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Weekly grocery bill £420 if it had risen in line with house prices

11th February 2010 Print

The average family's weekly grocery bill would be around £420 if the prices of food had risen in line with house prices, housing charity Shelter reveals today.

To highlight the shocking extent of house price inflation, the charity has analysed the cost of a typical shopping trolley of groceries for a family of four if prices had risen at the same rate as house prices in the last 40 years.

In 1971, the average home cost £5,632. By 2008, that average had risen to £227,765. If food and other essential items had risen at the same rate, Shelter found that a pint of milk would cost £2.43, a chicken £47.51 and a jar of coffee £20.22.

It would mean the average family paying around three times as much for their weekly food shop as they do today.

The charity is highlighting the UK's shockingly high housing costs in an advertising campaign launching at train and London underground stations from Monday (15th February).

Shelter's director of policy and campaigns Kay Boycott said: "These calculations show just how out of line the cost of housing has become - yet we seem to have just accepted these inflated prices as normal in a way we wouldn't with anything else.

"We're asking people to join our online discussion forum at to have their say about the way high housing costs are affecting their lives. It's time for people to make their voices heard and join the fight for affordable housing."

Shelter's work, by Leo Burnett London, is part of an ongoing campaign by Shelter exploring the effects that unaffordable housing has on all aspects of people's lives. In particular, these adverts challenge people to consider if it is acceptable that house prices have been allowed to rise, unchecked by inflation, to the point where the average home costs around seven times the average UK salary.

Ms Boycott continued: "Housing affects so many areas of people's lives and high housing costs are increasingly influencing the choices people make about how they live their lives. In this election year, it's vital that all political parties make housing a top priority so that future generations are not held back by the cost of housing.

Leo Burnett London's spokesperson said: "By applying housing prices to everyday items, the shocking reality of unaffordable housing becomes all too apparent. Hopefully this campaign will really bring home to people the seriousness of the current situation."