I said it like this (in support of Kris Sayce):
…house prices during a bubble (if you want to call it that, however mild) begin to carry a growth premium. People begin paying a premium on the price for the expected future capital growth. The elimination of this growth premium may explain the decline in prices observed over 2008.
These guys, Karl E Case, John M Quigley and Robert J Shiller, say it like this:
For the vast majority of buyers, investment was ‘a major consideration’ or they at least ‘in part’ thought of it as an investment. …it was a major consideration for a majority of buyers. Similarly, only a small percentage of buyers thought that housing involved a great deal of risk in all cities...
While I’m here, a question that has been bothering me for some time is why property ‘experts’ obsess about auction clearance rates? I’m not sure what theory supports this measure as sign of strength in the market. High clearance rates could either be a sign of buyer enthusiasm, or seller desperation. In the share market, an ongoing auction, a high volume of trade is generally necessary for a significant price change – up or down. I would love to see the correlation between auction clearance rates and price movement.