Tuesday, 4 January 2011 2:58 PM
An end to the boom-and-bust pattern in UK house prices is unrealistic, the housing minister has warned.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Grant Shapps said: "It would be foolish to say that you can simply end boom and bust - you can't."
However, he went on to explain policies which the government can introduce to help influence the property market, including measures that affect housing supply, mortgages and how people choose to invest their money.
The comments followed a warning from Shapps that young people face waiting until their mid-30s before setting foot on the property ladder, unless they receive financial help from their parents.
"I want to distance myself from a Brown-esque pledge to end housing boom and bust forever," the minister told Radio 4 listeners. "I don't think it is actually within the gift of one single government to do that."
He added: "I think it would be desirable to have a stable housing market and there are things the government can do. There are policy levers."
Shapps went on to say that the number of Brits struggling to afford a decent home is "crazy" and that rapid price rises in the past had been particularly unhelpful.
Meanwhile, the latest Council of Mortgage Lenders figures suggest that families typically plan to spend more than 20 years in a single property, compared to just 11 years in 2007.