How Money Works: Is buying a house a waste of money?

Even in austerity Britain, we're buying and selling nearly 1,000,000 homes a year. Is all this investing in bricks really the best option though? We investigate the facts.

It used to be so simple - you saved up, banks fell over themselves to offer you the biggest mortgage you could afford, you bought a home and then watched the value of your "investment" rise year after year.

Not any more. In fact, over the last few years buying a home has been a simply terrible investment - and that's if you can manage to convince a bank to lend to you in the first place.

But does that mean buying a house has become a waste of money? We take a look.