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Home Truths

Facts and Figures

  • Dorset has ​771,800 people.
  • Projected job numbers in Dorset are forecast to increase by around 45,000 (net) in the next 20 years, according to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
  • Some 13,200 new full-time equivalent jobs are to be created by 2033 in West Dorset, North Dorset, Weymouth & Portland under the Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy
  • Dorset’s total population is projected to grow steadily year-on-year between 2014 and 2039, reaching nearly 884,000 by 2039 – a 16% rise on 2014 levels.
  • Some 28% of the current population (117,600) is 65+. The average for England and Wales is 18%
  • By 2033 in North Dorset, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland, we expect to have 30,400 more people aged 65+ and 1,690 more aged 0-15 but 8,470 fewer of working age from 16 to 64.
  • An estimated net population increase of more than 8,000 people is expected in West Dorset by 2031 and by 6,000 in Weymouth & Portland.
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  • 20,000 homes – the number required by 2033 to meet our future needs in North Dorset, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland
  • New homes needing to be built every year: 285 to 330 in North Dorset and 775 in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland
  • There are 2,633 second homes in West Dorset, 482 in North Dorset and 968 in Weymouth and Portland.
  • In 2016-2017, a total of 772 homes were completed by builders and developers in West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland, and 142 in North Dorset.
  • This included 49 affordable homes in North Dorset and 168 in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.
  • £2m – money our councils have secured from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to support Community Land Trusts
  • 14 active community land trusts in West Dorset
  • There are 902 people on the Housing Register in North Dorset, 1709 in West Dorset and 1662 in Weymouth & Portland.
  • The average house price in Dorset is £326,384 while the average salary is £25,657, according to the National Housing Federation’s Home Truths Report’s latest figures.
  • In North Dorset it’s £296,770 in West Dorset it’s £320,042 and in Weymouth & Portland it is £235,040.
  • Earnings of £67,833 are needed for an 80% mortgage in North Dorset District Council. In West Dorset it is £73,152 and it is £53,723 in Weymouth & Portland.
  • Average annual earnings are £25,366 in North Dorset, £24,825 in West Dorset and £24,279 in Weymouth & Portland.
  • In West Dorset the average house prices is 13 times average earnings (a ratio of 13:1). In North Dorset the ratio is 12:1 and in Weymouth and Portland it is 10:1. The national average is 10:1.
  • Average private rents in North Dorset are £771, in West Dorset the figure is £809 and in Weymouth & Portland it is £650.
  • North Dorset is the least affordable rural part of the country in terms of house price to local earnings ratio, according to a Halifax survey of September 2017. West Dorset is joint ninth

According to the Resolution Foundation think tank:

  • While parents bought their own home in their 30s, young people will soon have to wait until their 40s
  • Young people in Britain are spending three times more on housing than their grandparents did
  • Those now in their 70s and 80s spent just 7% of their annual income on housing at the age of 30
  • The baby-boom generation – now in its 50s and 60s – spent 17% of income at the same age
  • Millennials – those now in their 20s and 30s – spend 23% of everything they earn on housing costs.

According to the State of Dorset report 2017, 36% of the Dorset workforce is aged over 50 compared with 28% in England. Older workers have the benefit of skills and experience but need replacement as they retire.

An increase of 25% to 35% in the proportion of workforce with Level 4 qualifications or higher is set out in the Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy.

According to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), 15% of employers in Dorset (4,400 asked with around 15,800 employees assessed) reported a skills gap.

Skills training and apprenticeships are important to ensure that housing can be built at the right pace. According to the National Audit Office, every £1 of Government funding spent on apprenticeships delivers an economic benefit of £18.

Local colleges and schools provide vocational qualifications, often through apprenticeships in partnership with employers.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) plays a leading role in driving up skills and standards. It is a partner in ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry. Visit www.citb.co.uk for more information.

Go Construct is an industry led body to encourage more young people into the construction sector. Among its services are visits to schools by construction ambassadors. Visit www.goconstruct.org to find out more.