Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Is a million dollar median really something to applaud?

In Sydney we cheer the property market on like it’s Black Caviar coming down the home straight at Flemington. It is easy to see why people get excited. A large proportion of us are punters and there’s a couple of trillion riding on it.

But not everyone has a bet on. Many of us simply can’t stump up the cash or find the odds far from favourable. Having seen that horse whipped so hard for so long, we’re waiting for it to finally fall over and die.

Paying a million bucks for a bog standard house in the burbs doesn’t seem like a winning bet. It doesn’t seem like the “great Australian dream” either. It seems more like a horrific, panic-inducing nightmare. Just imagine waking up in a fibro shack on a main road and realising you owe the bank a seven figure sum. You would be in a constant cold sweat.

Is this really the best Sydneysiders can dream of? Getting a good job, working ridiculously hard and coming home on a toll road just in time to flick on a home renovation show? Is this what we now call living?  

What have the next generation got to look forward to? I’m sure very few are excited about the prospect of bunking down with their parents until their mid 30’s, just so they can pay off their HECS debt and start scraping together a home deposit. Don’t expect them to reproduce either. Kids really get in the way of mortgage repayments.

Instead of treating housing as a basic need, we have transformed it in to a wildly speculative investment. Each massive price rise gets cheered on with glee. But would we all be this happy if a loaf of bread cost $25?

While successive governments have feigned tremendous concern about the cost of living, all have done diddly squat about the cost of housing. Rather than being brave enough to put a pin to the bubble, they have concocted ways to make the problem worse.

We now have a city which a generation of people can’t afford to live in. Who’s grand vision was this? Who wanted to see a bunch of stressed out wage slaves, commuting from dull, distant suburbs, just so they could fling half their earnings back to a bank?

Perhaps it’s time the pollies stop putting the punters first and give the rest of us something to cheer about. 

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