HOUSE prices in the city have rocketed by more than 10% in the last year.

An average house in Brighton and Hove now costs more than quarter of a million pounds for the first time ever.

The high growth compares to rises in England and Wales of 6.4% in the past year.

A one-bedroom flat now costs more than £200,000 and requires a £46,000 salary and £50,000 deposit, according to the Brighton and Hove Housing Costs Report for April to June.

A three-bedroom house is up 6.8% on last year at £328,000 and requires a salary of £80,000 and an £87,000 deposit.

The gap between the average property price for Brighton and Hove and England and Wales has grown, with city prices now 45.5% higher.

One-bedroom flats cost more than seven times the median household annual income, while three-bedroom houses cost more than 12 times.

The cost of renting in the city has also increased with two-bedroom houses up 5.1% and individual rooms up 13.5%.

The report is based on Land Registry data which calculates the average value of homes, based on sales prices.

Brighton estate agent John Hoole said: “We have seen a great deal of market activity this year with some record prices being achieved, in many cases in excess of the asking prices.

“At this very moment in time, the market has cooled somewhat as it generally does at this time of year with summer and school holidays.

“It remains to be seen whether autumn will be as strong.

“This will very much depend on mortgage lender criteria and sellers being realistic and not over ambitious in their expectations.”

Councillor Bill Randall, chairman of the housing committee, said rising private rents were the biggest cause of homelessness, with 19,000 names bow on the council waiting list.

He said: “I am deeply concerned that the cost of buying and renting houses and flats in Brighton and Hove rises relentlessly.

“Local people, particularly the sons and daughters of the city, are finding it increasingly difficult to find somewhere affordable to live and more than half the new houses built are bought by outsiders.

“If we are to meet our housing need, we must use all our brownfield sites and fill empty homes, both of which we are doing.

“We also need a carefully-controlled development of some of the urban fringe sites, which is why we urgently need agreement on the City Plan.”

Tony Mernagh, exective director of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: "Now that the recession is over and the recovery becoming more entrenched every day the inevitable house price increases driven by the London market are an increasing worry.

"The dire shortage of affordable housing not just in Brighton but the immediate area will be a brake on economic growth.

"On top of that there is always the lingering possibility that the bursting of the housing bubble (for it will burst eventually) will undermine consumer confidence which is playing an overly important part in the recovery.

"Increases of 10% per annum are no cause for celebration."


BUYERS looking to move to the country may be in for a surprise.

According to a study by the National Housing Federation (NHF), rural life can be costlier than in London.

When taking local wages into account, Sussex has six of the priciest districts in the UK. Houses in Lewes, Mid Sussex, Wealden, Rother, Horsham and Chichester, houses are on average 14 times more than median income.

Monica Burns of the NHF said: “A lot of rural communities are becoming playgrounds for the rich. Local residents are left stranded with no buses and housing they can't afford.