New Monks Farm: First house prices criticised as ‘far too expensive’
The announcement of prices for the first homes on New Monks Farm has received an overwhelmingly negative reaction from Herald readers.
On Tuesday (April 13) it was revealed the first three and four-bedroom homes available to reserve would start at £485,000, up to £599,950 for a four-bedroom house on the Lancing estate.
The 600-home development will include two-bedroom homes, which are likely to be cheaper, and 30 per cent of the properties will be available as affordable housing.
Affordable homes are sold separately to the main properties, as part of a Government scheme to reduce prices for lower income buyers.
The Herald and Gazette’s story on Tuesday received more than 300 comments, many questioning how £485,000 constituted ‘affordable housing’.
But it is worth noting these early figures do not include the prices of the properties under the affordable housing scheme.
Many readers did query the logic of charging £485,000 for a three-bedroom home on a housing estate.
Karen Gray commented: “We need two bed starter homes at around £200k for our younger generation to be able to buy. Not these houses at around £500k for the folk fleeing London.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Jennifer Lowden, who said the homes were ‘far too expensive’, particularly for first time buyers.
The planning application was approved in part to solve a housing shortage.
Many commenters suggested these initial prices, from housing developer CALA Homes, were too exclusive to make much of a difference.
Tristan Gillard pointed out that with an average couple’s salary in the area being around £60,000 and an average mortgage being around four times a household’s salary, that would still leave a £245,000 deposit to afford the cheapest property in this first tranche.
“I can’t see how this level of attainability is really going to address any housing shortage,” he said.
Fears over flooding also remain for many readers, who questioned how much home insurance could add to the prices.
CALA said the first homes should be ready for occupation by August.