As house prices continue to fall and predictions for 2009 are that they will continue down next year, in a special programme dedicated to the property market, we asked what housing is actually for.
Is it to provide a roof over our heads, shelter for our family, somewhere to call our own at the end of the day?
Or is it an opportunity to make money - to put our cash on what for a while seemed to be a one way bet - the upward escalator of house prices?
And why did we think house prices could only go one way?
Paul Lewis heard from Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Mark Dampier, head of Research with financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdowne, Martin Roberts, author and presenter of the BBC property programme Homes under the Hammer and Melanie Bien, director of mortgage brokers Savills.
And Money Box's Bob Howard visited a property auction in London to see how prices there indicated the health of the housing market.
Further information/related stories:
And the housing market is also the subject of Call You and Yours on 30 December.
You can email your views and experiences via the website:
Or call You and Yours on 0800 044 044.
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 27 December 2008 at 1204 GMT.
The programme was repeated on Sunday 28 December 2008 at 2102 GMT.