More than six in ten "baby boomers" would take a cut in house prices to help young people take their first step onto the property ladder, according to a survey. The poll by YouGov on behalf of the National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents housing associations, found 62% of over-55s would accept no growth or a fall in the value of their homes over the coming two years if it helped young people.

That compares to 52% of under-55s and 53% of all those polled.

And 73% of those polled agreed that the housing crisis has created a generational divide in the UK.

"Contrary to political opinion, the British public are no longer obsessed with perpetual house price growth," said David Orr, chief executive of the NHF.

"In fact, the overwhelming majority would now accept a less buoyant market if it made life easier for the next generation. Nobody wants a crash, and we are certainly not advocating one, but politicians need to hear this.

"That so many who stand to benefit would today pass up the opportunity to do so demonstrates the extent of public empathy and underlines the severity of the problem for the young. Housing associations are doing all they can to improve their offer to the young and priced out, building homes that people can really afford to rent and buy."

House prices have risen sharply in recent years, fuelled by a housing shortage in parts of the country, particularly London and the South East.