Posted: Thu 18th Apr 2024

Nearly 500 Affordable Homes Needed Annually in Expensive Part of Gwent /

NEARLY 500 affordable homes are required in the most expensive part of Gwent every year for the next three years. 
But councillors have been told that doesn’t mean all of those 1,227 homes would need to be new build as existing properties such as those currently empty or available for private rent could contribute to the supply of affordable homes. 
Monmouthshire County Council has estimated of the 499 affordable homes needed every year until 2027 across the county 409 would have to be available for social rent,  44 homes available every year for below market rent and 46 through low-cost home ownership schemes make up the difference. 
For the remaining 10 year period, through to 2037, there is an estimated need for 90 affordable homes, including 48 available for social rent. 
Affordable housing is considered to be properties, such as those owned by housing associations, secured as accessible to those who can’t afford market housing and also includes “intermediate housing”. Those can be rented properties, typically available at 80 per cent of the market rate, or shared equity home ownership when someone buys their home with a housing association providing an interest-free equity loan of between 50 and 70 per cent. 
The council’s Local Housing Market Assessment, for 2022 through to 2037, which it is required to produce by the Welsh Government, has calculated 895 existing households will require affordable homes through to 2027 and the greatest need, at 82 per cent of that total, is for social rent accommodation with a  “particular” high need for one-bedroom social rent accommodation. 
The assessment has also projected a need for 126 market homes throughout Monmouthshire every year through to 2037, with 86, or 68 per cent, of those being for private rented and 41, or 33 per cent, owner occupier properties. 
The median household income in Monmouthshire is £35,978 a year which is above the Welsh average of £27,854 but the minimum household income to qualify for home ownership is calculated at between £46,500 and £53,000 a year. 
First time buyers are likely to have to spend at least £250,000 to get on the property market in the county which is around the price of the lower value semi-detached properties that account for just under 30 per cent of all housing in Monmouthshire. 
The average house price, based on house sales and valuations, is £380,162 while the Land Registry gives a lower figure of £355,975 while the average price paid for a home across Wales in July, 2023 was £216,960. 
Sally Meyrick, the council’s affordable housing officer, said: “Monmouthshire is considered one of the highest, if not most expensive areas in Wales.” 
The current house price to income ratio for Monmouthshire is 8:1 which means an average priced property costs approximately eight times the average household income 
Ms Meyrick said: “In some of the more rural, expensive areas this can rise to 10:1.” 
Of the 1,227 affordable homes needed by 2027 it is estimated 46 every year, including 40 for social rent, would need to be in the part of western Monmouthshire which is the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, which has responsibility for planning in the protected area. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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