I've noted that many from the UK seem to be very partial to brick houses. I'm wondering if this is because they seem more solid, are more familiar or if there is something I just don't know about brick houses?

Where I grew up on the east coast of the US, brick houses were common (especially in the older parts of town- dating back to the 1800's). But when I moved to the west coast of the US, I found that there were few houses built of brick. This turned out to be a good thing, because the much of the west coast is prone to earthquakes- as some of NZ is as well- and brick houses are more prone to damage. To be honest, the idea of living in a brick house, even in a place liken Dunedin which gets less moving and shaking than a lot of the rest of the country, would make me nervous.

I'm interested in what your take on the issue is?

PS. A nice tin roof sounds good to me, if it falls on me, I can probably still get out!