It's five years ago this week since we reported the eye-watering wage rise average workers would need to afford a house in Epping Forest.

The average worker now needs a 246 per cent pay rise to afford a mortgage in the area.

The average Epping Forest home costs £500,903, according to analysis by the National Housing Federation.

Not only does that make the area the most expensive in Essex, it is 15 times the average local salary.

Average monthly rents have reached £1,230 and swallow 45 per cent of private renters' income.

Green councillor Steven Neville said: "The sort of mortgages people need are substantial.

"What we need is housing that is really affordable, not the 80 per cent of market rate that it is at the moment.

"We need more council housing locally, preferably in the right locations that will have minimal impact on the existing residents. We also need more social housing."

As well as pricey properties, Epping Forest has 429 empty dwellings and 383 second homes.

It also boasts the third lowest number of housing association affordable homes in Essex with 1,997.

Seemingly as a consequence of rising house prices and stagnating wages, 24 per cent of housing benefit recipients in the area are in work but unable to afford their rent.

Ciaran Tully, external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation, said: "The housing market has seen a relentless rise in the gap between house prices and people’s salaries. Epping Forest is no exception. Attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and private sector rents make saving up that bit more difficult.

"As this year’s Home Truths report shows, it is more important than ever for the sector to be able to deliver homes that are truly affordable. If we want to get serious about ending the housing crisis, we need to start looking at unlocking more land so we can build homes faster."