Study suggests London housing fears delaying parenthood

Construction workers on a newly built site in Streatham, south-west London Shelter said a lack of affordable housing was forcing couples to put their lives on hold

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Almost one in four Londoners aged between 31 and 44 are delaying having children because of the lack of affordable housing, new figures suggest.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Shelter found that 23% of people that age - 233,000 - said they were putting off becoming parents because of housing.

Nationally the figure was 20%.

In London, the average house price is more than eight times higher than the average income.

'Simply shocking'

Homeless charity Shelter said the high cost of homes in the capital and the large deposits required by lenders meant that growing numbers of Londoners were unable to buy a home.

Kay Boycott, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said it was "heartbreaking" that thousands of people in London were forced to put their "lives on hold".

She said: "Particularly in London, more and more couples are finding that despite working hard and saving hard, they're still priced out of a stable and affordable home.

"Instead they're trapped in rented housing where landlords can evict them or raise the rent at any time, and we know that many simply don't think this is a suitable place to raise a family."

Netmums founder Sally Russell said people's delaying of parenthood was "simply shocking".

She said there was a danger some were leaving it too late to ever have children.

For the survey, market research agency YouGov questioned 5,379 adults living in Britain.

Last week, in a report for the government, Sir Adrian Montague made a series of recommendations for speeding up the timescale for building privately rented homes.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "We are not building nearly enough new homes."

But he argued that Sir Adrian's suggestions would not solve the affordable housing problem.

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