New house price figures show that people in Ceredigion are facing an increasing struggle to afford to buy a home.

Statistics from the National Assembly Research Service suggest that the ratio of house prices to earnings has risen to 7.12 in Ceredigion, compared to 4.8 just 15 years ago.

Ceredigion is one of four counties in Wales – along with Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and Powys – with a ratio above seven.

Mike Parker, Westminster spokesman for Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion, said: "These figures illustrate what I'm hearing anecdotally all the time. Many people – particularly young families – are really struggling to buy a home in Ceredigion. This kind of differential between house prices and earnings threatens the very fabric of our communities.

"The situation, under successive governments, has only got worse in the last two decades. And as the UK economy starts to recover in some areas but continues to stagnate in others, there’s a real danger that the trend will only worsen. Rents are also rising far faster than incomes. Added to all that, the effects of the government's bedroom tax have been catastrophic for many.

Mr Parker added: "An economic recovery based on a house price bubble will do nothing for Ceredigion. It is cloud cuckoo land economics - every bubble bursts eventually. Real, steady economic improvement can only come from measures to deal with youth unemployment, encouraging entrepreneurship, developing affordable childcare to help people back into work, and focusing on local businesses through reform of procurement and business rates.

"And in terms of housing, we need to bring more of our empty and derelict housing stock back into permanent occupation, retro-fit older properties to make them cheaper and more efficient to live in, work to increase the provision of affordable and social housing and reform the mess that is the private rental sector."