with andyp here, to many see buying a house as an investment, when it is your home, think of it that way and it changes how you perceive the money you put into it.
ITs difficult now, because unless you have a lot of money set aside for a deposit, taking advantage of the lower house prices and mortgage rates is really difficult/impossible. Heard a general rule of thumb is that if your rent/mortgage takes up more than a third of your income its too much. But hey this is london my friend.
My advice, keep saving as money on rent is just pissed away. Find an area you can live in, which you can get to work from and won't frighten you because your gonna have to live there for a while, buy flat/house and renovate/make yours overtime, live in your home! If home is more valuable at end, and you and girlfriend need more space for family like stuff sell home buy bigger one.
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