A HOME is the most expensive purchase most people will ever make.

Not only is it a roof over their heads, it is somewhere they turn into a home, start families, and create a lifetime of memories.

But it is also an investment, both in terms of moving up the property ladder, as well as having something to leave their children and loved ones once they are gone.

The key to this is that the mortgage and other substantial bills are paid off and the property being left is a benefit and not a financial millstone around their necks.

The issue of leaseholds ­— essentially paying rent for the land on which a house is built ­— is threatening to become the next PPI-type scandal, with leaseholds being sold to investment companies who can charge eyewatering sums in ground rent.

In theory, following a series of steep increases, the leasehold of a property could cost more than the mortgage to buy it.

This scandal is making it difficult for people to sell their homes ­— unless they can fork out huge sums to buy the leasehold.

Leaseholds initially guaranteed peppercorn rents to landlords which, when multiplied by the number of properties involved, added up to a steady income for the land owner.

But now speculators and investors have cottoned on to the idea, homeowners are seen as easy pickings as their homes cannot be moved from the land.