Crowded House Britain: Third of us don't have enough space but can't afford to move
If homework is strewn across the kitchen table and toys are piling up around the sofa, you probably wish there was a bit more space.
You are not alone. Nearly a third of parents say they feel squeezed into their homes but cannot afford to move to a bigger property, a report reveals today.
Twenty-nine per cent say ‘their property is too small to accommodate the size of their family’ – rising to 40 per cent for those 34 and under.
One in four children is ‘forced to share’ a bedroom, according to the FindaProperty.com website, part of a digital division of the Daily Mail and General Trust.
Property analyst Samantha Baden said: ‘Affordability remains a key issue for families, with the average cost of a three-bedroom home around £193,000.’
Very few can afford to buy – or to rent – a property of the size they want and in the area they desire to live, according to Miss Baden. ‘As a result, they are often forced to compromise on one or the other,’ she added.
A recent report, from investment firm LV, also found that many ‘space-starved parents’ are squashed into a two-bedroom home which was perfect when they were a young couple, but has no space for three or so children.
Grown-up offspring who cannot afford to leave home are also adding to the problem facing families in Britain’s ‘big squeeze’.
For a home to be the correct size, which means it is not overcrowded, parents must have their own bedroom. Children under ten can share, as well as same-sex children between ten and 20. Anyone over 21 also needs their own room.
The report comes as official figures, published yesterday by the Land Registry, reveal house prices are falling sharply in every region except London, although they remain unaffordable for millions.
The worst-hit area is the North East, where average house prices have fallen to below £100,000 for the first time in seven years.
When prices peaked in October 2007, the average home in the region was £129,424. Today, it is £99,464 – a drop of 23 per cent, which included a 7.1 per cent fall last year.
By comparison, house prices in the capital are close to an all-time high of £345,298 following a rise of 2.8 per cent in 2011.
In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where residents include bankers, diplomats and top lawyers, prices have reached nearly £1million – up 7.2 per cent.
The Bank of England said last week that many foreign investors see buying a home in the capital as a ‘safe haven’ for money at a time of worldwide economic uncertainty.
But the flood of foreign money means many families are being priced out of areas where they want to live.
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