Home ownership is becoming impossible for many, reveals new report which shows the average North Devon worker needs a 161% pay rise to afford a mortgage.

A worker on average earnings in North Devon now needs a 161 per cent pay rise to afford a mortgage, a new report from the National Housing Federation has revealed.

The South West Home Truths 2017/18 report reveals the average home now costs around £245,785 in the North Devon local authority, which is 11 times the local typical salary.

And in Torridge the picture is not much better, with the average home costing £224,203 - nearly 10 times the average salary for the district.

This makes home ownership impossible for many, says local affordable housing provider North Devon Homes.

The report also revealed the cost of renting private swallows up around 35 per cent of private renters’ income, at £624 a month on average in North Devon and £577 in Torridge.

A significant number (24 per cent) of Housing Benefit recipients are in work, yet are still unable to afford their rent.

This is higher than the England average but shows rents across the region are increasingly unaffordable.

The report says one of the reasons for the growing crisis is down to a large shortfall of new housing.

Between 2012 and 2016, around 153 too few homes were built in North Devon.

Housing associations in the South West built more than 4,200 homes in 2016-2017, and started a further 4,100.

Martyn Gimber, chief executive of North Devon Homes, said: “These latest figures from NHF show the extent of the housing crisis in the South West; for people in North Devon this means finding an affordable home to live is becoming increasing difficult.

“There are just not enough homes of any tenure be that affordable, shared ownership, private rented or market sale to meet acute demand.

“We are working hard to tackle this issue in North Devon.

“Building new homes is a strategic priority for North Devon Homes; last year we built 40 new homes, with provision for another 70 to be delivered as part of our development plan.”

Nikki Knowles, external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation, added: “The housing market has seen a relentless rise in the gap between house prices and people’s salaries.

“North Devon is no exception. Attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and private sector rents make saving up that bit more difficult.

‘As this year’s Home Truths report shows, it is more important than ever for the sector to be able to deliver homes that are truly affordable.

“If we want to get serious about ending the housing crisis, we need to start looking at unlocking more land so we can build homes faster.”