Homes are earning more than the people who live in them in huge swathes of England, blocking the way on to the housing ladder for millions of young people, Labour has warned.

New analysis seen by The Independent found that in 40 per cent of the country, the average annual growth in domestic property prices last year outstripped the total average wage in the area.

Labour housing spokesperson Lucy Powell said the figures were proof that the link between hard work and a stable home has been broken, after 11 years of a Conservative government which claims to support home-ownership.

She said the disparity was denying huge numbers of people the opportunity to settle down, raise a family and build a career in the area where they grew up.

While the widest gaps were seen in affluent areas – such as Elmbridge in Surrey, where the rise in home prices was almost four times the average local wage – property was also earning more than people in some of the northern and Midlands regions which Boris Johnson has promised to “level up”.

And the phenomenon was particularly visible in attractive rural and coastal areas where local people compete for housing with wealthy second-home owners.

In Hastings, on the south coast, where local people earn a gross annual wage averaging £20,298, property prices increased by an average £50,320 in the 12 months to July 2021, outstripping incomes by a factor of 2.5.

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