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Average rents for a two bedroom property increase 27% since 2011 in East of England PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 August 2017
Pay has to rise to allow workers to afford these ever rising rents so the public sector pay cap and the below inflation pay rises in both the public and private sectors has to end to avoid a drop in consumer spending, which, if not checked will lead to a further recession says GMB London region.

The average rents for two bedroom apartments in Cambridge has risen from £850 per month in 2011 to £1,200 in 2017, an increase of 41.2%. This is the highest increase in 47 local areas in the East of England.

Next in the league for the increase in the average rents for two bedroom property between 2011 and 2017 is Watford at 38.2%, followed by Hertsmere at 37.1%, Luton at 33.3%, Central Bedfordshire at 32.5% and Brentwood at 31.5%.

As a result of these increases the average rents for two bedroom apartments has now risen to more than a third of gross average earnings of residents in 17 East of England local authorities.

These are Hertsmere, Cambridge, Three Rivers, Watford, Harlow, Stevenage, Epping Forest, Broxbourne, Welwyn Hatfield, Luton, St Albans, Forest Heath, Thurrock, Dacorum, Basildon, Castle Point and East Hertfordshire.

In Hertsmere the average rent for a two bedroom property is 47.4% of the gross average earnings of residents of the borough. This is the highest in the East of England.

Next highest are 46.7% in Cambridge, 44.7% in Three Rivers, 41.5% in Watford, 38.9% in Harlow and 37.9% in Stevenage.

In the East of England as a whole, workers are paying out 30% of their earnings on rent, up from 25.5% in 2011. This is higher than the England average figure of 27.4%.

Warren Kenny, GMB London regional secretary, said, "These figures demonstrate the extent of the squeeze felt by workers and their families in the East of England since the financial crisis in 2008. Rents have surged upwards as pay has been stagnant or falling.

Pay has to rise to allow workers to afford these ever rising rents so the public sector pay cap and the below inflation pay rises in both the public and private sectors has to end to avoid a drop in consumer spending, which, if not checked will lead to a further recession.

In addition, they show that a massive programme to build more homes, especially homes for rent, by the East of England authorities is absolutely essential in all parts of the region and has to get underway without delay.

We have been talking about this problem for far too long, there can be no excuses for not providing housing to people that they can afford to live in on average wages.

The decisions of the Thatcher government in the 1980’s to sell council housing stock, and not replace it, and to pay landlords housing benefit instead of providing social housing directly has been a huge and expensive mistake.

Last year, for example, £24 billion was spent on housing benefit, with much of this public money ending up untaxed in bank accounts in offshore tax havens. If a fraction of that amount had been spent on social housing for rent, the strain on the tax payer would be less and people would have housing they can afford to live in.

These mistakes need to be corrected without delay, fair and affordable housing is a basic aspiration for all."
 

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