Markets are mechanisms for distributing goods and services according to people's ability to pay. They are also investment vehicles which can be used to secure financial gains as economies expand. Housing markets embrace both these features, and are popular in Britain as a way of maximising residential choice at the same time as protecting and enhancing personal wealth. All markets create winners and losers, but no systematic social differences in either risks or gains are expected. However, this paper shows that, as home ownership has become the British housing norm, people experiencing ill-health are one social group who can struggle to reap its benefits, either as a consumption good or as a financial asset. The way housing markets (currently) work may therefore tend to reinforce the health divide, though this is neither a necessary nor inevitable state of affairs.