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Situation worsening for first time buyers

The gulf between house prices and what first time buyers can afford is widening every year, according to the head of a housing charity. Research conducted by Shelter has found that in ten years the average cost of a first home has increased by 200 per cent from £52,674 to £159,494. In the same time frame, however, the average income for a family has grown by just 53 per cent. This disparity has placed an increasing burden on first time buyers, who now find it 78 times more difficult to buy a home than they did in 1997, the charity claims. Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson said: "Salaries throughout the UK may be rising, but ordinary people are still being priced out of the housing market. "Buying a home has now become a distant, unaffordable dream for millions of first-time buyers, while thousands of others are facing repossession and homelessness." The gap between first time buyers' income and house prices is even more marked in London where the cost of a first home was risen by 250 per cent in a decade.

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