Prices fall but homes are still out of reach

SHEFFIELD has seen falling house prices over the past two-and-a-half years – down from an average of £136,572 to £121,833.

“Like other major cities, Sheffield has been hit by the UK-wide housing recession,” says the State of Sheffield report.

Despite falling prices, the chances of people being able to afford to buy properties have not improved because of the need for a large deposit.

However, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, adds the report, pointing to evidence from the Bank of England.

“The number of new mortgages for house purchase – both for first time buyers and remortgages – has increased by 63% over the last 12 months.”

At the same time Sheffield has experienced very little housing development. Over the past year only 420 homes were started, compared with 1,400 three years ago.

Repossession orders peaked in Sheffield at 945 in 2008, which was much higher than in the last recession.

Research for the report was compiled on behalf of Sheffield First Partnership, the organisation which sets a broad strategy for the regeneration of the city.