Sunday, November 09, 2014

Property obsession

Something I've talked about for while is at last getting some media coverage - our obsession with property investment.

I posted about it back in May  saying that we treat our houses as simply another commodity to be bought and sold.

Now that the CEO of ANZ bank has started talking about it, saying there's "an irrational obsession with housing as an investment class", the subject is getting an airing in the media.

The facts back the argument too. In Sydney we're getting a thousand auctions a week, while here on the Central Coast at any one time there are around fifteen hundred properties on the market.

There are endless stories about how first home buyers are priced out of the market, the shock jocks incorrectly blaming 'cashed up Chinese buyers', and talk about bubbles about to burst.

The ABS has just released its September housing data, which confirms the market is being driven by investors, using negative gearing, who are out-competing owner/occupiers, including first time buyers. In September there was a 3.7% jump in investment lending to $11.94 billion.

Until the culture changes, until we think of houses as places to live rather than as a commodity, the problem won't disappear.

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