"Anyway good luck with the search, must be frustrating."
And this is why I said pay up and be happy.
Sorry but you have been/are getting lots of one way advice... there's always another side.
"The reality is house prices won't go up for a decade, wages are lagging behind inflation, houses have to get cheaper as we have less disposable income."
This is undoubtably true if the only buyers of UK housing was it's population. But just like any other market its free and it's open which means its becoming increasingly globalised.... Whole blocks of flats, in london, are being snapped up off plan by over seas buyers.
I realise that a Chinease soveign wealth fund is not going to be interested, with respect, in 170k worth of house but it's only a matter of time before their actions start having an effect along the whole of the housing market price range.
We've been selling out our companies to foreign buyers for years, for example how many Premiership football cubs are UK owned? What makes you think that the global market will stop investing in "cheap" Britain and buy everything that it's nailed down.