Houses 22 times costlier than 30 years ago

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The Independent Online

Average house prices in the UK rose faster in real terms under Edward Heath's Conservative government than under any administration since, according to a survey by mortgage bank The Halifax.

Average house prices in the UK rose faster in real terms under Edward Heath's Conservative government than under any administration since, according to a survey by mortgage bank The Halifax.

The study of how housing in the UK has changed since the 1970s found that the average British house price has risen in value by more than 22 times over the past 30 years.

But during Mr Heath's time in office, house prices rose by an average of more than 11% a year. The slowest real rate of growth occurred under John Major's government, where prices fell by 14% between November 1990 and May 1997.

Under the current government the rate of growth has been 10% each year.

Home ownership has also risen sharply over the past 30 years, from 50% in 1970 to a current level of 68%.

Regionally, the biggest winners since 1970 have been London homeowners who have seen the value of their homes increase by more than 30 times.

Martin Ellis, an economist at the Halifax, said: "The evidence suggests that no one party has enjoyed a monopoly on house price increases.

"Homeowners have seen good rates of increase under both Labour and Tory governments, just as they have seen house prices fall under both governments.

"What is clear, however, is that home-ownership has been a tremendous success over the past few decades. The majority of people in the UK still want a home of their own."

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