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Monday 06th of October 2008
September 5, 2007

RICS and TUC bemoan first-time buyer plight


by Gill Montia
”RICS

Both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have issued reports highlighting the current financial pressures on home buyers.

According to the TUC, house prices in England have increased four times as fast as average earnings, in the past ten years.

That is to say that house prices have increased by 180% since 1997, while average earnings had risen by only 43%.

Taking the point further, the TUC’s general secretary, Brendan Barber, has point out that “house prices seem to have gone up in line with the pay of top directors and the super-rich, rather than middle and low earners”.

The RICS report maintains that some first-time buyer couples are likely to need to save almost all their take-home income for a year, to afford the deposit for a home and the costs involved in its purchase.

RICS figures show that the total required for the average deposit plus stamp duty is £25,600.

At the same time, the average joint earnings of a couple in the lowest-paid 25% of the population, is £25,899.

The RICS is also warning that it expects to see an increase in the number of repossessions, as the effects of five interest rate rises make their full impact.

The Government wants two million new homes built by 2016 and according to official statistics, house building is currently at its highest level since 1990.

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