Well it is for some anyway and maybe for some considerable time to come.Both the Guardian and Mail have articles that end on the note that maybe the nation's love affair with owner-occupation is over.
The Guardian points to a fall to 68% in UK home-ownership as house prices and property transaction numbers continue to stagnate. The bearish comments of those interviewed also show that this situation is unlikely to change in at least the next two years. The article also points out that owner-occupancy is not just dropping in the UK and ends with 'Whatever happens to prices in the UK in the coming year, the real story may be that the British love affair with home ownership is finally over'.
The Mail is as equally gloomy saying prices falling at their current rate is not helping anyone to buy. It seems as prices drop the height of the bar to bet over for a mortgage just notches up.
The government is of course making the right noises about getting banks to lend and wanting people to own their own homes. But with government being forced to hack huge swathes of funding out of the system, which inevitable means job losses, as well as raising VAT to help fill the deficit the real pressure on banks is risk, not government rhetoric.
But even with all the price and funding problems there is one thing of which I am sure. The UK population will always adore property. Their love affair with home ownership is undiminished, the craving to own their own house is just currently unfulfilled.
Once wages against prices become more normalised and banks feel that the risk has abated sufficiently, people will come flooding back. In the meantime homes will still change hands as individuals, private and investor alike, decide that the time is right for them to do so. There will also be an increase in the use of property lease options as tenants recognise the advantages of having the legal option to buy the house they rent if they wish as well as gaining some added security of tenure. Especially if the current situation continues for several years.
But once the prices and funding are right for the 'average' buyer to get back in (and they will) just watch those prices rocket again as we fall into the same old ways and lenders invent (re-invent) new mortgage tricks to bypass any government attempts to regulate the market. It won't be different next time, it never is because people have short memories.