Housing problems solved by offering sufficiently unattractive houses?

johnboy 20 May 2009 55

The ABC delivers us a masterclass in spin based governance. Jon Stanhope is proclaiming success for his multi-faceted housing strategy.

The basis for this claim?

    Sixty cheaper house and land packages were offered for sale at the Brindabella estate at West Macgregor, but Mr Stanhope says only a third were sold.

    The Chief Minister says the clearance rate proves the Government’s affordable housing strategy is meeting demand.

So very few people want to by horrible houses at the edge of no-where and your work is done?

And while we’re at it houses around $360,000 are cheap? You’re not exactly on the bones of your arse if you can swing that kind of finance.

Talk about massaging expectations beyond the event horizon.

2 bedroom flats with rent-to-own schemes, now that’s affordable housing.


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55 Responses to Housing problems solved by offering sufficiently unattractive houses?
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Clown Killer Clown Killer 9:42 am 20 May 09

I agree that $360k is a lot of money, but it’s still cheap for a new house in this market. Whether or not it’s genuinely ‘entry level’ is up for debate. That said, I think that the Government should try to help bring down the cost associated with all forms of housing but cutting red-tape, removing stamp duty etc. not by wasting tax payers money on subsidies and handouts.

If you can’t afford your own home, then you can’t afford it – work harder and save more. It’d what most people had to do.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:58 am 20 May 09

If people are still buying 400k plus houses, yet there are 360k houses lying unsold, then the implication is that we have a crisis of aspiration, rather than affordability. Of course everyone wants the classy inner city home or unit, but most people have to start somewhere, and West MacGregor seems a good place to me to do so.

If you can’t afford the home you want, you have a few options:
1) Live somewhere very cheap and do what you can to save and improve your income;
2) Buy somewhere cheap and continue to work hard, then in a few years upgrade; or
3) Rent.

I hear the comment too about 2 bedroom units, but there are currently 2 BR units available to rent for under 300 a week, or to be bought for less than 300k.

Also, I offer this advice having spent several years living like a pauper on the edge of town to save for the deposit for my first home, so it’s not like I haven’t been through this myself.

peterh peterh 10:15 am 20 May 09

for first home buyers to the market, west macgregor may well be perfect. For my family, it is just too far out of the loop of our friends and family. We haven’t even contemplated west macgregor as an option. we are currently engaging in item 2 of vy’s list.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 10:47 am 20 May 09

We were worried that our world might end when we moved from the inner north to the south, that friends would be too far away and the places we like to visit too hard to reach. Looking back, I can’t imagine what we were worried about.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:54 am 20 May 09

Clown Killer said :

We were worried that our world might end when we moved from the inner north to the south, that friends would be too far away and the places we like to visit too hard to reach. Looking back, I can’t imagine what we were worried about.

Yep, I had a similar thing going.

Nothing’s really that far away in Canberra.

Honestly, I’d hardly call West Macgregor ‘the edge of nowhere’. It’s 10-15 minutes away from the City Centre by car.

vg vg 11:20 am 20 May 09

Standope loves massaging the figures to suit his own agendas

“The Chief Minister says the clearance rate proves the Government’s affordable housing strategy is meeting demand.”

or

That the ‘affordable’ housing you provide is not affordable

Remember people, you voted for him

screaming banshee screaming banshee 11:36 am 20 May 09

And while we’re at it houses around $360,000 are cheap?

For a house, yes. If that’s too much for you then consider a unit/townhouse/duplex/dual oc.

Put’s on old man hat….

What young people dont understand is that like vy the ‘wealthy’ large homeowners of today purchased small reasonably priced housing when they were young rather than buying the 4/5 bedroom 2.5 bathroom with home theatre monstrosity straight up. All the while running old cheap cars.

It seems the current generation of first home buyers think they must have the huge house straight away while also have a car each less than 5 years old…then when such a dream is out of reach financially they cry that housing isn’t affordable.

chewy14 chewy14 11:44 am 20 May 09

screaming banshee said :

And while we’re at it houses around $360,000 are cheap?

For a house, yes. If that’s too much for you then consider a unit/townhouse/duplex/dual oc.

Put’s on old man hat….

What young people dont understand is that like vy the ‘wealthy’ large homeowners of today purchased small reasonably priced housing when they were young rather than buying the 4/5 bedroom 2.5 bathroom with home theatre monstrosity straight up. All the while running old cheap cars.

It seems the current generation of first home buyers think they must have the huge house straight away while also have a car each less than 5 years old…then when such a dream is out of reach financially they cry that housing isn’t affordable.

Where are these small reasonably priced houses?
$360000 for a crap house in West McGregor is not cheap.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 11:45 am 20 May 09

How do you know the houses are crap?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:50 am 20 May 09

What young people dont understand is that like vy the ‘wealthy’ large homeowners of today purchased small reasonably priced housing when they were young rather than buying the 4/5 bedroom 2.5 bathroom with home theatre monstrosity straight up. All the while running old cheap cars.

A lot of people here would laugh if they saw the pieces of $hite cars we had in those days. One of them was so bad that one of the partners of the firm I worked for then asked me not to park it in front of the office!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 11:51 am 20 May 09

How do you know the houses are crap?

I thought they were brand new.

Thumper Thumper 11:51 am 20 May 09

West Macgregor is 15 minutes from the city centre. On a bad run it may take you 20 minutes.

chewy14 chewy14 11:56 am 20 May 09

Thumper said :

West Macgregor is 15 minutes from the city centre. On a bad run it may take you 20 minutes.

And only 1 minute to the sewage treatment plant.
Ah the serenity.

screaming banshee screaming banshee 12:01 pm 20 May 09

chewy14 said :

Where are these small reasonably priced houses?
$360000 for a crap house in West McGregor is not cheap.

Perhaps you’d like to see what $360k will buy you 15 minutes from the centre of any other major city then

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:01 pm 20 May 09

chewy14 said :

Thumper said :

West Macgregor is 15 minutes from the city centre. On a bad run it may take you 20 minutes.

And only 1 minute to the sewage treatment plant.
Ah the serenity.

You’ve never been there, have you?

Sic Sic 12:07 pm 20 May 09

In what world is $360,000 “affordable housing”. Just because it is entry level doesn’t mean it is affordable.

The house I am renting last sold for $120,000 in 1998, today that house would be worth between $380,000 to $420,000 to buy and it’s very much nothing special.

I am absolutely sick to death of hearing the older generations, sitting happy in their expensive houses they paid stuff all for telling us to save harder like they had to, and how we have it lucky to be able to get a 0% deposit loan. They never had to put themselves into the gigantic amount of debt required today for home ownership. I would NEVER want to buy a house with a 0% deposit loan, but an entry level house in Canberra in a high crime area is $300,000, that’s a $60,000 deposit!

While I agree buying a cheaper house and working your way up is the way to do it, the people telling us to do this bought houses for under $100,000 and made a small fortune during the housing boom. $300,000 to buy a house you would never want to live in, in an area you wouldn’t want to live in is a considerably high amount of money.

There is something very wrong with our current system which is built to protect the home values and voting power of rate payers, with no real consideration given to “affordable housing”.

Reprobate Reprobate 12:12 pm 20 May 09

West Macgregor is about getting a foot on the housing ladder. It is an entry level suburb now and it will always be in the future because of it’s location. However I don’t think that’s a bad thing as when circumstances change and the first buyer is ready to move on to a closer suburb, there’ll always be some young couple/family with only just enough finance to buy there.

11 years ago we bought a new house and land package at Dunlop – 550m2 block, 4 br, ducted gas, DLUG etc – for $140,000. Within 3 years circumstances had changed so we could move to a prestigious inner north Tuggeranong(!) address and had lots of interest from first home buyers at the time of sale (at $210K). Access to local shops, a town centre (Belconnen) and even Civic are much closer than “lifestyle” estates like Royalla, Elmslea and the like so no great hardship there. As long as you don’t see these places as “forever homes” I think they’re much better than renting in a closer location.

screaming banshee screaming banshee 12:46 pm 20 May 09

Sic,

Yes there was a boom but house prices were basically stagnant for almost 10 years before that so when you average out over the long term the growth is reasonable. Also if you found yourself in a position where you needed to sell the market was so slow it was not unusual to have a house on the market 6 months or longer before it would sell.

Then you have to take into account the interest rates of a early 90’s, could you imagine trying to pay of your home loan of 80-100k at 17% interest on an average wage of $25k

As much as you might like to deny it many of the older generation worked hard and sacrificed much in order to put themselves in the position they are in today.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m only 30 so I wasn’t in a position to take advantage of the boom either but I do recognise that having anything is better than having nothing and got into the market as soon as I could.

If you were to purchase a $360k property today, in 20 years time providing the long term trends continue you will own a property worth around $2 million and 2029’s mid twenties will be crying about how 2 million dollar properties aren’t affordable and how your generation had it so easy.

peterh peterh 12:53 pm 20 May 09

I was able to purchase a good house in a good street and got some good neighbors. I am not saying how much it cost, but we are pretty happy with it. now, we need to move into a bigger house, and are looking around the same areas in tuggeranong – belco doesn’t have any appeal for me or my wife. but then, we both grew up there.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 12:57 pm 20 May 09

Poor Sic, not being able to afford a house straight away. 20 years ago on a less than 20K income I scraped all my savings together for the deposit to buy the crappy one bedroom unit which I sold a year or so after I’d paid off the mortgage in order to buy the house I live in today. I find it interesting that you appear to be turning up your nose at the humble unit.

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