Region's living standards gains at risk from increased housing costs - report


Gains in living standards from strong economic growth across the West of England risk being swallowed up by increases in housing costs, a report shows.

Research by the Resolution Foundation found that the region - made up of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire - came through the financial crisis better than any major city outside London.

Economic output and employment have both increased at impressive levels, putting the region at the heart of the UK's jobs "miracle", the think tank said.

But average house prices across the region are now 10 times the typical annual salary - the biggest affordability challenge outside London, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Conor D'Arcy, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "While the region's economy has performed strongly, far too much of the gains from this growth have been swallowed by rising rents and house prices.

"Tackling the area's growing housing crisis by building more homes will be key to ensuring people are able to keep more of their hard-earned wages, rather than just handing their pay rises over in higher rent or mortgage costs."

The region has its first ever Metro Mayor election in May.