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: