HUNDREDS of affordable homes would have to be built per year in Monmouthshire by 2023 to keep up with demand.

New research suggests the annual affordable housing shortfall is 468, with one and two-bedroom properties the most sought-after accommodation.

The figures are an indication of current and projected need rather than a yearly housebuilding target, according to Hometrack.

The property market analysts calculated the shortfall by taking the housing backlog then adding existing households falling into need and newly arising need.

Targets of building 960 affordable homes between 2011 and 2021 had featured in Monmouthshire council’s local development plan (LDP) but, having missed annual targets, the plan is now being revised.

READ MORE: Monmouthshire council's house-building strategy is a 'miserable' failure, says councillor

“New build homes are not the total solution to the supply of affordable homes in the county,” says a report to the adults select committee.

“The council is working with private landlords to increase the supply of private rented homes and to bring empty homes back into use.

“The figure of 468 is simply an indication of current projected need for affordable housing within the county and sets a benchmark that the council can work towards.”

A local housing mark assessment (LHMA) found that average house prices in Monmouthshire increased by 28 percent between January 2020 and May 2018.

House prices shot up by 12.86 per cent between July 2017 and September 2018, when the average house price was £307,600 – the highest in Wales.

This coincides with the announcement that tolls on the Severn Crossings would be cut in early 2018 and scrapped altogether by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Wales House Price Index shows Monmouthshire as the fastest growth area

It puts Monmouthshire just behind Bristol (£334,600) and ahead of the second highest prices Welsh local authority, the Vale of Glamorgan (£278,800).

As of July, the highest average house price in each of the county’s six main communities – Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow, Magor/Undy, Monmouth and Usk – were as follows:

  • £308,316 – Dixton with Osbaston (Monmouth)
  • £289,305 – Cantref (Abergavenny)
  • £286,748 – Usk
  • £284,651 – St Kingsmark (Chepstow)
  • £235,687 – Mill (Magor and Undy)
  • £223,476 – Caldicot Castle

On average, a property in Monmouthshire takes around 4 weeks to sell compared to the Welsh average of 10 weeks.

Despite average wages increasing this year, the high house prices still put owning a home beyond the reach of many families living and working in Monmouthshire.

Analysis conducted between September 2016 and September 2017 also found that private rented properties will be unaffordable for many households.

Monmouthshire council is now exploring new ways to tackle the shortfall, including the allocation of small sites in rural areas which could deliver up to 60 per cent affordable housing.

The report says: “[The LHMA] will ensure that both the local authority and its partners have a clear understanding of housing need in Monmouthshire and that they are able to work together to ensure the best outcomes possible for Monmouthshire residents.”

Members of the adults select committee will discuss the report at a special meeting on Monday, November 26.