The housing crisis in the South West

The South West faces a combination of high house prices and low wages resulting in an acute housing crisis. With cities, historical towns, many rural communities and long stretches of coast this is a diverse region with pockets of deprivation. This report provides local data on the housing market in the South West and highlights that:

  • The average house price is over £256,000 and in some areas it is much higher – house prices in the Cotswolds are almost 50% higher than the regional average
  • House prices are more than 10 times the average salary and households would need a pay rise of £33,600 to afford the average home
  • The average cost of renting is over £700 a month, swallowing up around 35% of local incomes
  • House prices in rural areas are roughly £6,500 higher than in urban areas. At the same time, incomes in these areas are lower, meaning that those living in rural areas face an additional squeeze on their finances
  • More than one in five second homes in England are found in the South West
  • We aren’t building enough homes in the region. There are 21,000 new households forming each year but less than 19,000 homes were built in 2015
 Average house pricesAverage private monthly rent
South Somerset£226,503£617
Taunton Deane£227,958£634
West Somerset£224,702£619
 Average annual earningsIncome required for 80% mortgageUnemployment rate 15/16
South Somerset£22,568£51,7723.40%
Taunton Deane£26,437£52,1053.90%
West Somerset£23,499£51,3603.10%
 Long term empty homesSecond homesTotal no of HA homes
South Somerset73982611,672
Taunton Deane4643412,946
West Somerset2021,0232,538