Private renting is ‘unaffordable’ in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 13:18 18 October 2011 | UPDATED: 15:24 18 October 2011

Homes in Welwyn Hatfield

Homes in Welwyn Hatfield

Archant

PRIVATE renting has become unaffordable in Welwyn Hatfield.

That’s according to housing charity Shelter which this week released its national statistics that say the borough is in the top quarter of most expensive places to rent a two-bedroom home in the country.

Shelter’s Private Rent Watch report suggests homes that cost more than 35 per cent of median average local take-home pay are unaffordable.

This means that private rents are now unaffordable in 55 per cent of the 326 English local authorities tested.

Welwyn Hatfield finished 78th on the list with the median average being 44 per cent.

The area’s average (mean) rent for a two-bedroom place is £805 a month, this puts the borough 63rd on the table for most expensive areas to rent in the nation.

However, despite the area being declared as unaffordable and the rent being high, Tyron King, of Kings Hertfordshire On-line Sales & Lettings, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he had not noticed it putting off possible renters in Hatfield.

“If anything, we cannot get enough rental properties here in Hatfield, in fact we need more,” the owner of the firm based in White Lion Square, Old Hatfield, added. “What’s noticeable, however, is that it’s either students or sharers predominately from Eastern Europe renting, there’s very little in the way of renting from families.”

Housing minister MP Grant Shapps told the WHT unaffordabilty was clearly an issue and getting on the housing market was becoming more and more difficult – especially in Welwyn Hatfield where demand was high, with house prices trebling from 1997 to 2007.

He said the key to solving the issue was to make the market stable, without too many high increases or decreases in prices. He added the sensible building of homes, using new acts such as the New Homes Bonus – providing councils with cash for the building of new homes – would also help with solving unaffordabilty.


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