In recent years it has been particularly hard for families to either get onto the property ladder for the first time or move on if they need more space.
High deposits and tough lending criteria have left many young families frustrated and having to tread water in accommodation that is ill-suited to our needs.
If you're struggling to secure your first family home, HSBC's pledge to make £15 billion available for mortgages in 2012 could be just what you've been waiting for - especially as out of that cash £3 billion is being specifically ring-fenced for first-time buyers.
HSBC has predicted that these funds will be used by around 150,000 home owners, including 27,000 people buying for the first time.
Have your plans to buy a property been thwarted by the current financial climate?
Existing homeowners looking to move could be missing out on a key way to boost their savings by renting out their spare room. With the high demand in the rental market, there is an opportunity for families to take in a lodger and generate additional revenue as they search for a new home.
Meanwhile, the Government is also keen to get more first-time buyers entering the market again, and recently revealed that discounts will be offered to council tenants looking to buy their homes.
Although the additional cash is a glimmer of hope for buyers, HSBC will be taking extra care to ensure any lending is right for both customers and shareholders.
Martijn van der Heijden, head of lending at HSBC, said: "In 2011 we offered UK borrowers some of the most competitive rates around and we plan to continue this in 2012.
"While some estimates suggest mortgage lending in the UK will fall this year, HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers, nor will we compromise our reputation for responsible lending."