HOMES became more affordable in the Maldon district last year thanks to an increase in people’s average earnings, figures reveal.

In Maldon, the average house price was £320,000 and the average annual salary £37,380 in 2020.

This meant prospective buyers would need 8.6 times their annual salary to buy a home.

The figure was down from 9.1 a year earlier, as the average wage grew by 6.6 per cent while the cost of a property stayed the same, making homes more affordable on average.

House prices have soared in Maldon since 2002 – the earliest point at which data is available.

The average cost of a property then was £134,000 and, over the same period, the average annual salary increased by £11,394, a 44 per cent rise.

Each year, the Office for National Statistics calculates housing affordability by comparing the average house price in a local authority area to the median full-time annual income of people who live there.

They said affordability across England and Wales had not changed significantly from the year before but added it has worsened overall since 1997.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said more than 243,000 homes were delivered last year – the highest number in more than 30 years.

The spokesman added: “We’re investing more than £12 billion in affordable housing over the next five years which will include providing up to 180,000 new homes, with half for affordable and social rent.

“This – as well as First Homes, Shared Ownership, the Help to Buy scheme, and the new mortgage guarantee scheme – will help many more people get the keys to their own home.”