RANT: House Costs

Arrrg, National and Labour are arguing about first time home buyers, and it’s driving me nuts.

I’m reading some good posts from NZ econ people, which frame it nicely in econ speak, but it’s just so simple in my mind.

If you want first time buyers to get cheap houses, all house must be cheaper, so that there are cheap houses for them to buy.

I will now make up some numbers:

  • 60% of the population owns houses (group A)
  • 15% of the population wants to own houses but don’t because they are too expensive (group B)
  • 25% of the population don’t own houses because they understand the can’t afford them (and are not bothered) or they want the flexibility of renting. (group C)

So with these made up numbers in mind, we have the two main political parties frothing at the mouth because group B can’t buy houses, and its always been their dream.

Queue sad story of dreams here…. I dream to… oh dreams of the group B people, anyway we all have dreams, work towards them and realise you can’t have it all. Because I have lots of dreams, and so far I’ve not been to the moon!

So to me the “first home buyers” argument is really group A needs to lose some of their capital wealth in their houses to help bring all house prices down, so group B can have cheap houses. How has the big drop in house prices worked for the USA so far???

So which party would be stupid to ask the majority of the country to lose money now and forever, so that another group can get a house. None, they don’t talk about it in this frame of reference, but they are one and the same to me.

How would we go about destroying that value group A thinks they have: be that with tax (first time buyers grants, government houses for cheap, etc) or allowing faster building of houses, or destroying the markets desire for NZ property, you know act ‘North Korea like’ until the world is scared of us. Ether way “The Answer” is going to be unpopular.

National’s solutions seems to be a non-solution solution, but a political “response”.

What I don’t understand is why did Labour start playing this debate/issue.

There are the core base in the Labour camp, who will vote Labour ether way? Are they trying to rev them up, and get them to mobilise the swing voters? Are they trying to win the hearts of the swing voters, the group B people might like the idea of cheaper houses, but as soon as they own a house they will want to increase in value, thus become group A, and not want this policy again. Or the group A people that “have a heart” but are too slow see what this would “require to fix” or is Labour also not really caring about the issue at all, and just trying to make National demonstrate has “no heart for the poor”

I say this as swing voter, that’s not found of National’s sell it all policy, because how well did the Toll Rail ┬ásell/buy back program work out? So now there’s no way I can vote for Labour with a stupid policy stance like this, so I’m back to National, thank Labour.

It all drives me nuts, mix in the NSA spy electronic crap, and NZ rolling over for trade agreements, Labour of all people lowering the drinking age, to vote buying (n years ago) because 18 year olds are “adults”, yet also insisting we need more/tighter tobacco/drink/drug control because those aforementioned adults need to be told how to live (long live the nanny state).

Mean while the politicians embarrass themselves and our country with their antic’s in the “debate” chamber, and around the country. What a bunch of clowns.

And there lies the rub, I don’t trust them to do a mediocre job, I’m not sure how to make them be less stupid, so do I shut-up take my lumps, or join them. Sigh….