IN HIS letter of July 2, Geoffrey Searstone argues that becoming a home owner is not for the “privileged few”.

With average house prices in York requiring eight times annual income and mortgages being restricted, the situation is getting worse.

Research in York shows that the average age of people obtaining a mortgage is in their late 30s and rising, and that deposits in the city for a starter home are around £25,000.

With many York working households paying the highest rents outside of the South East, often more than 40 per cent of income set against the recommended 25 per cent, then it is not possible for a majority to save.

Nationally, home ownership is in decline and reports from the left and right show that this trend is unlikely to reverse in better economic times.

So home ownership is indeed becoming for the privileged few.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Homes & Safer Communities, City of York Council.