Could you afford to buy your own house now?

Houses in Haringey out-earned their owners by nearly �70,000 between 2011 and 2015

Houses in Haringey out-earned their owners by nearly �70,000 between 2011 and 2015 - Credit: Archant

If you bought in Haringey, Brent or Westminster in the past five years, chances are the answer is no and those in Camden could also struggle.

Homes in Haringey have ‘earned’ almost £70,000 more than their owners over the past five years according to research by Halifax.

Property in the borough has risen in value so fast that the difference in price over five years is more than owners’ average take-home salaries.

The average house price in Haringey was £312,443 in 2010 but had risen to £498,355 by 2015, a difference of £185,913.

During the same period the average resident earned £116,633; £69,279 less than their homes.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “The housing market recovery over the last few years has led to substantial price rises in some areas of the country, particularly in London, the south east and the east of England. This has resulted in homes increasing in value by more than total take-home earnings for the average homeowner in many areas of the country.

“Clearly, this is good news for some homeowners. However, it does make conditions tougher for those looking to buy their first home in such areas, with prices being pushed increasingly out of range for many young people.”

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Before Haringey home owners rejoice too hard however, experts warn that if house prices rises outpace earnings at too great a rate, then the pool of potential new buyers becomes ever smaller, creating the conditions for a bubble set to burst.

Put simply, if you couldn’t now afford to buy your own home, then it’s liekely other people like you couldn’t either, raising the question of who could.

Studying the figures on a shorter time frame, the Sunday Times found that Brent was one of the 10 local authorities with the biggest gap between house prices and earnings in the past two years.

Property in the borough increased by £73,147 more than average take home pay in the past two years.

However, over a five-year period the difference was only £33,908, showing how recent Brent’s regeneration has been thanks to the rising popularity of areas like Queen’s Park, Kensal Rise and Harlesden, as well as new housing development and infrastructure projects around Wembley Park.

Homes in traditionally higher value areas also increased in value faster than average salaries but at a lower rate.

Westminster saw a £23,196 gap between house prices and earnings over five years, while the difference in Camden was £6,869.

Both boroughs have had consistently high house prices along with higher earning residents making the difference lower than in more recently gentrified boroughs.

Across the UK, a quarter of homes are “out earning” their owners and 28 per cent of local authorities have house prices that have risen by a greater amount than their owners’ salaries. Last year the figure was 19 per cent.

Nearly all of these homes are found in London and the South East, with only 10 per cent spread across the rest of the UK.