House prices set for growth

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The average house in the England will cost more than £300,000 by 2012 with those in London reaching almost £500,000.

That is the shocking conclusion of new research from the National Housing Federation (NHF), which reveals that the housing crisis is likely to worsen with prices expected to rise by 40 per cent over the next five years.

House prices have risen by 156 per cent since 1997, while average incomes have increased by only 35 per cent. The average home in England currently costs £207,000, more than ten times the average annual salary, while prices in certain areas of London easily exceed 20 times average yearly earnings.

With demand of affordable housing likely to continue outpacing supply, the social housing pressure group said that more people would be forced to turn to housing associations to secure their own home, placing "increasing strain" on the sector.

"Some people haven't got a hope of accessing the market and, unless the government acts soon, some people will never own their own home," said John Goulding, a spokesperson for the NHF.

The government has pledged to build a further three million new homes by 2020. Approximately 1.6 million households are currently on social housing registers, 57 per cent more than five years ago.

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