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Housing minister under fire after claiming rise in UK house prices are 'a good thing'

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Housing minister under fire after claiming rise in UK house prices are 'a good thing'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government

Housing minister under fire after claiming rise in UK house prices are 'a good thing' Housing minister under fire after claiming rise in UK house prices are 'a good thing'

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has come under fire for claiming that house price rises are "a good thing" despite millions of people being unable to afford their own homes.

Hopkins made the controversial comments on last night's BBC Newsnight programme, just hours before new figures showed homes are up to 18% more expensive than they were 12 months ago.

The housing minister told Jermey Paxman: “I bought a house and I expect the value to rise, and I'm sure you did as well."

Hopkins said rises were "certainly part of the market", and added: "We are nowhere near the peak at this moment in time."

The remarks have been condemned the housing charity Shelter.

Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive, said: “Another rise in house prices is another rise in people left priced out.

"Unless house prices are stabilised, the grim reality is that our rollercoaster property market will leave thousands watch their dream of ever owning a home slip further out of reach.

“No matter how hard young people and families work or save, these days most simply can’t afford a home of their own and are instead facing a lifetime of unstable renting.

“If we want to give the next generation a fighting chance, the government has to get serious about building the affordable homes we need now.”

Fresh figures published this morning by Nationwide showed the biggest jump in property prices for four years – fuelled by a surge in London and the south east.

Across the UK, prices rose by 9.5% year-on-year, taking the avaerage value of a two-bed property to £180,264.

The housing minister's comments are in stark contract to one of his predessors, Grant Shapps, who back in 2011 said the housing crisis was a direct result of excessive house prices.

He told 24housing magazine: "Nothing but nothing damaged housing in this country more than house prices tripling in the 10 years since 1997. I mean why are we in a housing crisis? There it is. That’s your answer right there."

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