Figures show Crawley had the third biggest rise in house prices among major towns and cities in the UK.
The town’s average house prices grew by 22.4 per cent in 2014, according to research carried out by Halifax.
Cllr Peter Lamb, leader of Crawley Borough Council, said the mortgage lender’s figures showed a “big housing problem” in Crawley.
Cllr Lamb (Lab, Northgate) said: “We have one of the largest gaps between average house prices and average wages.
“It means more and more people trying to get on to the housing ladder are going to struggle, particularly when we compare it to average wages.
“My hope is that we are going to start to get building in 2015.”
He said the affordable housing earmarked in the town’s Local Plan would enable more people to buy a house.
Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “Rising house prices are a double-edged sword; whilst they are a sign of a strongly recovering economy and good for homeowners, it does mean more challenge for those wishing to purchase for the first time.”
He said the Kilnwood vale and Forge Wood developments and the Government’s Help To Buy Scheme and reduction of Stamp Duty would help first-time buyers in town.
Halifax released a statement on average house prices in the UK on December 27.
Nine out of ten areas with largest rises were in London - the exception was Crawley.
Craig McKinlay, mortgage director at Halifax, said: “Continuing improvements in the economy, rising employment and low mortgage rates will no doubt have supported housing demand and, combined with shortage of homes coming on to the market, will have contributed to rising property values.
“Nine of the ten best performing areas are in the capital, and therefore within easy reach of central London.”