Of course in those days you actually got tax relief on mortgage interest which if you were a higher rate tax payer was quite a substantial discount.The other thing was that lenders had sensible lending policies ( 3 x highest earner and 1 x for spouse) based on realistic house values.I like a piece of lamb, but the price has reach stupid levels. It's not just used car prices, used caravan prices have gone daft and at the same time caravan manufacturers are cutting back on production, which in turn is forcing prices up.
I am old enough to remember the day when we accepted a mortgage with a 14% interest. Are those days on their way back?
In many cases though inflation is only a published figure and for those that shop around it is nearly always possible (with certain exceptions as you say) to make best possible use of deals/cashback offers to keep your costs under the headline rate. Energy costs are probably the main component in rising household bills and I accept that there's not much you can do about those at the moment apart from those who perhaps were forward thinking and invested in solar panels etc when feed in tariffs were generous.