Weekly shop would cost over £450 if food had risen as fast as house prices

The average family’s weekly shop would cost £453 if food had risen in line with house prices over the last 40 years, says Shelter.

To highligshelter-whiteht the extent of the UK’s dysfunctional housing market, the charity analysed the cost of a typical weekly shop for a family of four based on house price inflation since 1971.

At that time the weekly shop cost £10.40, and the average home £5,632. By 2011 the price of the average home had shot up to £245,319 – over 43 times more expensive. This puts the average weekly shop at £453.23.

Applying the same rate of inflation to everyday food items reveals that:
• a 4-pint carton of milk would cost £10.45
• a chicken would cost £51.18
• a bunch of 6 bananas would cost £8.47
• a box of 6 eggs would cost £5.01
• a loaf of sliced white bread would cost £4.36
• a leg of lamb would cost £53.18

Shelter is warning that home ownership is becoming unaffordable for millions of young people and families who, despite working hard and saving up, still can’t get their foot on the ladder.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The high cost of food is already a real concern for people, so if prices reached these levels there’s no way we’d accept it. Yet when it comes to the huge rise in the cost of buying a home over the past few decades, somehow this is seen as normal – even welcome – despite the impact it’s having on a generation desperate for a home of their own.

“With more young people and families priced out, home ownership is already starting to fall, which in turn is driving up the cost of renting. Unless something changes, the next generation will find it even tougher to get a stable and affordable home.”

Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. It does this by giving advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need, and by campaigning for lasting political change to end the housing crisis for good.