This expression really makes me cringe. Homes are to live in and should be cheap and easily available. At least that's the theory. But no, it couldn't be that simple. It never is with humans. It seems like humans have a masochistic attitude to life in the way they have to complicate the most simplest and most basic necessities. Money is god and must be obeyed.
Homes are yet another way to make money. That's their primary function. They are to be sold for more than they were bought for, with improvements included to increase the value. The additional value is then used to buy a more expensive property. Hence the ladder humans crawl up.
It doesn't matter to the owners whether anyone can afford to buy somewhere to live. It's all down to greed of the owners and the banks or building societies. Humans have been conditioned to see such a progress as a sign of success and would be unhappy at being labelled as greedy. Some may complain about their property not selling, which obviously could be improved by cutting the asking price but that would be unthinkable to those selling. The property ladder is calling them.
If someone wanted to buy a proprty they can always borrow money and spend much of their lives paying back more than they borrowed. If they later can't pay back, the banks will quickly throw them out of their home and sell it themselves.
It's the 21st century but there are many who are living in squalor, making a choice whether to use energy to heat their homes or to cook food. When someone manages to get a home, there are ridiculously expensive bills and taxes to pay. The elderly suffer the most.