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House prices are still key to buy-to-let

So how likely is that? Of course, this question isn't just vital to landlords; it's of financial interest to anyone who owns or aspires to own their home - about four in every five Britons, according to a recent survey by YouGov. Hence the question of house prices always provokes such passionate debate - far more than any other question in personal finance. I wish I didn't have to wade into it, but in the absence of decent income returns from housing the question is too important to the investment case to shirk.

There seem to be two broad views. Many Britons instinctively assume that 'house prices always go up in the long run' because that is the experience of their life times. Another group asserts that houses are substantially overvalued and prices need to fall. Paradoxically, this too is often conditioned by individuals' own experience, because houses were so much cheaper when they bought theirs.

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