NHPAUNational Housing and Planning Advice Unit (UK)
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The NHPAU warned: "Such a long period will inevitably discourage investment in bringing forward new sites in the period following a recession, as developers will want to be certain that a strong recovery is under way before they make any such lengthy commitment.
Professor Stephen Nickell, chair of the NHPAU and former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member, said: ''First-time buyers have seen a big rise in the deposit needed to buy a home and the amount of their income spent on mortgages.
A whole generation faces being unable to get onto the property ladder if Ministers fail to act now to ease the problem for the future, according to the NHPAU.
The NHPAU, which surveyed 2,720 people, also found that it will take 18 per cent of first time buyers five years to save enough for a deposit.
NHPAU chairman Prof Stephen Nickell said: "There is a clear need for more ambitious and urgent delivery if we are to make homes more affordable for our children.
Launched yesterday to make homes more affordable across the country, NHPAU made the calculations using Government figures showing that in 2000 the average price of a home was four times annual earnings, and by 2006 this had increased to more than seven times the annual earnings.
Research published by NHPAU also suggests that 35 per cent of non-homeowners in the West Midlands think they will never be in a position to buy, while a further 14 per cent say it will be five years or more before they can purchase a home.