Belfast Telegraph

Property rate of inflation 'abnormal'

Vicky Shaw

A carton of milk would set a family back by £10 and a roast chicken would have a £51 price tag if food costs had risen in line with house prices over the last 40 years, research by Shelter has found.

The charity said that the typical value of a house had increased by just over 43 times since 1971, from £5,632 to £245,319.

If a family's weekly shop had increased at the same rate, it would now stand at £453 – six times the actual figure of around £75.

Applying the house price rate of inflation to everyday food and drink items means that a bunch of six bananas would cost £8.47, a four-pint carton of milk would cost £10.45 and a leg of lamb would be £53.18, Shelter said.

Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "The high cost of food is already a real concern for people, so if prices reached these levels there's no way we would accept it.

"Yet when it comes to the huge rise in the cost of buying a home over the past few decades, somehow this is seen as normal – even welcome – despite the impact it's having on a generation desperate for a home of their own.

"Unless something changes, the next generation will find it even tougher to find a stable and affordable home."

There have been recent signs that government efforts to kick-start the housing market are having an effect for people who have previously found themselves shut out of the mortgage market.

Studies have shown rising numbers of mortgage approvals to home buyers as well as increased lending to first-time buyers, although analysts have pointed out that many of these figures are still way below long-term norms.

Belfast Telegraph