PHOTO: Housing policies will be a focus of the federal election – Prime Capital

For millions of Australians, their home is more than a haven or the place for the family to live. It is the bedrock of their wealth. It is the investment that makes sense of their years of toil and sweat, their working sacrifices and teeth-gritting patience in patting down a mortgage.

That is why forecasts of falling housing prices cause a degree of anguish; they tend to be viewed through the prism of those-who-have something to lose, as opposed to those-who-have-not. Yet it was concern for the latter that guided regulators and banks (eventually) to impose restrictions on lending over the past few years – and that has led to the tightening in credit, which, in turn, is feeding into lower housing prices.