The cost of buying a home as a proportion of income rose by 13.8 per cent over 2006, according to an accessibility index devised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
The accessibility of home purchase is now almost 230 per cent worse than in 1996, the index shows.
A couple hoping to buy their first home will have to save the equivalent of 81.8 per cent of their joint 'take-home' pay to raise the average amount needed to buy a home up front - £32,784 including deposit and stamp duty.
In 1996, the same couple would have had to contribute only 25.2 per cent of their joint income.
"Unless the government builds more affordable housing and raises the stamp duty threshold, many households will continue to struggle to access the housing market," claims Rics' senior economist David Stubbs.
Affordability, meanwhile, worsened by 8.5 per cent over 2006, so that a two-person household on average incomes now has to spend 22 per cent of take-home pay to service the mortgage. In 1996 the figure was only 13.5 per cent.
Moreover, RICS expects house prices to rise by 12 per cent over the next two years.To read more about mortgages, click here.
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