Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 10:51 UK

Gwynedd hit by house prices gap

Aberdaron, Gwynedd (Pic: Rhiw.com)
People living on the Llyn Peninsula face some of the highest travel costs

Evidence from Gwynedd in a report on rural poverty suggests that those living in the countryside are being hit by high travel costs and home prices.

Research by the council shows that half of households in the county have gross incomes of up to 10,000, and 10% of that is spent on fuel.

The findings were presented to assembly members for a report out on Wednesday.

It warns that rural parts of Gwynedd rank amongst the 20% most deprived areas of Wales.

Examining the evidence provided by Gwynedd council, the report from the assembly's rural development sub-committee states that the availability and cost of transport is now one of the most influential factors when comparing rural and urban living.

"The percentage of households with more than one car is significantly higher in rural areas than in urban wards," noted the report.

"Car ownership is a significant cost. Over half of Gwynedd households have gross incomes of between 7,500 and 10,000 and spend more than 10% of their income on fuel costs."

Those living on the Llyn peninsula in the south of the county are identified as having to carry the burden of the highest costs, with some of the longest journeys to work in Gwynedd.

Housing

The report also pinpoints the cost of rural housing as a major issue facing communities, stating: "Housing prices, all in all, are higher in the rural areas and in small villages."

The difference applied both to rental accommodation and mortgage repayments, according to Gwynedd council.

But the mountain to climb for first-time buyers seems to be ever increasing.

Figures from 2005 show that on average, a home now costs eight times the annual income of residents across the county.

In some wards, it is even higher. In 2006, the average price of a home in Abersoch was 380k - 15 times more than average incomes in the area.

The sub-committee report recommends that Gwynedd council focus on those groups it regarded as the most likely to feel the pinch of rural poverty, including:

  • People with no access to private transport
  • Older residents
  • Low income homes not claiming full benefit entitlements
  • Those without an extended family network

The full report is launched at the Royal Welsh Show on Wednesday.




SEE ALSO
Drop-in help on higher fuel costs
09 Jan 08 |  North West Wales
Concern at 'life-line' bus cuts
11 Jun 08 |  North West Wales

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