Keighley MP Kris Hopkins has clashed with a fellow minister after welcoming the latest hike in house prices.
The housing minister raised eyebrows after suggesting rising property prices were a “good thing”, telling an interviewer: “I bought a house and I expect the value to rise.”
The comment followed new figures revealing prices across the UK had surged by 9.2 per cent during the past year, pushing the average cost to £178,124.
But Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, warned home ownership was now “unaffordable” to people on middle incomes.
And he said: “I do not agree with Kris Hopkins. If you are an owner-occupier who has paid off your mortgage, it is an increase in your paper or real wealth.
“But if you are a young family trying to get into the housing market and it is unaffordable, it is an extremely bad thing.”
Mr Hopkins – promoted by David Cameron last year – said the coalition is on course to build more homes than Labour did. And he has dismissed warnings the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme will inflate a dangerous housing bubble.
Interviewed by Newsnight, Mr Hopkins said: “You have got to say that, where we were in 2008 and 2010, we’re nowhere near those prices at this moment in time.
“There are a lot of people out there who haven’t reached the value of their house they purchased. I bought a house and I expect the value to rise.”