A LETTING agency believes almost a quarter of residents in the town will never own their home without a 'substantial growth' in affordable properties following new figures.

But Hamlet Homes, which is based on Crosfield Street, confirmed the demand in the town for two and three-bedroom homes for sale, or let, remains strong.

It follows a report from the Home Builders Federation revealing the 'community and economic benefits' of house-building in the north west.

Last year 14,130 homes were started on by private house-builders, the public sector and housing associations in the region.

In Warrington the house-building industry was said to be responsible for 140 new affordable homes, 2,600 jobs, £980,000 towards education and £784,500 in extra council tax revenue.

The town was also credited with being responsible for 26,200 new trees or shrubs and £571,000 towards new open spaces.

However, output 'is still some way off' what is required.

If Warrington was to build enough homes to meet its housing need, that being an additional 246 homes each year, the industry could contribute towards an extra 1,060 jobs, 57 affordable homes, 10 graduate and apprentice positions and £316,500 in extra council tax revenue.

While in Cheshire, the construction contributed to 13,029 jobs, £4.8 million towards education, £30 million in tax contributions and 697 affordable homes.

Manoj Patel, director at Hamlet Homes, has been keeping a close eye on the market and admitted some of his findings have been surprising.

He added: "The three-bedroom houses still dominate the demand from buyers with 1132 of them on the market and 514 sold subject to contract in June this year, this is a total sales of 45.4 per cent followed closely by two-bedroom houses again.

"Quite surprisingly, four-bedroom houses came in at third, with total sales of 34.1 per cent.

"Looking at the lettings demand and we find that there has been a big turnaround on four-bedroom houses with 39 on the market and 19 let agreed, that's a massive 48.7 per cent, so there is a shift in demand from two-bedroom houses six months ago to four-bedroom houses now.

"This is closely followed by three-bedroom houses at 42.9 per cent and two bedroom houses at 40.9 per cent.

"The demand in Warrington for two and three-bedroom houses for either sale or let remains strong and steady and any additional capacity brought in will easily be consumed by the current demand.

"But it is worth noting that our research shows that almost a quarter of Warrington residents will never own their home without a substantial growth in affordable houses."

Warrington South MP David Mowat has praised the industry for being a 'key driver' in the town's economic success.

He said: "Coupled with investment from the Government and continued growth in the local area I am confident that Warrington will continue to impress in years to come.

"This is concrete evidence Help to Buy is enabling more young people to fulfil their aspiration to own their own home and get on the housing ladder.

"The number of first time buyers is at its highest level since 2007 and rising."