Ellesmere backs northern fringe to ease Ipswich housing crisis

PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:10 16 November 2016

New homes under construction

New homes under construction

House prices in Ipswich are going up by one of the highest rates in the country as the number of new homes is showing only a stuttering recovery from the depths of the recession.

Housing stock changes over recent yearsHousing stock changes over recent years

However council leader David Ellesmere is hopeful that the development of the northern fringe and the completion of projects in the Waterfront area – including the Wine Rack – will help increase the supply of new homes.

Figures from the government’s Office of National Statistics showed that the price of the “average” home in Ipswich increased by 13.4% in the year to September. That compares with 12.1% for the regional average (the highest in the UK) and 10.9% for the national average.

The ONS figures also show that the increase of the number of homes in Ipswich varied dramatically as the boom and recession came over the last 15 years.

In 2001/2 there was an increase of 400 in new home numbers. By 2007/8 the figure was almost 1,500, but in 2012/13 the increase was only 100. Last year the housing stock increased by 500 in the town.

The rate of increase in the number of homes in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, which border Ipswich, has not recovered since the recession. But in Suffolk Coastal there has been a significant increase in the number of new homes over the last three years.

Mr Ellesmere said: “Although housebuilding in Ipswich has picked up since the recession it’s still some way off what it needs to be.

“That is why we’re currently seeing house price rises in Ipswich amongst the highest in the country. This is putting owning a house even further out of reach of many would-be buyers.

“We know that there are a number of schemes in the pipeline such as Fire and Ice, the former Archant offices, the Wine Rack and Ipswich Borough Council’s scheme for the Tooks site.

“But to get a real step change in housebuilding we need to see development start in North Ipswich.”

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