For our last market commentary of the year we thought we would make an effort to be festive! However, as the end of 2011 hoves into view we learn that the politicians are meddling with the housing market yet again. The latest wheeze is a taxpayer guarantee for first time buyers who cannot afford a decent deposit. Hang on a minute! Didn’t prices become unaffordable due to lax lending and a massive credit bubble? Unpalatable though it may be the plain truth is that the market will not function properly until house prices become more affordable relative to incomes. With no sign of wage inflation this can only mean that prices have to soften over time. Will sanity return in 2012 or will Tiny Tim have to scrimp and save until he is in his 40s to put together a deposit? Have a Merry Christmas one and all!