Lunchtime news Wednesday 5th September 2014

A report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has found that housing for first time buyers is at its least affordable than any time since 1990. A couple in the bottom quarter of earnings (£26,667) would need to save up the equivalent of 96 per cent of their annual salary to pay for a desposit and stamp duty on the typical home (£25,600) and then maintain that with 44 per cent of their take home pay spent on a mortgage.

Whilst the Bank of England is not expected to raise interest rates above 5.75 per cent when policymakers meet tomorrow, a senior economist at RICS said that the struggle first time buyers face in trying to get on the property ladder ‘may worsen if the turmoil in the US market forces mortgage providers to tighten lending criteria and demand higher deposits’.

Further reseach by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) showed that the average house cost the equivalent of nearly seven years’ worth of a worker’s salary. A decade ago this figure was just three and a half times the salary.

According to the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, which released its house price index for August today, the average house price in the UK has almost reached £200,000. Prices rose by 0.4 per cent in August, raking the price to £199,770, pushing annual house price inflation up from 11.2 per cent to 11.4 per cent, this despite higher interest rates.