Mike's Minute: Why are we still so down on housing?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 10:20AM

Mike's Minute: Why are we still so down on housing?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 10:20AM

One of my great hopes out of this current housing boom is that more people will, at last, realise that governments can't control housing.

Like it or not, we love houses, and this country has an obsession with them. Always has, most likely always will.

The funny thing at the moment is it's become increasingly non-PC to celebrate housing, to be an owner, to make money from being an owner, and to get wealthy from being an owner.

The minority who are hand wringers, politically correct, or socialist have battled this. They have predicted price crashes, they highlight international reports that say we have a bubble, they say the cost to income ratio is too high, they say first home buyers are locked out, but they have been, and once again are being, proven hopelessly wrong.

What this country has by way of a relationship with housing is not quantifiable on a bit of paper, or on a chart, and that’s what the critics don’t get and never have. To have an investment, shelters you, and makes you money is unique. Yes, A2 Milk, Contact Energy, or Fisher and Paykel Healthcare are great companies. But they don’t shelter you, and you can't punch a hole in the wall to extend the indoor-outdoor flow.

The greatest thing the Reserve Bank has done is to dump their mad LVR regulations. Yes, housing costs a lot, but it gives a lot back.

For a young person, if the house is $500,000, and the deposit is $100,000, in a country where urban incomes are about $75,000, that’s too much to get on the ladder.

But with a deposit of $50,000, you've opened up the opportunity to a whole new world of buyers. Boris Johnson announced a deal in Britain last week with deposits at five percent.

The LVRs were stuck on by previous Governor Graeme Wheeler who was too conservative and too scared. No, you don’t want house prices rocketing up in double digits for years on end, but there was never any need to panic. The individual circumstances of the day always play a part.

For now, money is dirt cheap, you'd be mad not to borrow. If you get money at two percent, can you buy something that will make five percent? Yes, and then some.

Investors are back, first home buyers are up, prices are flying, money is being made, so let's celebrate that, let's not continually find reasons why it’s a problem.

The stats out yesterday are once again proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that housing is gold plated. We have record prices, regional growth, and drop in sales time.

We'd like a few more listings, but once again, those who bemoan its success are the ones who don’t get it and ultimately miss out.  

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