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Nine in 10 families 'priced out'

. Photo: PA Images

A housing charity has called for a massive expansion of shared ownership homes for a generation of "forgotten families" in East Anglia priced out of home ownership.

In a new report, Shelter found that a large number of middle-income families earning between £20,000 and £40,000 could find themselves stuck on the first rung of the property ladder or facing the prospect of years of private renting. Shelter estimates that as many as 1.8 million families in England could fall into this group.

Its analysis of incomes and house prices showed that in East Anglia, rising property prices mean the traditional market leaves nearly nine in 10 of these families (88%) priced out of a family-sized home.

New figures from the charity found that the mortgage guarantees of Help to Buy to be rolled out in January will still leave many priced out, with more than 90% of families in East Anglia on low or average incomes still unable to afford the monthly mortgage repayments, even if they have the funds for a deposit.

But the report also found that mortgage repayments on a shared ownership home in East Anglia would be affordable for 98% of families on low or middle incomes.

Shelter is now calling for a major new house building programme.

An investment of £12 billion could build 600,000 new shared ownership homes, the charity said.

Kay Boycott, director of campaigns and policy at Shelter, said:

"We need to see a new generation of shared ownership for ordinary families in East Anglia who are locked out of social housing and priced out of home ownership. The reality is that soaring house prices mean that the traditional market is no longer working for ordinary people."

– Kay Boycott, director of campaigns and policy at Shelter

"Shelter's report fails to take into account the billions of pounds we're investing to getting Britain building, leading to the fastest rate of affordable house building for two decades, on top of the 19,000 shared ownership homes we've delivered over the past two years.

"This is just one part of a range of measures we've put in place to ensure anyone who works hard and wants to get on the housing ladder has the support to do so.

"Additionally we are tackling the record deficit to help keep interest rates low and ensuring that affordability for first-time buyers is at its most favourable level since 2003."As a result, the number of first time buyers is at its highest level for six years."

– Mark Prisk, Housing minister