1. ITV Report

Tonight: The Great Housing Crisis

Home sweet home? 1 million first time buyers have been locked out of the property market over the last decade Photo: ITV / Tonight

It’s not exactly boom time but house prices are starting to rise across the country and while that may be good news for some, experts have warned that it could be pushing us towards another house price bubble.

An increase in birth rates and a shortage of affordable homes could mean that a whole generation of potential first time buyers are priced out of the market.

250,000 new homes are needed each year to satisfy demand, say experts Credit: ITV / Tonight

Gareth and Jenna are bringing up their seven-month-old son, Billy, in a rented house in Oldham. They are desperate to buy their own home but they can’t afford to, despite both working full-time and earning just under the national average household income. And they’re not alone – figures suggest that almost a million first time buyers have been locked out of the property market over the last 10 years.

Gareth and Jenna can't get onto the housing ladder Credit: ITV / Tonight

So what can be done to ease the housing crisis? One solution, say the experts, is to build more houses - we need a quarter of a million new homes per year to keep pace with demand but we're falling well short. So why aren’t we building more?

On the Tonight programme – today at 7.30pm on ITV – Jonathan Maitland meets young people who are facing years of renting before they are able to afford a home of their own, finds out why local groups are opposing large developments in the countryside and why there are almost 400,000 planning permissions in the system which either haven’t been finished or not even started.

And Jonny talks to a young couple who are considering emigrating because they can't afford to buy in the UK at the moment. He asks the Housing Minister if he is worried that the housing crisis means we could be losing some of our best young talent?

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