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Great news – house prices up

The front page of the Daily Express on earlier this week carried the headline: HOUSE PRICES ON RISE AT LAST

Joy for homeowners

New joy for homeowners as market defies gloom

So a rise of £1,250 a month in the price of a house is good news for anybody wanting to buy, is it?

Why is a rise in house prices a Good Thing, whereas a rise in petrol prices would quickly bring forth the Shock Horror headlines from the same newspaper.

Politicians and businesses are screaming out for ‘growth’. The one time, more than any other, when people consume is when they move house or buy new furniture, carpets, curtains, kitchen equipment and all the other things that go into a home. Higher house prices just reduce the amount of money people have to pay for goods and services.

Why do so many people imagine that the higher house prices go, the better off we are? Surely we all know by now that present the financial crisis was caused by a property boom. Yet despite this we cling to the idea that a rise in house prices is ‘good news’. Why does the belief in this nonsense persist?