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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Housing crisis

The scale of the housing crisis in Wales was outlined today in a survey by the Halifax Building Society. They found that around 86% of properties are beyond the reach of first time buyers. This is an increase from the 62% of two years ago. The report also found the average house price paid by first-time buyers in Wales rose by 25% last year. The rise was the UK's second largest in 2004.

Aberdare was highlighted as one of the ten most affordable places to buy a home in the UK. This survey underlines the scale of the crisis facing the Welsh Assembly Government and local Councils. The price of homes is, of course, outside their control, but there are a number of other measures that they can introduce if only the UK Government gave them the powers. One of these is the suspension of the right to buy in high demand areas so as to preserve the affordable housing stock.

I have no easy solutions other than the Welsh Assembly and local government take the situation more seriously and act as if there is a crisis instead of allowing the whole situation to wash over them.

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