People look at an estate agent office's window in central London Photographed on 25 October 2016 Picture credit: Tolga Akmen
© Tolga Akmen/FT

Sir, Your report “ Ownership of homes among young adults has ‘collapsed’ ” (February 16) highlights the growing disparity between average house prices and the incomes of young adults. This escalating affordability crisis is often viewed as an urban issue, but its effects are being felt just as acutely in rural communities. Outside our major metropolitan centres, communities are being hollowed out as young people are priced out of the places where they grew up, due to lack of rural affordable housing.

Between 2012 and 2017, more homes were built per 1,000 households in rural areas than in urban ones, but they were much less affordable. In addition, some of the greatest increases in house prices in 2017 were seen not in urban centres but in our shire counties, where prices rose by 5.9 per cent on average, compared with just 2 per cent in London. Unless the government takes decisive action to address the crisis in rural housing affordability, it risks pricing a whole generation out of the countryside.

Lois Lane
Policy and Research Adviser,
Campaign to Protect Rural England,
London SE1, UK

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