing Benefit into Universal Credit
  • Integrate and Redirect Support Guarantee Schemes from Help to Buy to Help to Build
  • Fundamental Review of Social Housing ‘Affordable Rents’ Policy
  • Stalled Developments of over 6 months face sanctions or be transferred
  • Local Authority borrowing powers for housing to be redefined and the cap removed
  • Introduction of Housing Bonds for Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Developers of Affordable Homes
  • Start a Financial Conduct Authority Review of the Mortgage Market to achieve greater stability and equity
  • Start discussions with Pension Funds on commitments and regulation to direct capital into all forms of affordable housing
  • Start discussions with construction industry on shortages of finance, land and skilled labour and how to overcome them.
  • Compulsory Acquisition of Empty Homes
  • Regulation of Private Rented Sector
  • Changes to Planning Laws on land designation, mixed communities and social housing
  • Legislative Basis for Housing Commissions at City Region level
  • Separation of Regulatory and Funding Roles of HCA and establishment of an Affordable Homes Commission
  • Improved Building Regulation on Housing Design
  • Legislative Basis for Rural Housing Commission
  • Affordable Homes Commission and Rental Market Regulator
  • Housing Bank
  • New Towns

An incoming Labour Government from 2015 will need to make affordable housing a central part of its economic and social strategy. Some of the strategic and institutional changes will take time to put into full effect but the intention needs to be clear from the start with an immediate emergency programme and legislative action from the first session of the new Parliament.”

End

Contact: Lisa Johnson 07900 392 228 or Cath Speight 07506 711 925 or Kamaljeet 07956 237178 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

1 Average house price data for England and Wales from the April 2014 Land Registry House Price Index. All average prices represent standardised seasonally adjusted prices. Source: www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/88168/HPIReport20140523.pdf

2 Average residential property prices for Scotland from the January-March 2014 Registers of Scotland Quarterly House Price Statistical Report.

Source: www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/ros_statistical_report_Jan-March_2014.pdf

3 Earnings data from the provisional results of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2013.  Data for Median Gross Annual pay for full-time employees by place of residence.

Source: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-328216

4 The 97th GMB Congress, comprising of 500 elected lay members, started in Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena, Nottingham on Sunday 8th and runs to Thursday 12th June. There are also 300 visitors and guests. GMB Congress delegates are members who were elected to represent over 628,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and who are employed in every sector of the economy.  Congress is the supreme policy making body in the union.

GMB is the direct successor to the Gas Workers & General Union which was formed on 31st March 1889 by Will Thorne. 125 years ago the union spread like wild fire across Britain and Ireland after it liberated gas workers from the unrelenting toil of working twelve hour days for six days a week by winning an eight hour day. This 125th birthday will be marked at the Congress.

5 Top 60 areas in GB for ratio of average house prices to average earning by region in GB

 

 

Average house prices (£)

Median Gross Annual Pay - full-time employees (£)

ratio

rank

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

Kensington and Chelsea

£1,269,897

£45,625

27.8

2

Westminster

£932,045

£39,166

23.8

3

Camden

£750,791

£37,685

19.9

4

Hammersmith and Fulham

£708,533

£38,068

18.6

5

Islington

£598,010

£35,447

16.9

6

Hackney

£540,591

£32,190

16.8

7

Haringey

 

£446,348

£29,183

15.3

8

Richmond upon Thames

£562,196

£38,907

14.4

9

Southwark

£490,701

£34,014

14.4

10

Lambeth

£477,633

£33,580

14.2

11

Wandsworth

£520,606

£38,223

13.6

12

Ealing

£405,581

£29,778

13.6

13

Brent

£379,534

£28,111

13.5

14

Merton

£421,317

£33,198

12.7

15

Tower Hamlets

£431,654

£35,019

12.3

16

Barnet

£405,073

£33,006

12.3

17

Waltham Forest

£323,288

£28,021

11.5

18

Hounslow

£321,941

£30,212

10.7

19

Kingston upon Thames

£385,938

£36,401

10.6

20

Lewisham

£336,781

£32,512

10.4

21

Harrow

£329,491

£32,258

10.2

22

Redbridge

£316,967

£32,502

9.8

23

Enfield

£288,153

£29,629

9.7

24

Greenwich

£306,860

£31,624

9.7

25

Windsor and Maidenhead

£366,333

£37,788

9.7

26

Surrey

£328,328

£34,657

9.5

27

Hillingdon

£291,439

£31,176

9.3

28

Bromley

£334,876

£36,327

9.2

29

Sutton

£282,390

£31,023

9.1

30

Croydon

£282,461

£31,181

9.1

31

Havering

 

£281,861

£31,473

9.0

32

Newham

 

£250,729

£28,283

8.9

33

Oxfordshire

£260,286

£29,393

8.9

34

Rutland

£218,110

£24,784

8.8

35

Brighton and Hove

£247,614

£28,173

8.8

36

Buckinghamshire

£275,919

£31,396

8.8

37

Barking and Dagenham

£241,272

£28,408

8.5

38

Bath and NE Somerset

£241,262

£29,364

8.2

39

Dorset

£214,172

£26,112

8.2

40

Hertfordshire

£261,763

£31,949

8.2

41

Herefordshire

£175,320

£21,399

8.2

42

Devon

£194,700

£23,780

8.2

43

Cornwall

£181,502

£22,246

8.2

44

Wokingham

 

£298,000

£37,014

8.1

45

West Sussex

£225,340

£28,023

8.0

46

Poole

 

£218,042

£27,625

7.9

47

Bexley

 

£251,781

£32,856

7.7

48

Hampshire

£220,518

£30,000

7.4

49

Bracknell Forest

£231,431

£31,518

7.3

50

East Sussex

£184,872

£25,179

7.3

51

Aberdeen City

£205,365

£27,992

7.3

52

Perth and Kinross

£180,886

£24,678

7.3

53

West Berkshire

£239,630

£32,740

7.3

54

Edinburgh, City of

£214,736

£29,706

7.2

55

Wiltshire

£187,642

£26,094

7.2

56

Aberdeenshire

 

£212,787

£29,665

7.2

57

East Dunbartonshire

£219,731

£31,086

7.1

58

Bristol

£183,063

£25,909

7.1

59

East Renfrewshire

£216,372

£31,172

6.9

60

East Lothian

£194,584

£28,054

6.9

 

 

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Additional Resources

House Price Ratio

download pdf101Kb (pdf) - 09 June 2014

Full Table of Figures

Central Executive Council Special Report on Housing

download pdf1121Kb (pdf) - 09 June 2014

GMB Congress 2014