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Home buyers gush over life on the water

21 September 2006
According to property market observers, more people in the UK are turning to house boats as an alternative to increasingly unaffordable housing.

House boats offer a more acceptable entrance onto the home-buying market by giving first-time buyers a legitimate chance to be able to afford to purchase somewhere to live.

Despite their perceived atypical nature as an option for a home, house boats' popularity is growing by up to ten per cent per year in the UK, according to the editor of Waterways World, Richard Fairhurst.

Liz Woznicki, a spokesperson for British Waterways, agrees with Mr Fairhurst, saying that a desire for properties near water was perhaps a constituent part of the increases.

Ms Woznicki also noted that the problem of affordability was particularly significant in the capital and this could lead to house boats rising in popularity on the Thames and other London waterways.

"This isn't a London specific phenomenon," she said, "[but] the situation is far more pronounced in London due to its very nature - population numbers and house prices are more pronounced here than other areas."

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