Young Sidmouth buyers face affordable homes crisis

FIRST-TIME buyers in Sidmouth are having difficulty stepping onto the first rung of the property ladder because of the lack of affordable housing in the town. That is the general feeling from Sidmouth estate agents following a recent survey naming the tow

FIRST-TIME buyers in Sidmouth are having difficulty stepping onto the first rung of the property ladder because of the lack of affordable housing in the town.

That is the general feeling from Sidmouth estate agents following a recent survey naming the town as one of the top ten least affordable seaside resorts in England and Wales.

Last month the Herald revealed that property values in Sidmouth were among the most expensive in the UK, according to a property valuation website.

Although estate agents say this demonstrates the desirability of the town, the downside is that younger people and first-time buyers may look elsewhere for cheaper property.


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Nigel Gould-Smith, area director of Fulfords Estate Agents, said: "Property prices are high in Sidmouth as it's a very desirable, exclusive and stable area.

"But the consequence of that for younger people, in particular people looking at lower price ranges, is it's difficult to afford property in Sidmouth.

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"Sidmouth as a town has a higher average age than some other seaside resorts but there are still plenty of young people who, given the chance, would love to buy something in Sidmouth."

A spokesperson for Pennys Estate Agents said there are property prices in an affordable price bracket in the town for people who already own a home, but it is a troublesome area for people not yet on the property ladder.

She added: "I don't think there is the opportunity for first-time buyers. If they get their deposits together they can find properties for around �160,000 but there is a premium in property in Sidmouth."

The latest seaside town review, compiled by Halifax Estate Agents, compares house prices and average earnings ratio.

It ranks Sidmouth as the seventh least affordable seaside town, with Budleigh Salterton coming in fifth place and Lyme Regis eighth.

However, estate agent Keith Christopher, of Redferns, opposes the findings of the survey.

He said: "At the end of the day they are based on statistics and you can make statistics read anything you like.

"I don't agree on their findings based on the fact we are registering high numbers of applicants from both outside the area and people living within Sidmouth."

But Mr Christopher added: "It's a tough place to buy into as a first-time buyer. There are first-time buyers around but I have to say they are in the minority.

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