People on average incomes in the West Midlands cannot afford even the cheapest homes, according to research published last week.

A study carried out by the West Midlands National Housing Federation showed that a home buyer required an income of £25,107 to buy the cheapest 25% of homes across the region. The average income in the area is £20,138.

The study indicated that mean regional take-home pay was half that required to pay for a mortgage on an average home. It noted that even in Stoke-on-Trent, which was earmarked as a housing market renewal area, prospective home owners faced difficulties.

The federation’s regional head, Gina King, said: “This can cause a serious problem. Without a supply of housing at prices that people can afford, it is difficult for companies to recruit and retain staff.”