As an upper-middle-class white man my views are normally over-represented in this debate but before you lose interest and move on to snapped or a puzzle page, let me tell you how my generation ruined your life and what you can do to fix it
Depending on which Wikipedia page you read I am either the end of Gen X or the oldest Millennial. One thing that is clear is that we were the worst generation. The generation before us may have fucked the environment, been massive bigots, and single handedly kept the beige dress pants industry alive, but we were worse. We did a lot of coke and became the “Work smarter, not harder” generation. We lived through the 80s and have the fashion sense to prove it. We saw a gaping hole in the property market and we went all in, pulling the ladder up behind us. Worse still we repeated the cycle of our parents by labelling your generation soft, entitled and lazy for not working hard to get what was basically handed to us.
I bought my first house at 24, It cost 371,000 and had four bedrooms. I then sold that and bought a Garden Place Apartment to “get out of the suburbs.” Now I am building on a lifestyle block. I hate me too. The one thing I haven’t done is used all this privilege to create a rental empire. God help me I just don’t have the drive to be a slumlord. And while I may be the problem I have also lived long enough to let you in on how you, the humble student can be better than I am and can fix this once and for all.
HERE ARE THE FIVE WAYS YOU CAN FIX HOMEOWNERSHIP AND FUCK OFF A BUNCH OF OLD PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS:
Capital Gains and Estate Taxes
It always shocked me that there were a bunch of redneck oxy addicts missing all their teeth who swore they would vote for Trump because he understood them. I didn’t really get it till I watched Simon Bridges whining about socialism and capital gains tax. The truth is that even the most toothless redneck doesn’t think they are going to be an oxy addict forever. And when they finally strike it rich and live their American Dream they don’t want you coming for it with your taxes. Bridges wanted to sell you every ounce of that snake oil. Princess Cindy was coming for your family farm and batch. It was one of the few fights he won. In an act of cowardice and political expediency, our Prime Minister effectively ruled out trying to do the one thing that would almost immediately stop the housing market from being a market. If you got charged for having more than your family home you would really start to wonder if it was worth all the hassle. Your generation needs to write to David Bennett (National) and Jamie Strange (slightly less National) and tell them unless they push for cap gains and an estate tax then they won’t be getting your vote.
Build up not out / Get Smart AND sustainable
I bought the last of the lifestyle blocks, and I don’t need it. I Have 5000 square metres, and NO desire to walk further than my coffee machine if I don’t have a smoke or a cricket bat in my hand. Be better than me! Call the HCC and ask why we aren’t building more apartments, more high rises, container housing towers and tiny homes. You don’t need a massive yard. We stole that from you. But you can be better. Don’t be greedy, don’t become a property investor. Find a home and fall in love with it. Move as your circumstances change
Professor Quigley, if you are reading this I look forward to being told how naive I am, but I thought Kiwibank was meant to regulate the market. Not be a professional bank. In America, you can get mortgage rates of 2.1 percent for the lifetime of the loan. If our state-owned bank did fifteen-year loans then everyone would either have to do the same or get out of the New Zealand mortgage industry. So why don’t we do it. It isn’t like banks are creating jobs. They are actively closing branches and putting people out of work in favour of an app.
It’s cliched but you guys still suck at this. Most of the changes here can be achieved when people start taking you seriously, and people will start taking you seriously when you make them. If the Hamilton City Council doesn’t want to build smart, sustainable and solar with tiny and container homes… vote them out. If the government doesn’t want capital gains, or to fix interest rates and LVR’s find one that does. The way you win is you make them afraid to disappoint you. Right now they don’t care. It’s time your generation told my generation you want to make some changes.
So that is it. Housing sucks, my generation (and all those previous) ruined it for you. Those of you lucky enough to own a home will never have a quarter acre. Unless you start voting and kicking some shit around. The only bright side I can think of is that because of our dependency on fossil fuels and our lack of desire to change anything you could be living in a beachside apartment in Hamilton in the next 20 years.