NHPAUNational Housing and Planning Advice Unit (UK)
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The NHPAU highlights a vicious circle as developers currently need to apply for more permissions than if they could rely on obtaining consents in reasonable time, putting extra burdens and costs on them and planning departments - and adding to the problem.
The NHPAU warned: "Such a long period will inevitably discourage investment in bringing forward new sites in the period following a recession, as developers will want to be certain that a strong recovery is under way before they make any such lengthy commitment."
But a second study by the NHPAU highlighted a further deterioration in affordability last year, as lenders slashed their loan-to-value ratios - the amount borrowed in relation to the value of a property.
Housing projections and NHPAU's advice suggest that more homes are needed in West Midlands.
The NHPAU predicts that this is set to rise again unless supply increases.
Professor Stephen Nickell, chair of the NHPAU and former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member, said: ''First-time buyers have seen a big rise in the deposit needed to buy a home and the amount of their income spent on mortgages.''
The formation of the NHPAU represents a significant step in making affordability a key factor in regional spatial strategies (RSSs).
A whole generation faces being unable to get onto the property ladder if Ministers fail to act now to ease the problem for the future, according to the NHPAU.
NHPAU chairman Prof Stephen Nickell said: "There is a clear need for more ambitious and urgent delivery if we are to make homes more affordable for our children.
Launched yesterday to make homes more affordable across the country, NHPAU made the calculations using Government figures showing that in 2000 the average price of a home was four times annual earnings, and by 2006 this had increased to more than seven times the annual earnings.
Research published by NHPAU also suggests that 35 per cent of non-homeowners in the West Midlands think they will never be in a position to buy, while a further 14 per cent say it will be five years or more before they can purchase a home.