FARNHAM has seen the third biggest annual rise in housing asking prices in Britain over the past 12 months, according to Rightmove.

Analysis of house prices in the 12 months to February has revealed a 22 per cent increase in Farnham – taking the average price of a home in the town up to £728,413.

That is more than 22 times the average annual salary of £32,800 in Waverley in 2021, according to government data.

Farnham was behind only Brixham in Devon, and Jesmond in Newcastle Upon Tyne, while the only other location in the South East to feature in Rightmove’s top ten was Cowes on the Isle of Wight, which saw a 20 per cent rise to £342,834.

Farnham’s direct trains to London and litany of ‘outstanding’ primary and secondary schools have long been attributed to the town’s rising house prices – while families seeking to move out of the capital in the pandemic has added to the boom.

But there are concerns that spiralling house prices are making the town’s property market inaccessible for many.

In a column printed in full on Page 42 of this week’s Herald, Stewart Dakers, of the Homes for Farnham Community Land Trust, said: “Forty years ago, I worked behind the Coach and Horses bar and one of its punters was heard to remark that one day, with rises in house prices, there would be no room for postmen or binmen to live and the brulee would really hit the fan.

“At the time I thought it melodramatic; now it seems like prophecy.

“Covid has revealed the extent to which any community depends for its viability on what during the various lockdowns were declared ‘essential workers’.

“It has issued a stark warning to affluent towns like Farnham. If we fail to address home affordability, their communities – historically known for their diversity of work and income – will decline into dystopian affluenza.

“The average house price in Farnham is more than £600,000, where the average annual earnings is £29,000. Simply put, no-one on an average salary can afford to buy in Farnham.

“Nor to rent; the average single flat rental is more than £1,000 per month, nearly 70 per cent of their take home wage.

“The housing situation in Farnham is not gentrification, but rather social cleansing on a grand scale.

“To stop this happening, we’re setting up a Community Land Trust. See https://homesforfarnham.org.uk or email us at [email protected]