Lower earners are being forced out of Wandsworth in their thousands by unaffordable housing.

A map produced by the council shows an exodus of more than 20,000 people to Merton alone over a five year period at the start of the century.

Figures also suggest first time buyers need to earn more than £60,000 to buy a property in Wandsworth, forcing lower earners to move to more affordable areas.

Wandsworth now has some of the highest property prices in South West London with a typical first-time-buyer property costing more than £250,000.

Labour Councillor, Simon Hogg said: "The saddest thing I’ve seen about the community of Wandsworth is that three generations of a family can no longer live in the same area because it’s too expensive.

"A woman I was talking to had five children and they all had to move out of the area. You’re losing a sense of community because of the lack of affordable housing."

Asked about lower earners being forced out of Wandsworth, Conservative Councillor, Paul Ellis, cabinet member for housing, said: "This is not a remotely fair interpretation of the data.

"There are always more expensive areas to live in London. Wandsworth is an expensive area to live in and that is reflected in the house prices.

"We currently have a rental stock of 17,000 and social housing stock on top of that so there is a sizeable proportion of housing available for people on lower incomes."

Wandsworth has the highest level of migrating residents in London, according to the council’s housing market assessment.

With a projected rise in demand for smaller accommodation and family-sized housing, the council predict some of this need can be met by "family households migrating to cheaper areas of London to rent larger accommodation."

Coun Ellis said: "This is not a solution, it’s a reality. Couples starting a family are looking to move out of inner London because they want gardens."

In response Coun Hogg argued the council could do more to provide affordable housing.

He said: "In the new Nine Elms development Lambeth council committed to a 40 per cent portion of affordable housing while Wandsworth let developers off with just 15 per cent. We need a commitment to balanced, integrated communities."