Homeowners who hate high prices
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.
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.
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.
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.