Home­own­ers who hate high prices

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS - ROB STOCK MONEY MAT­TERS rob.stock@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

New Zealand homes and the land they are on are now worth a stag­ger­ing one tril­lion dol­lars.

Those who have a share in it are gen­er­ally as­sumed to be pretty happy.

I can tell you now, not all of them are.

Many home­own­ers don’t ap­prove of house prices hav­ing soared so high, even though it has en­riched them per­son­ally.

Their dis­taste that the me­dian house in Auck­land costs roughly ten times the me­dian house­hold in­come is be­cause in­flated


prop­erty prices are in­ter­fer­ing with the or­di­nary lives of the peo­ple they love, mak­ing them far harder than they need to be.

I can il­lus­trate us­ing examples from my per­sonal sphere of ac­quain­tance.

Per­pet­ual Apron-strings

Once you raised chil­dren and, when they were in their 20s, they were in­de­pen­dent. These days, peo­ple in their 30s are still fi­nan­cially tied to their par­ents, be­cause the par­ents have to lend them money, or be guar­an­tors for the bank, just so they can buy a home.

Chil­dren and Grand­chil­dren

Grand­chil­dren are one of the con­so­la­tions for get­ting old. Liv­ing near them means be­ing able to see them, and chip­ping in with school pick-ups and care. But high house prices can hin­der that. Some peo­ple even see their chil­dren flee their home cities in search of bet­ter, and cheaper, liv­ing else­where.

Mov­ing House

Peo­ple need to move house some­times, but down­siz­ing, or up­siz­ing can be­come a night­mare in a hot prop­erty mar­ket where un­con­di­tional auc­tions are the norm. If you ac­ci­den­tally end up shut out of the mar­ket, things can very quickly turn against you.

Los­ing Friends

Par­tic­u­larly painful is los­ing friends be­cause they flee the city to es­tab­lish them­selves some­where cheaper. As you wave them off, you know you’d prob­a­bly do the same if you were in their shoes.

This coun­try was at its best when it was a broad-based home­own­ing democ­racy.

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