Rising Stroud house costs price renters out

Stroud tenants are being priced out of buying their own home by surging property values in the district.

In the year ending February 2021, average house prices increased by more than 10 per cent to £311,524 – 25 per cent more than the UK average.

First-time buyers in Stroud forked out an average of £243,000 on their property – £52,000 more than in January 2016, according to Land Registry data.

One Stroud resident stuck in rented accommodation is retired secondary school teacher Allyson Mountain, who wants the security of having her own home.

“I’m 59 years old and I just want to be safe, I want to live in a house where I can drill holes in the wall and put some shelves up,” said Mrs Mountain, who trained at Archway School before teaching for the British Army and The Crypt Grammar School, Gloucester.

“I’m angry for everyone that’s in this situation. It’s just awful and my neighbours, most of whom are a lot younger than me, have got no chance of ever buying a house.

“They are ordinary people who go out and do good jobs.

“That’s the price we pay for the Sunday Times saying Stroud’s the best place in the country to live.”

Mrs Mountain was born in Cirencester, moved to Nailsworth when she was 23 and has been living in Stroud District ever since.

She rents a two bedroom terraced house in Stroud with her husband and said she just wants to own a home of a similar size.

“I want to live somewhere where I can just feel comfortable and know that I’m not going to move,” she said.

This is easier said than done, with terraced properties in Stroud increasing in value by up to 10.9 per cent annually with an average asking price of £239,500.

Price tags for semi-detached properties have risen by up to 10.4 per cent annually, costing around £294,000 on average, and detached homes cost more than £481,000 on average.

At the same time, council tax valuations properties, last carried out in 1991, fail to reflect the increase in property values over the last 30 years.

The highest council tax band in Stroud (H) includes all properties worth £320,000 or more, meaning someone who owns a home worth £3.2m will pay the same amount of council tax as someone who owns one worth £320,000.

“People are moving out of a flat in London and buying a mansion on Minchinhampton common with the proceeds, surely they should be putting something into the local community,” said Mrs Mountain.

“Because that’s what all of us have been paying for: all the facilities, everything in Stroud, in Cirencester. People build those towns and they make them places where other people want to live.”

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