It'll never happen. That was the view of some housebuilders in the audience on hearing the lugubrious economist Roger Bootle's storm warning for the UK housing market's future at our Future Homes conference last month.
But anyone who has reached director level within a housebuilder will be old enough and wise enough to remember the last time it did. The bulls' argument for the robust good health of the housing market is predicated on continuing low interest rates – an illusion the Bank of England's Mervyn King has just shattered.

But as well as the flurry of statistics that you would expect from a top economist, Bootle records the growing pressures on your customers: pensions turning out to be worthless, big debt burdens and diminishing hope of a hefty wage rise at the end of the year. That may not stop people from buying homes, but at the very least, it will make them more careful about how they spend their money. The industry should read Bootle's words carefully.