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Home repair, furnishings, kitchen companies, joiners, builders, double glazing. There are about 25 million homes in the UK, of which seven out of 10 are owner-occupied. The number of home owners has risen by more than one million since 1997 alone. House prices have been booming for more than a decade - almost tripling since 1996. The sharp increase has far outpaced wage rises. The average house now costs more than six times the average wage. In London the figure is closer to nine times. It has led to fears that many people will not be able to buy a first home, or a larger one. The typical first time buyer is now 33-years-old and takes five years to save the average £24,000 deposit (rising to £44,000 in London).

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