HOMES in the Black Country are getting harder and harder to afford as house prices outstrip wage growth, according to new figures.

There has been a significant rise in the ‘affordability gap’ in Sandwell, where you now need almost 6 times your salary to be able to buy a home.

Nine years ago the ratio was nearer 5. The precise figures are 5.03 times salary in 2011 rising to 5.87 in 2020, an increase of 0.84.

In money terms, the average person in Sandwell now needs to cover a gap of £128,577 between their annual salary and the average house price.

Historically Sandwell was more affordable than Dudley, but the gap has narrowed considerably.

Dudley over the last years has seen its affordability gap rise from 5.6 to 5.79, a much smaller increase than Sandwell. The ‘value gap’ in Dudley is £147,233 between salary and house price.

It all adds up to very bad news for a single person wanting to get onto the property ladder.

Based on these figures, a single buyer on an average wage in Dudley would be priced out of two-thirds of all the houses. In Sandwell, that unaffordable figure rises to more than 3 in four.

But for average couple’s, the picture is better, with 91% of homes affordable in Dudley and 82% in Sandwell.

In general, West Midlands houses are more affordable than most regions, with London – as you would expect - the worst with a whopping 12.4 times salary needed.

But there have been some big drops in affordability in neighbouring Worcestershire areas.

In Bromsgrove you now need nearly 9 times the average salary to afford a home, and in Redditch its over 8. In both cases houses are far less affordable than they were nine years ago.

The analysis has been carried out by the Online Mortgage Advisor, usingcurrent mortgage rates, salary data and Zoopla house price information.

The research results can be seen here: