The problem with housewarming parties is that guests can accidentally morph from close friends, into strange relatives bearing surprising gifts. Where once they brought wine, now they come bearing indoor tulip trees, personalised chopping boards, and tasting plates, with accompanying dipping sauces.
When the recession hit, it wiped out livelihoods and decimated entire markets. In the face of a global slump, Britain's housing sector was no exception; buyers couldn't afford to buy and builders couldn't afford to build. Over the course of several years, the pace of the property market dropped from jet stream to tumbleweed and the UK was left with an increasingly problematic housing deficit.