A PCTURE of housing needs in Tavistock has been provided by estate agents in the town amid a critical shortage of affordable homes.

The new findings come as part of the official survey by a Tavistock Town Council plan which seeks to set down the priorities for the future of the town’s population.

Housing was top of the agenda for people when questioned for the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) which will guide planners for the long term when complete.

The main findings were that the most demand on the open market was for one or two-bedroom homes with people requesting that these should not be apartments because of the usual associated ongoing extra fees for residents.

Customers wanted quadrant or cluster homes with either a small amount of garden or communal green space.

Customers came from three separate specific markets for these most in-demand housing types — first-time buyers, those downsizing by selling bigger homes and single buyers (divorcees, widowed and young).

The other main request from potential buyers were for bungalows, while least demand was for four-bedroom and bigger homes because the market is sufffient to fufil that demand.

The next highest demand was for apartments with a need for bigger apartments for those aged over 50 with parking provided. Two-storey apartments were also a priority.

In terms of rental properties, most rental agents all agreed that more quality stock was needed in all sizes and categories to satisfy customers.

The people hardest hit by the housing crisis and cannot buy a house in the town are young couples, first-time buyers, professional couples in their 30s and single purchasers (divorced, widowed, or younger and single). And the most sought after price range is £150,000 to £200,000.

Town councillor Ursula Mann said all agents were asked to help guide the survey in achieving policies to support main goals with housing affordability being the main goal.

The analysis was aimed at giving a more localised understanding of the need in Tavistock with requests for informed opinion.

She said estate agents raely saw anyone aged between 20 and 40 because they could not afford even the cheaper homes.

The data will be provided to West Devon Borough Council for including in its local plan. In a previous survey the NDP used local and national data to work out thst a salary of more than £50,000 is needed to buy the cheapest home and more than double the number of affordable homes is needed than are allocated in the joint local plan (used by the local council).

The earlier survey also said that more than 400 people are also waiting to rent a home in Tavistock.