There aren't many things the whole country can agree on. That Gary Barlow isn't as good as Simon Cowell on the X-Factor perhaps. Or that Pippa Middleton has a stunning, er, figure. But for a generation or more there was one thing we could all agree on. Owning your own home was a good thing.
Not any more, it seems. As a report published on Tuesday by the National Housing Federation made clear, home ownership is now in retreat. The Federation forecasts that in England, the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will fall from a peak of 72.5% in 2001 to 63.8% in 2021. In London, the majority of people will be renting by 2021, with the number of owner-occupiers falling from 51.6% in 2010 to just 44% by 2021. On those trends, renting will be more normal than buying a house or a flat.
That is a shift of historic proportions - and one that we will come to regret. Home ownership was one of the great vehicles of social mobility, and one of the drivers of a dynamic, entrepreneurial economy.
It's no great surprise that home ownership is declining. Houses are still expensive on any long-term measure. The average home should be worth about 3.5 times the average salary. They are still way above that - and salaries are getting squeezed as well. And the cheap finance has all dried up. The 120%-self-cert mortgage has vanished from the market. Now you need deposits of 20% or more to get a decent deal.
Arguably, we pushed home ownership too far. At 70%-plus, people were being encouraged to buy houses when they couldn't really afford them. That was one of the causes of the sub-prime crisis. There is no point in people borrowing money they can't afford to pay back. That doesn't do anyone any good.
But now we risk going too far in the other direction.
You'll read plenty of times that it is normal in most of Europe for people to rent. It simply isn't true. Germany has low levels of owner-occupation. The rest of Europe is roughly the same as the UK, or even higher. Finland, Ireland and Spain for example all have over 80% owner-occupation, significantly higher than Britain.
In reality, owner-occupation is one of the great drivers of economic progress.
It has two big benefits.
First, it is an engine of social mobility. Owning their own home is one of the most effective ways for ordinary people to build a significant amount of wealth. They can use that to help their children through university, or to fund their retirement. If people just rent for their entire lives, that won't be possible. A renting culture risks entrenching even further the divide between and an affluent, property-owning middle-class and a marginalised poor.
Second, it provides a bedrock of capital. How do new small businesses - the lifeblood of an entrepreneurial economy - raise the money to get a new venture off the ground? The banks won't give it to them. Their family probably won't have the funds available. Borrowing against the security of the house is usually the best way to raise seed capital. But you can't do that if you don't own one.
If home ownership keeps declining, we'll need to think of way of turning that around - or over time we will all suffer the consequences.
Follow Matthew Lynn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mattlynnwriter