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House price boom creates "Hidden homeless"

04 May 2004
The Green Party has said the house price boom has created a new breed of "hidden homeless".

In a letter to the Daily Express, Nic Best warned of first-timers who felt they were unable to buy and spoke of those now unwilling to move because of the recent rises.

"We are experiencing a generation of 'hidden homeless' - young people who move from sofa to sofa because they can't afford to buy," commented Mr Best, a regional affairs spokesman.

The other problem Mr Best identified was of those who felt moving was now an impossibility: "Homeowners may feel that they are sitting on a goldmine, but if they want to move then they have to pay similar prices for another home."

Speaking for his party, Mr Best said: "Greens feel that the real losers in the property boom are families - many young people are forced to put off having families or live in the parental home due to the cost of housing."

Remortgaging was another problem that Mr Best cited: "Parents who wish to save for retirement often feel that they have to remortgage their homes to give their children the same chances that they had."

April saw massive increases in house prices, with costs rising by more than £100 a day. This now means the average house price in Britain is just over £150,000 - the equivalent of 18.9 per cent higher than in April 2003.