ANOTHER week, another round of stories about property prices and home ownership.

Zoopla, the property website, looked at property values across the UK and rated our biggest cities according to how much homes are worth.

Glasgow landed in third place with a total property value of £90.75 billion. We also came second on another list for "growth rate" as property prices in the city have risen by 5.38 per cent over the past year.

If you really want to see your home increase in value, Zoopla claims, you have to have the good fortune to be able to buy property in the G12 postcode - such as Dowanhill and Clevedon. Your property price will have risen by 7.18 per cent. Very nice too.

Last week we were also told, by UK Finance, the finance and banking industry trade body, that the mortgage industry is on the up in Scotland. First time buying and remortgaging levels are at their highest for a decade.

In the fourth quarter of last year around 9100 new home mover mortgages were completed - more than 8 per cent higher than the same time in 2016. Home movers, we were told, are an average age of 39 with a salary of £51,000.

One of the factors helping the first time buying market is that 95 per cent mortgages have become available again and so potential buyers have less work to do to save up for a deposit.

At the same time, the headlines were also full of the news that young Scots are having to wait until they are nearly 30 and earning more than £10,000 the average salary before they'll get on the property ladder.

Scottish salaries have stuck at an average of £23,000 a year during the past 10 years but the average first time buyer's earnings have risen from £28,685 to £33,873 in that time.

Now Homes For Scotland, the umbrella body for builders, has expressed concern that the pressure is too much for first time buyers and is now calling on the Scottish Government to extend the Help to Buy scheme, which was first launched in 2013 to try to balance out the effects of a lack of affordable mortgages and large deposits required by banks.

Property prices are a sure-fire headline grabber. People go nuts for property prices. They get touchy about anything encroaching on their neighbourhood - from rises in anti-social behaviour to a new hostel - that might impact the price of their house.

What you rarely - if ever - see talked about is the distinction between a house and a home.

There's a huge pressure on young people to buy their first flat. It's a default topic of conversation when you're a certain age and you find yourself in a situation where you have to make small talk with a stranger: "Are you saving for a deposit?", "Are you thinking of buying?" "You're not still renting, are you?"

But never is it suggested that young people are looking for a home to put down roots. It's all about clambering onto the ladder with a view to climbing up it.

Why do we think of houses as investments, rather than homes?

I bought my flat for £87,500 seven years ago and when I recently re-mortgaged, it was valued at £115,000. That’s a 31 per cent rise. It’s also absolute nonsense. I haven't "made" £27,500 because I have no intention of selling. It's money that doesn't really exist.

If first time buyers need to be earning £10,000 more than the average salary to be able to afford a home then we really have a problem.

Could it partly be that first time buyers need to have slightly more modest aspirations? Property porn of the Location, Location, Location sort has us all thinking that we need a walk-in wardrobe and two double bedrooms, both en suite, for a first home or we're failing at life.

Young people buying their first properties want to be in the kind of areas - those G12-style areas we mentioned earlier - that it took their parents' generations a few house moves and a few work promotions to buy.

If you view property as an investment that will lead you on to something bigger and better then surely there's nothing wrong with starting out in the suburbs. But that's not what people my age want - they want the same standard of living their parents have.

To get that, they need help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, which further helps inflate property prices.

A report released today shows the Scottish Government is within reach of its affordable homes target to see 50,000 affordable homes delivered by 2021, with 70 per cent being socially rented. A rise in the social housing stock is essential for the provision of affordable homes that many desperately need.

What we also need is for renting to lose its uncertainty and its stigma. The notion that renting is "throwing money away" is nonsense. You have to provide a roof over your head, that's not a waste of income.

We talk about the problems of first time buyers as if they are a national scandal. Not being able to sign deeds to your home isn't a tragedy. What needs to change is the expectation that home ownership is the be all and end all.