The slow down in house prices might be exciting some analysts but it still does little to help first-time buyers and those towards the lower reaches of the property ladder.

So the launch of the first Ikea flatpack community is being heralded by some as the first step towards a bright new future.

The Bo Klok concept has been initially launched in Gateshead and the aim is to roll it out to other cities across the UK, with Glasgow believed to be the next in line.

Although undoubtedly a very Ikea-centric concept – flatpack homes furnished with flatpack furniture and gardens landscaped with a very Swedish, affordable style – the fact that these apartments and houses are being targeted at buyers with total annual incomes no higher than £35,000 does make them affordable and something of a refreshing change.

Rather than mortgaging themselves way beyond their means, house-buyers have the opportunity to own their own home without saddling themselves with a mountain of debt and maybe start to climb the property ladder.

Ikea isn’t the first to launch the flat-pack home, others are trying similar projects. The difference so far is the scale, with the Ikea concept appearing to be part of a much larger and more long-term programme.

There are some conditions which might not appeal to everyone – properties can only be sold back through Ikea’s partners Home, the affordable housing specialists, for example, which takes a share of the value to keep prices pegged down.

Yet in many other respects it is a far more attractive proposition than the current situation many face – a massive mortgage and little, if any, hope of keeping pace with the housing market.

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