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Shelter: first-time buyers facing greater exclusion

15 March 2006
Homeless charity Shelter has called for more social housing to be built as it reveals that homelessness is rising in the UK along with house prices.

The proportion of average income taken up by mortgage repayments is also on the rise, while it is now 65 per cent harder for first-time buyers than it was 12 years ago.

Shelter's Roof Magazine's annual affordability index finds that it was harder to make the first step onto the property ladder in every English region last year, with over 20 per cent of the average homeowner's pay packet going straight onto paying off the mortgage.

This compares with an average of 14 per cent over the preceding 20 years.

London remains the hardest place to buy and service a property, with the monthly mortgage repayments amounting to 23.3 per cent of income.

And earlier this month the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) found that almost half of first-time buyers had to get help from their parents to put down a deposit on a property.

With 101,020 households currently in temporary accommodation, Shelter is therefore calling on the government to commit to building an extra 60,000 council and housing association properties between 2008 and 2011.

Director Adam Sampson said the property ladder had been replaced by a "rockface…impossible to get on without years of saving…and more precarious than ever once you are on it".

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