Housing minister slams first home prices

12 June 2007
First-time buyers hunting for more affordable housing may take heart from a government minister's admission that current price trends are "not fair" on first-timers.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper tackled claims from the government's National Housing and Planning Advice Unit that the price of a first home could rise to ten times the average salary of a first-time buyer by 2026.

"If we simply carry on building houses at the rate we have been, this is what will happen in terms of first-time buyers of the future," Ms Cooper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

But she underlined the government's commitment to step up new-build activity to meet the increasing pressure on supply. "We need to build far more homes," she stressed.

To achieve this, existing homeowners in areas targeted for new-build projects will have to be more accommodating, she added.

"People who still oppose new developments across the country do need to recognise the implications for the next generations," the minister commented.

Prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown last week vowed housing would be one of his top priorities when he takes the premiership on June 27th, stating his commitment to a "big house-building programme".

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