For the vast majority, yes, they are a very bad thing. Only the "downsizer" benefits; for the rest of us, whether you are a first time buyer or a family needing more space, it means either we suffer a much lower quality of life than would otherwise be possible or else we must burden ourselves with crippling debts which will take a lifetime to pay off. Less immediately obvious is the long term damage to the UK economy. The brief period of oil riches should have been used, as in Norway and other oil beneficiaries, to make overseas investments for instance in India and China (just as previous generations, for example, did in the Americas and India). Instead with the Government throttling supply and thereby artificially making housing a very attractive one way CGT free bet in contrast to heavily taxed non-housing capital gains, as a nation we have squandered our savings on non productive housing, spent the "equity" created on luxury imports such as cars and missed the boom in emerging market stocks. The consequence is that the UK balance sheet is hugely the poorer.
Whilst the plight of the key-worker is both distressing and obvious it is the symptom of a much greater failure and problem. The real cause is the lack of spacious family houses for people to move up into out of their starter homes thereby making available to the market their starter homes for key-workers and other first time buyers. One house built at the top of the housing ladder could enable, at steps up the ladder, as many as 8 households to move up into better housing
We believe everyone has the right to own a spacious, quality home. We need to unite and put pressure on the government to make sure this happens. With only 1% of the UK's land developed for homes there is scope to build more without impacting on the countryside. If you are struggling to afford a larger home or struggling to even get on the housing ladder then you need to add your voice to our campaign.