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Push on housing crisis continues

By louise - 25 February 2007 15

The Canberra Times is still pushing the housing crisis on behalf of the govt.

It is nothing more than a thinly veiled setup for selling off school sites, and possibly other high-value, unleased land, to fill govt. coffers. And the CT appears to be providing nothing more than free PR.

The discussion was started at the beginning of 2006, with an ACTPLA forum on ‘what do we do with old school sites’, before the plans to close schools even (theoretically) existed. A group to come up with ‘new ideas’ was set up in August 2006, and it makes its recommendations in March, at the same time the ACT Property Group is ‘consulting’ about what to do with old school sites.

In the meantime, the ACT has gone from having the ‘most affordable housing in Australia’ (The Chronicle, 9 January), to a full-on crisis that the HIA thinks should be addressed immediately by, say, selling off old school sites. As if 30-50 houses in all of Belconnen (1 school, 1 preschool) would make a difference, and as if they would be ‘affordable’. The land in established suburbs is far too valuable for that.

An extra few hundred or even a thousand houses in greenfields areas could make much more difference — if they genuinely wanted to make a difference. The release of Harrison, Forde, other movie stars, more new suburbs, and reducing a few taxes, will have much more impact than anything else they could do.

Just how foolish do they think we are?

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Push on housing crisis continues
simbo 11:34 pm 27 Feb 07

To double-clarify – he didn’t pay my hecs debts, he paid my HECS upfront. Which is the same as ensuring that I didn’t incur a HECS debt, but not phrased as awkwardly…

simbo 11:20 pm 27 Feb 07

In my case, maybe I need to clarify – he had his mortgage on the house by the time he was 28. Yep, he was still paying it off after that point.

When it came time for me to make a deposit, he was more than happy to put some of the money away (and to pay my HECS debts, and to pass on money that came down in my grandparents will), largely because, as he puts it, he can’t take it with him, and he doesn’t really need it at this time in his life.

Of course, for many people, that ain’t an option, and they don’t have it to take with them, or to hand on. I’m fully aware I’m a very fortunate customer here…

nyssa76 6:26 pm 27 Feb 07

VYBerlina – who held up the EBA for teachers? The baby boomers.

Who pays HECS debts? It sure as hell isn’t the baby boomers.

Mael, it’s because I don’t need “mummmy and daddy” to help. I’m able to stand on my own two feet without their financial assistance. Unlike either of my sisters (both 1/2 sisters) who are leeches on both the public purse and my parents.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 8:49 am 27 Feb 07

“whilst protecting the baby-boomers.”

Who do you think pays the most tax? When you are older, and have managed to get a house, and perhaps a larger income, the govt will be more interested in your needs. Fair? No. Reality? Unfortunately yes.

Maelinar 8:03 am 27 Feb 07

wow, such variety of exceptions-to-the-rule mothers and fathers. Good for you all.

Given your parents financial actuity, it’s rather surprising on account of them owning their own houses by the time they were 28, that they didn’t have the resources to buy your house outright when you were 20/21.

Oh that’s right, they didn’t. Probably cause they couldn’t. I’m not about to go delving into speculating on your parents financial situation, but it’s evident that something’s missing in the puzzle, otherwise what have they been doing with all that mortgage free income for the last 30 years ?

Don’t start any family feuds on my account though.

nyssa76 7:22 am 27 Feb 07

whilst protecting the baby-boomers.

nyssa76 7:21 am 27 Feb 07

Mael, my dad bought land near Penrith in the mid-70’s when he was 24.

My mum and step-dad owned a house in the late 70’s before my mum was 28.

I don’t see the point in such exorbitant prices for a bit of dirt and some bricks and mortar. I don’t want much, just a house with 4brs (middle child is a boy or I’d buy a 3br).

And I am 30yo and still saving a deposit because the damn prices keep going up.

Then again I’ll most likely have to pay for my children to go to University because this Govt is hell bent on screwing every cent out of the Australian people.

louise 1:35 pm 26 Feb 07

Good point LG. The CT is an argument in itself against media consolidation.

LG 9:21 am 26 Feb 07

“And the CT appears to be providing nothing more than free PR.”

I didn’t know CT still wrote articles… I thought they just ‘reported’ directly from government / business media releases word for word.

simto 8:57 am 26 Feb 07

Actually, my dad bought his first place by the time he was 20 (admittedly, it was an apartment) and had a fully-grown house by the time he was in his late 20s (the house I grew up in, and the place he stil lives in).

Then again, he lived in a market with free university education and a high demand for labour.

Still, I had my deposit for my apartment by the time I’d worked two full years (at 25) and have almost paid it off, so it’s not actually impossible. All it requires is discipline … and a fair chunk of luck (including a bequest from one grandparent, purchasing before the boom in 1999, not having the expense of children and a personality that borderlines on the stingy).

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 8:54 am 26 Feb 07

For many of our parents generation they were required to save a 30% deposit prior to being able to be considered for a home loan. Although housing affordability back then was probably a bit better than it is now, there was certainly the attitude that if you wanted a house you saved your backside off (often for 10-15 years), then you were able to buy yourself a house, which could be paid off over the next 25 years.

Today we have low interest rates, zero deposit home loans and all manner of easy credit. The problem is that paying off a house takes time and hard work, which is not what instant finance (and instant gratification) is all about.

Maelinar 8:24 am 26 Feb 07

Yes but also ask your parents if they owned their house when they were 30 and they would have laughed at you as well.

Tragically, the concept of time has been lost somewhere between Vietnam and now, and forecasting over the immediate financial year seems to be something a computer should plot out for you.

Our parents saved hard for deposits, and could only afford to finally break out of the rental cycle when they were in their mid 30’s. Why shouldn’t we ? What makes us so special that we should be buying our houses and skipping the rental market when we’re 25, shacked up with some lovely lass we met down at the tradies a fortnight ago ?

The tweening of the marketplace has also led to a tweening of the property market as well I’m presuming…

nyssa76 10:46 pm 25 Feb 07

The sad thing is I already have students stating that they won’t be able to buy a house and they are 14yo!

N.B. They had asked if I owned my own house and I had said no.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 9:42 pm 25 Feb 07

We’re dealing with builders here. I know a number of them, including having some in the family, and the vast majority of them will find some way to jack up the price while doing as little work as possible.

Property prices will always trend upwards.

tommy 2:07 pm 25 Feb 07

If you release thousands of blocks, builders become scarce – and it pushes up the cost of construction, which is of course passed on to the home buyer.

Like during the reconstruction period post 2003 bushfires – or when new Parliament House was built (although a number of them apparently signed in the front gate and exited the rear gate within an hour to work on local jobs).

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