Housing unaffordability no trivial matter

Making cheap shots about housing affordability is bound to invite a backlash.

Housing unaffordability no trivial matter

Ten days ago columnist and demographer Bernard Salt penned a satirical article in the Weekend Australian on the topic of ‘hipster’ cafes, middle-aged moralisers and younger people paying $22 “several times a week” for breakfast instead of staying home and saving towards a house?

This past weekend he wrote another column responding to the backlash to his original remarks.

In the response he describes his original column as a parody. The response on Twitter, Mr Salt claims, was “like watching a car crash” – feral as well as viral.

So what had happened? Basically other news sources had picked up his question regarding housing affordability and amplified it, seeking responses to the statement that maybe younger people who wish to purchase a house should stay home, skip the avo breakfast and save more.

As well as totally disenchanted millennials and Gen Xers jumping in to share a few facts of life regarding their experience of housing affordability, many economists also commented on Mr Salt’s article, pointing out that pretty well all available economic data suggests the exact opposite to Salt’s assertion – younger people actually spend a higher percentage of their income on housing than older generations ever did.

As the week stretched on social media had a ball with ‘avo-gate’ and the clever editors at Broadsheet invited café owners to share their avocado dishes and prices so we could all see that $14 is a fair price for this prince of breakfast foods.

Having created a media storm, which reached as far as BBC Radio London, Mr Salt expressed concern about the need for the social media community to check primary sources “to establish context and intent before becoming outraged”.

Read Bernard Salt’s columns:
Moralisers, we need you
Smashed avocado outrage: Avo look at what was written

Opinion: Bernard can’t have it both ways

Oh dear. Where to start with this one? KPMG partner, commentator, and News Corp columnist, Bernard Salt writes a cliché ridden article on the reason why young people can’t afford a house and then there is a social media backlash. Who’d a thunk it?

So where and how do we start to deconstruct what really happened here? There are three main issues lurking beneath this debate: hypocrisy, the role of social media and the super serious matter of housing affordability. Let’s start with the most annoying, but least important, hypocrisy.

Mr Salt really can’t have it both ways. At one level he describes himself as a demographer and social commentator and presumably wishes to be seen as a credible authority. At another level, he wants to write ‘satire’ which trivialises one of the most serious issues facing many generations (not just millennials) and that is, the sky rocketing prices of housing.

In his original column, Mr Salt claims that he can afford ‘avo’ repasts as he is middle-aged and has raised his family (one presumes his wife helped out). This remark is totally disingenuous. Mr Salt has had a senior role at KPMG for decades, has authored books, been paid as a consultant and speaker, and written a newspaper column. His remuneration for these roles would place him in the top three per cent of Australian households. So to suggest he can purchase a $22 breakfast just because he is older and his kids have grown up, would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting to our intelligence.

The premise of his article is that those who go without and save hard reap the benefits in terms of owning a house and buying expensive breakfasts. This is only partially true. Those who save hard do often enjoy the rewards of their thrift. But many Australians, young, old and in-between, experience life course disadvantage and do not get the chance, (based on factors including education, work opportunities and health), to save enough for a home deposit. Comparing his own situation to that of others is less than helpful, and plain insulting to those who are trying to get into the housing market and are still unable to stump up the huge deposit.

Turning to social media, whinging about the response when you hurl these cheap shots out into the digital world is also rather naïve. If you want to poke your head up and make generalisations about generations, then you need to understand that the internet is a democratic playground and those generations are entitled to mock you as well. Additionally, if you wish to enjoy airtime on the radio, to have your column referred to in Parliament and to take credit for having created ‘avo-gate’ then don’t be miffed when the rest of the world points out flaws in your argument – or does not find your ‘satire’ amusing.

Which leads to the final, most important point about this whole avo debate. There is a fundamental housing crisis in Australia today. The numbers vary from economist to economist, but about 30 years ago, it took five times your average annual salary to buy a home. Today it is about 13 times. Houses are much less affordable, so fewer people can purchase them. Many factors are blamed and the Treasurer Scott Morrison is currently calling upon the states to do more in terms of increasing the supply of land for housing, whilst steadfastly resisting the far more effective scaling back of negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

What is needed is serious, bi-partisan policy debate. We are facing a massive challenge to the financial security of young people and older people alike. The fastest growing cohort of homeless people is women aged over 55. About 15 per cent of retirees are renters, with little hope of living a dignified life on the pittance we call an Age Pension. So to dash off a satirical piece on why Bernard deserves his avo and others don’t, has delivered back to Mr Salt exactly the reaction he deserves.

What do you think? Has Bernard Salt got a point about younger people needing to skip expensive café brekkies if they want to buy a home? What about you? Can you afford smashed avo in your local café?

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    COMMENTS

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    pixii
    27th Oct 2016
    10:09am
    Yes , I enjoy avo breakfast with friends , I'm a renter , over 70 , AND still work , ! My opinion on Mr Salt , though I don't know him , is similar to my thoughts on Joe Hockey & co , and the comments they make at trying to be funny !
    David
    27th Oct 2016
    10:12am
    One reason why house prices are so dear now for first home buyers is that years ago people got a small, older and cheaper house in the outer suburbs for their first home. Now people for their first home want a larger home (with double garage, 4 bedrooms, ensuite etc.) that’s closer in to the city.

    Years ago people spent far more proportionally of their income on essentials and far less on services and discretionary items. Now it’s the other way around with people travelling many times before they reach the age of 25, driving newer cars (often heavily financed), going out to shows/restaurants/cafes/coffees several times a week etc.

    As a baby boomer, I saved hard and went without a lot to own my first home at 25. Not only is that the opposite now, but many Gen Y’s today are given their first car by their parents and also many parents now help their children to get their first home by funding their deposit and/or going guarantor.

    Amanda Gailiss (Governor of the Youth Parliament of Victoria) said to Nick McCallum on 23/9/2016 on 3AW that the priority of many young people is to not buy a house. Nick talked to the affordability of buying a home when the average price is $700,000. Amanda said that on her income she could only get a loan of $300,000 and she doesn’t want a 25 year mortgage. She said she wouldn’t want to live in the suburbs as it would be detrimental to her quality of life as all the good bars, restaurants and cafes and her workplace is in town.

    Interest rates are only 4% now compared with 18% in my day.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2016
    11:40am
    Don't forget the advent of the MADIF - the Mandatory Dual Income Family - and the almost immediate doubling of house prices in Sydney etc, a situation that lead immediately to upward pressure on incomes for singles, and thus to the House Space Race - a never-ending Cold War of rising costs of (living) housing and rising costs of incomes to match......

    I blame the then Liberal government for introducing mass affirmative action for women etc..... oh - and the feminists, though they had little to do with it in reality apart from some dark mumblings in ivy-covered houses of learning and in Inner Sydney hotel bars, over white wine and biccies.

    Social changes (AA is not alone here) in the last twenty years or so of the 20th century lead us directly into the disaster that is now Australia's social, moral, legal, and economic landscape....... a nightmare mine field for the unwary in every way.
    Hasbeen
    27th Oct 2016
    12:24pm
    So true David. I bought my first house in 1961 in Fairfield , & it was only 3 times my gross salary. However it was only 3 rooms, with a small fuel stove, & no hot water. The bathroom/laundry was in a lean-to down the back steps, & the toilet was 20 metres down the garden path. It was sewer, but in the same "dunny" the old pan toilet had been.

    Just married at 21 we thought we were in heaven, owning our own home, although most kids today would refuse to live in it even for free. We were the only one in our group who did own their home. Three years later we moved up to something a bit better.

    It is still possible. My youngest daughter at 24 & her husband are building a new home. It will be finished in another month. It is somewhat out of town, you damn near need to take a cut lunch to eat on the way to the city, but who cares. It will be a lovely home, if rather over capitalised with "stuff" to my mind, & they will be on their way to developing an asset base.

    That is something those youngsters wedded to the inner city culture of restaurants, bars & entertainment will be very unlikely to do, unless parenthood brings them to their senses.
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2016
    2:33pm
    David, I agree with most of your comments and the media seem to overlook the need for some young people to start with something basic and eventually move up.

    TREBOR, you and I have a different view of affirmative action, I recall Bob Carr and Labor bringing it into NSW. It is a hateful idea which is not so much in favour of assisting women rise to the top but more a way of making males who are better qualified, more senior and more experienced move out of the way. I have had some experience in watching just such a scenario eventuate. I was, thankfully, senior enough in my job to escape the worst of affirmative action when it was introduced.

    Hasbeen, the woman who used to cut my hair was in a group of 4 females who all married about the same time and all bought homes about the same time. My hairdresser and her husband bought an older home in need of some work and her friends all scoffed as they were in new homes. Back then, interest rates ballooned from about 8% to above 17% and she had the last laugh as all of her friends had to sell up as they couldn't afford the higher instalments.
    David
    27th Oct 2016
    2:54pm
    Thanks Hasbeen and Old Man.
    Old Man. You have given a perfect example that you can get into the housing market earlier if you are prepared to buy are home that's more in keeping with your financial situation, even if the house might be considered basic or run-down.
    Hasbeen, like your daughter, my second youngest daughter, who is aged 22 has bought a block of land with her partner between Geelong and Torquay. They hope to start building in 2018. My other 3 kids are not even close. Our daughters are proof that if you save hard and get your priorities right, you can own a home even at a young age!
    Cheers
    Gra
    27th Oct 2016
    5:09pm
    You and a lot of other baby boomers did the same thing, worked hard for a deposit and opted for an ordinary 3 bedroom house without all the frills. Now they want a McMansion in a prime location but wonder why they can't really afford it. Symptomatic of their need to have the biggest and the latest of everything.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:30am
    Interesting, OM - so moving men out of the way is not the same as 'Affirmative Action'. Either come along with the train or be left at the station or have your ticket cancelled without notice or have your opportunity to buy a ticket removed .... interesting.... very interesting....

    I resigned from the Commonwealth Public service over this issue as it was then promulgated - and gave a two page explanation of why I was doing so.

    AA in NSW, from your rendition, sounds a lot like Fascist dictatorial conduct to me.....

    And it's not just women - a laudable concept at the time to attain equality and fair play.... but it was everyone else expect a White Man.... and once it became entrenched as 'they way things are and should be forever'.....

    Well - look at the 'outcomes' so far....

    This country is in ruins.

    I rest my case.......
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:30am
    Interesting, OM - so moving men out of the way is not the same as 'Affirmative Action'. Either come along with the train or be left at the station or have your ticket cancelled without notice or have your opportunity to buy a ticket removed .... interesting.... very interesting....

    I resigned from the Commonwealth Public service over this issue as it was then promulgated - and gave a two page explanation of why I was doing so.

    AA in NSW, from your rendition, sounds a lot like Fascist dictatorial conduct to me.....

    And it's not just women - a laudable concept at the time to attain equality and fair play.... but it was everyone else expect a White Man.... and once it became entrenched as 'they way things are and should be forever'.....

    Well - look at the 'outcomes' so far....

    This country is in ruins.

    I rest my case.......
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:30am
    Interesting, OM - so moving men out of the way is not the same as 'Affirmative Action'. Either come along with the train or be left at the station or have your ticket cancelled without notice or have your opportunity to buy a ticket removed .... interesting.... very interesting....

    I resigned from the Commonwealth Public service over this issue as it was then promulgated - and gave a two page explanation of why I was doing so.

    AA in NSW, from your rendition, sounds a lot like Fascist dictatorial conduct to me.....

    And it's not just women - a laudable concept at the time to attain equality and fair play.... but it was everyone else expect a White Man.... and once it became entrenched as 'they way things are and should be forever'.....

    Well - look at the 'outcomes' so far....

    This country is in ruins.

    I rest my case.......
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:32am
    Apologies again, lads and lassies - internet dropped out and I hit the button twice..
    Anonymous
    28th Oct 2016
    10:34am
    It is called "keeping up with the Joneses"...It is "my" opinion that "many "young marrieds these days want to start where we finished.

    I think a lot of men are under pressure from their future wives to provide more than they can both afford...i.e. expensive weddings, expensive honeymoons (i.e. trips overseas) and then stump up for a 4 x 2 with all the trimmings. Also they want to keep up the lifestyle they had prior to marriage...eating out a few times a week etc.

    Before they know it the kids arrive and then the pressure is really on financially.

    Yes, I am "generalising" to a large extent and not all are like this but there are certainly a great many who fit the description. I personally know some of them.
    retroy
    27th Oct 2016
    10:13am
    I could not buy a house 30 years ago for 5 times my salary so you had better check your stats unless it was a hovel.
    Today young people expect to have en-suites and extensive patios for alfresco living and filled with expensive appliances.
    When we were born over 70 years ago very few people owned their own house but they aspired to, and us as the next generation achieved just that by not even eating out for a dinner, let alone an expensive breakfast.
    Unfortunately many people do not know what it is to be without. and just cry out for the government to help them.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2016
    11:44am
    When I was on close to AWE - $300 a week - house prices in Marrickville were in the mid-$40ks... you could, if lucky, buy a deceased estate for around $40k... just saying....

    With the advent of the MADIF (see above) those same prices went to $80k within a few months, then went into orbit.... which partially explains why we have such (relatively) high wages these days - and never forget that wages always follow rises in cost of living...... and the average punter is lucky to be able to keep up .... not the other way around.

    That last is one reason we've seen the rise and rise of unscrupulous 'business' people these days, along with the introduction of 'privatised' public utilities and so forth..... it's all about grasping the buck first and foremost, and the devil be damned.
    Sundays
    27th Oct 2016
    3:58pm
    I understand what you're saying Trebor but these days it is overseas investors, negative gearing and self managed super funds which are driving house prices up. As a woman, I don't feel I benefited from reverse discrimination, but I did benefit from equal pay, and so did my husband and children! As a woman I never want to go back to the good old days when we were treated as second class citizens and men got all the best jobs. I'm very good with numbers, but when I started working in a bank only men could be tellers. How was that fair?
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:49am
    And so you should, Sundays - benefit from equal treatment.

    Thing is - once you define 'equal' as being able to receive the same pay - and are in a committed relationship - those who are NOT in a 'committed relationship' suddenly become what you, and countless other women, used to be... UNEQUAL.

    It's called 'shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic' - and rather than having the socio-economic unit called 'the family' calling the shots and being the yardstick by which social conditions and costs of living will hold sway - it is now a no holds barred contest of individuals - thus breaking down the concept of family.

    If we had a regime of Family Income being the yardstick - every single person could compete on what it now a decidedly un-level playing field.

    That used to be the norm - when a spouse's income was added to that of the 'primary (dare one say it these days) caregiver' - and thus a Family Unit that earned enough could not get away with investments and so forth, and all had a genuinely equal opportunity to prosper - including investment property, which is one of the great bug-bears these days.

    Just an example - I'm not gay - but I have gay friends and relatives - and I can readily see how they would be disadvantaged from not having a Family Unit as their yardstick for attaining prosperity in this society.

    I think - all things considered - that the Family Unit should be the yardstick.... and the only way to approach any equality in real terms is to tax the Family Unit as a whole.

    I fully understand the Right (capital intended) of an individual to go out and earn according to their ability etc - but in terms of society?

    The Mandatory Dual Income Family is a disaster.

    If you want something else - move to Stalinist Russia.
    Tom Tank
    27th Oct 2016
    10:17am
    I suppose Mr Salt works for News Corp on the basis that he reflects the opinions of his boss Rupert Murdoch. This is fair enough as "he who pays the piper calls the tune."
    Unfortunately that often involves a distorted view of the realities of life as the rest of us know it.
    he has pulled the old trick of playing the "victim".
    I'm afraid Mr Salt's credibility has gone down the gurgler as far as being a Social Commentator and Demographer.
    ex PS
    27th Oct 2016
    11:06am
    We can't impose our values on our children any more than our parents could impose their values on us.
    My son lives in an inner city high rise with his partner, they eat out more often than cook for themselves, see live shows, work long hours and have a housekeeper come in once or twice a week to keep the Apartment tidy. Is this what I did at his age? Not even remotely.
    Is it wrong? Not even remotely.
    He and his partner are living the lifestyle they want, they are aware that one day they will want to settle down and have the home and maybe children, but are mature enough to realize that for now they are in a position to enjoy a lifestyle that is right for them. They are both intelligent young professionals and are not going to let some third party be it a hack journalist or loving concerned parent tell them how they should lead their lives.
    It could just be that they have, like many others, seen how little the government appreciates those who have tried to make retirement better for themselves and have resolved to just let the chips fall what way they will, have a good time while they can and just retire in subsidized housing on a Pension. But I doubt it.
    Brissiegirl
    27th Oct 2016
    11:47am
    We went without, old bomb car, never ate out, never had a holiday, raised the kids and barely made do in order to (a) get a deposit and (b) pay the house off all while educating the kids. What happens to the younger ones when they suddenly get old - are they going to rely on public housing? When there's already a frighteniningly long waiting list for taxpayer funded accommodation. I wouldn't want to be a renter on retirement unless I had a guaranteed (big) income for the remaining years. As for letting a loving concerned parent tell them how they should lead their lives - our kids are 35+ and always asking about our ideas and opinions because (as they say) we have something they don't - a lifetime of experience.
    ex PS
    27th Oct 2016
    7:12pm
    And that is the key, your children ask for your opinion, like mine, they do not ask you to run their lives for them. If you tried to they probably would not ask for your opinion. Most of us like you went through rough times, but probably not as rough as our parents did, we have to let our children make their mistakes and learn from them as we did.
    Making all of their decisions for them teaches them nothing and sets them up to fail when we are no longer there to support them.
    Anonymous
    28th Oct 2016
    2:18pm
    I agree with you exPS re giving advice to your children. We have done that with one of them; she chose to ignore it; got into debt; we helped bail her out...not much money...but it sure was a learning curve for her. She cut up her credit card and only has a debit card now. She did learn.

    We have never had to help her again and that was 25 years ago.

    Since then we have chosen not to enquire of either child (adults of course now) anything to do with their finances and we don't want to know. If they get into debt now; they can get out of it. Not our problem at this stage of life...both are in their 50's..mistakes are theirs no one elses now.
    MICK
    27th Oct 2016
    11:24am
    "younger people actually spend a higher percentage of their income on housing than older generations ever did".

    I'll take whoever believes this to task. The reasons why:

    1. GenYs are a part of the consumer generation which will not go without anything. Whilst their boomer parents struggled with 1 or no car for decades and lived in poverty in many cases younger people often put their lifestyle at the top of the list and then complain about housing being unaffordable.
    2. Boomers had to come up with deposits up to 50% of valuation.
    3. Boomers started life with ONE income earner, not two.
    4. Boomers lived with very high interest rates.

    Suggestions that genYs are spending higher proportions of income on housing flies in the face of anecdotal evidence and believing figures published in the Guardian is not factual. The same graph being alluded to shows their alcohol costs as being much lower than their counterparts in 1984 and we all know this generation is drinking itself into oblivion.

    The place where I can see hardship from the current crop is in the stagnation of wages and the conversion of full time jobs into part time jobs to give employers the outs they cannot get any other way. That is a tough call.

    Salt appears to be on the money and genYs simply do not want to hear about that. I also suggest that the so called economists referred to spruiking this BS are likely genYs themselves.

    I am not convinced as the lifestyles of genY do not to stack up.
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2016
    12:54pm
    I agree with most of your post Mick. Back in the olden days lending authorities wouldn't consider a wife's income as a part of the ability to service a housing loan. Add to that a cap on lending so that a maximum figure was all that was available regardless of the cost of the property. Borrowers had to come up with a substantial deposit and the only way most achieved that was to go without purchases that were unnecessary.
    wally
    27th Oct 2016
    5:39pm
    We now live in the time of instant gratification and greater temptations by businesses to separate the public from their money. While doing a computer course a few years ago, a discussion came up as to what we did during our lunch break. One twenty something told us she spent $4 on her lunch time coffee plus more on what ever took her fancy to eat with her coffee. Doing the sums ( a minimum of $80 per month on coffee alone X 11 = $880 plus an undisclosed amount on cakes, etc does add up. Coffee palaces like Starbucks did not exist to tempt us then. We didn't take a "Gap Year" after leaving school to do a Grand Tour overseas either.

    I have listed only two things above that tempt young adults today that we did not have to confront in our younger days. If the young ones want to condemn baby boomers for something, they could start with their parents for failing to teach them about spending discipline. The "Monkey See, Monkey Want, Monkey Buy" attitude that exists today. plus the easy availability of credit through credit cards ensnares many of them into a quicksand like trap of debt that makes saving for real estate an almost impossible dream.

    So we see the old fable of the ant and the grasshopper being told and live again, to the detriment of the financially unwary.
    Anonymous
    28th Oct 2016
    10:41am
    I also wonder how much all this technology is costing the average family a month. A family of four all with mobile phones, ipads, etc.

    Eating out does not appear to be a concern. Go to any coffee shop, restaurant and you will see families with numbers of children eating out.

    Must be plenty of money to spend on these things so it baffles me that there is all this concern about not being able to afford a home.
    Nadine
    27th Oct 2016
    11:28am
    I would like to share some humour to shed some lightness on the subject.
    Co-inciding with the squashed avo 'news' , was the Adler 'gun' issue.
    First Dog on the Moon cartoon (Guardian) cartoon shares his view on both ...
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/20/when-i-hear-the-words-smashed-avocado-i-reach-for-my-adler-110
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2016
    11:36am
    When you said 'avo', I was envisaging an army of Amazons out there with pick handles and such..... storming into homes with blazing brands .... beheading infidelious husbands etc...

    (phew).....

    The old avocado, eh? Well - his idea is sound - IF, in this modern day and age of early independence etc, the young and the old can stay under the same roof without trouble.

    Coupla anecdotes...

    I used to work security at the airports, and one security officer was a Greek lass - who was living at home and paying off a unit. I said - "Good thinking, 99!".

    An ex-lady of mine, Maltese extraction, has to this day her ne'er-do-well son living at home (he's the main reason we split, BTW - sadly) - and she was forced to leave once because of his anger and hostility...

    I guess it depends on the family and the people involved....
    Not a Bludger
    27th Oct 2016
    11:39am
    Salt has morphed into yet another moaner and groaner.

    Houses, cars, household gadgets, personal gadgets, travel and the like are all far better and more plentiful than at ANY time in the past - and the vast majority of people in Australia take advantage of them.

    This type of stuff from Salt and others is simply more lefty "woe is me" breast beating whilst trying to pretend that the glass is not more than half full.
    heyyybob
    27th Oct 2016
    11:40am
    I find the thought of smashing an avo or any other fruit for brekky repulsive and this sort of violence should NOT be tolerated or trivialised !! *now I'm going back to my wheaties and the fruit of the cow ;)
    HDRider
    27th Oct 2016
    11:40am
    Well, 30 years ago eh! does it not depend on where you purchased a house? Besides, a lot of people did, and still do, buy the land first, then they built a modest house.
    David pretty much sums it up....I certainly wouldn't argue over this generation of kids and what they want, what they got and how they get it!
    The Govt is doing is best to 'populate' and yet no one mentions this is relation to housing etc, every time we bring in more people, be it refugees or otherwise, they need to live somewhere. That somewhere just happens to be where most of us can ill afford, the City! So, then then the real estate robbers want their share, and prices suddenly escalate, a la Tasmania! There's a lot more to it than I see written in those articles.
    Oh, and not having everything NOW, and saving DOES help get a foothold, to say it doesn't it foolish. The ASX is a great place to start, just check the returns over 10 years!
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2016
    12:01pm
    Not to mention the undeniable fact that the 'major city basins' - and they are indeed basins in most cases, being surrounded by rugged country etc - are full to overflowing, and there are very few outlets for the raging torrent of humanity rapidly filling the basin...

    The answer lies not in 'de-centralisation' - that's been tried and the work simply doesn't follow- so where do all these people go? What do they do for money? How do they live and prosper?

    Maybe those calling for a moratorium on immigration are right - until this country is aback on its feet again, anyway.

    Footnote:- No wonder we are seeing an escalation in criminal behaviour within certain social groups.....
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2016
    12:04pm
    "Lotta people gotta lotta knives and forks on their table,
    Man - they gotta cut somethin'!" - Bob Dylan.
    heyyybob
    27th Oct 2016
    12:11pm
    TREBOR - I like the one that goes .... "Why cant they be like we were, perfect in every way"........... :D
    Q. Would I like to be 20-something again ??
    A. errr, ALL things considered, nope !
    heyyybob
    27th Oct 2016
    12:11pm
    TREBOR - I like the one that goes .... "Why cant they be like we were, perfect in every way"........... :D
    Q. Would I like to be 20-something again ??
    A. errr, ALL things considered, nope !
    heyyybob
    27th Oct 2016
    12:12pm
    p.s. Jeez ! Maybe, if I could get rid of that stutter :)
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    2:53am
    It's the i-i-i-internet at times.... s-s-s-s-s-sorry...
    heyyybob
    27th Oct 2016
    12:39pm
    Here's a slant on the situation :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCXr_6wgns
    fordyoot
    27th Oct 2016
    12:47pm
    Last night on ABC Emma Alberici was talking to a minister with the word housing in his portfolio and the conversation went along the lines .. Minister.. "we must build more houses". Emma " but 50% of housing is owned and bought by wealthy people making use of the negative gearing tax benefits. How can you say there is a shortage of houses when only 10% are being bought by the young?"
    The lady tried quite hard to explain to the Minister but he was having nothing of it. The logic of the argument against NG is irrefutable and is a proven direct contributor to housing costs. The only people who deny this are the LNP and the beneficiaries.
    Herein lies the core problem with this hopeless crowd in power. A good percentage of them are lawyers and barristers etc. These people are trained to work in a world where the truth or otherwise of an argument is not important. The way you present your argument in court is the measure of sucess. We have many many criminals and others on our streets because tricky lawyers can get the off the hook. This logic and methodology is at the core of this government. Look at the Brandis situation, a man not capable of understanding what metadata is but prepared to change the laws around our freedoms because it suits his world view. The actual technicalities of the subject are beyond him but he will argue his case all day long because what matters is the argument not the subject matter.

    Thus the housing minister sticks to his "more supply needed" argument and keeps repeating that message so people will swallow it. The truth is that the LNP don't give a damm about young people and where they live just so that their mates can keep making loads of money on property investments.
    Australia's economy is failing because we don't have an economy based on production and exports. All we do is dig up dirt ship it and build houses.. Germany on the other hand has a huge industrial base and a successful economy. It does not take much intelligence to work out that if you build houses people cannot afford to buy you are wasting your time. No jobs no industry but heaps of houses built by heavily subsidised tax rorts.
    $22 for an avocado is a bit over the top but not an earthmover
    inextratime
    27th Oct 2016
    12:49pm
    Hi David,

    What planet are you on ?

    Check out how much your first home cost against what you earned % wise and compare it with what a modest unit In say Ashfield costs today using the same formula. Then work out what the repayments are relative to wages using the same basis. Nothing like being a bit self righteous.
    Sundays
    27th Oct 2016
    3:47pm
    Modest unit in Ashfield! Really! What about a modest unit in Campbelltown, Penrith, Blacktown. If you want to get ahead this is where you need to start. Our first small home was in the western suburbs, we sold our car to help fund the deposit but it still took us 6 years of saving. Even then we couldn't afford Ashfield. We had cheap outings and only went to dinner on our anniversary. We budgeted etc. etc. we were fortunate as our earnings increased and there was no illness. Back traded, moved up and now that I live comfortably by the beach I do feel a bit self righteous
    Sundays
    27th Oct 2016
    4:01pm
    I feel self righteous because instead of throwing our hands in the air, we set goals and through hard work, saving and budgeting made them happen
    KSS
    27th Oct 2016
    12:54pm
    And no doubt those keyboard warriors on social media were firing their rants from their $1000 smartphones!

    We all make our choices in life and each generation will continue to do the same. The fact is there are always consequences for every choice we make. The consequence of $22 avocado on toast, $1000 phones, daily take away coffee, overseas holidays (or indeed any holiday at all) inner city living, and so on, for most people is that saving a deposit is difficult if not impossible. However, get away from the major capital cities and it is a very different story.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    3:02am
    My kids eat avocado on toast for every breakfast?

    Damn me.. one works as a building contractor and the other as a supervisor for a security firm... the daughter is engaged to a film maker and activist in animal rights......

    Hmmmm - don't think either sit down to a smashed avocado for brekkie.... both are too active in living to bother.... though avos are grown where they live and are cheap as chips.

    Of course - they will benefit greatly from their parents.. but that's another issue....
    4b2
    27th Oct 2016
    12:55pm
    And another thin about us Baby Boomers, not only are we greedy, and have avo brekkies, we are also shelling out to supplement the current generation's children's preschool fees.
    How shellfish and greedy we are.
    Polly Esther
    27th Oct 2016
    2:06pm
    Can we take what Bernie says with a grain of salt?
    A person may think he can't cut the mustard.
    leonYLC
    27th Oct 2016
    3:51pm
    lol – someone's been reading the idioms!
    Pablo
    27th Oct 2016
    3:48pm
    I worked hard and went without ANY of the luxuries that young people today want, just so I could afford to buy my own home which I did aged 25, with NO First Home Buyer schemes. I scrimped and saved for years to pay off my mortgage through the years when the interest rate was 18%, not the 4% of today. I worked at two jobs, never ate out, had a small TV, a second hand Ford Cortina, and no carpets on the floor. And today I have to listen to all these young people complain they can't afford a home of their own when they have more than 1 large flat screen TVs, a brand new car, and an awful lot of financial support from the Government like paid parental leave, maternity leave, family allowance payments, and child care subsidies! If these people want to live in the middle of any large city, they are going to have huge mortgages, high rates, and probably daily parking fees - that is just the way of the world. I wish they would all stop whingeing and whining and spend their time working out how they can afford to live the lifestyle they want, and stop expecting the Government to give them everything!
    Not Senile Yet!
    27th Oct 2016
    4:08pm
    What an absolute lot of crock on here!
    I am a Baby Boomer...and my 1st house was a modest 3 Bedroom one...but the House & land was affordable on one wage with a 10% deposit!
    Now....Get Real....the Bock of Land ....is three times the cost of the house!!!
    My block was 1/3 of the house price....now it is 21/2 to 3 times the price of the house!
    What planet do you guys live on????
    As for buying what you can afford.....the simply do not build them anymore....or the Land zoning will not allow a modest shack!!
    I certainly did not buy because my parents said to.....I wanted to! And that is the key.....it is all about what each person wants!
    We could buy away from the city cheaply...now you simply cannot.....because sub division of farms has become Not Allowed due to State & Council planning restrictions!
    If there are 200 block for sale...now there are 600 people bidding...which pushes the price up....so only the more wealthy 200 get them!
    In my day....200 blocks took years to sell....now they sell in a month!
    The supply is being withheld to get the highest price...and it is deliberate!
    Added to this....no infrastructure....like major roads to get to work...and you have a Farce!!!
    Utilities costs have doubled.....and inflation on ALL privatised Government Utilities...even Rego & Insurance.....have skyrocketed.....more than 7-10% every year for the past ten yrs...yet wages have remained at only 2% increase over the same time!
    Young people have given up chasing something that they simply cannot catch!
    Open up your eyes people.....we are being Americanis ed......and the gap between the top & bottom is growing rapidly.....
    Using taxpayer money to subsidise Private Investment.....is no longer an option....it worked for a while....but now it needs to be wound back!
    Affordable housing will see BOTH Parties Voted out of Parliament soon!.
    OZ
    27th Oct 2016
    5:57pm
    What about other obstacles – like being a female having more the deposit but could not get the home loan without being married. In those days, you had to get a first & second mortgage. Making an appointment to see the bank manager was so scary- sitting in those big leather chairs groveling to this old man in his 3peice suit while he paired over his glasses at you. A lot of things were not easy there were no bankcards. When I finally got my mortgage thanks to my parents guarantee as they were in business & able to do so. No furniture, washing machine or car. Had a few old pots & pans given to me & took my bed from home. Then I took in flatmates to help pay off the mortgage. There were no luxuries as I wanted to own my own home.
    CindyLou
    27th Oct 2016
    10:08pm
    I've got to agree with a lot of the posters here, my first house was a 2 bedder, so small could do vacumning from 1 power point. House had belonged to an old lady in nursing home, her sons allowed us to keep her furniture, we bought a basic fridge and w/machine. We renovated, sold, then renovated and sold...etc
    Times are different now, it seems going out for coffee is the only way to socialise (we had friends over to our house for coffee - visited friends rather than go out).
    Interest rates were much higher - televisions etc expensive (in late 1970s we paid $1000 for a tv - we thought we were really big time, we had a video recorder, hired videos for $10, had to leave a $100 deposit) - this was before kids !

    It's so different now, some people don't appear to be prepared to tighten the belt financially and this, coupled with high property prices seems to be the undoing of many.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    3:13am
    Ah - but the question is WHY house prices are so high these days.

    All those kids drinking latte`s and eating avocado sandwiches are not the cause....

    So........ what is?
    CindyLou
    28th Oct 2016
    8:37am
    I certainly don't think drinking coffee is the cause, high prices are - especially when we see how many 'work years' there are in relation to houses prices.

    I suppose we need to look at what's different now; most couples both work now with women returning to the workplace very soon after having their babies; negative gearing - not sure when this was introduced; cashed up overseas buyers (especially Chinese); capital cities growing so fast - urban sprawl; some younger folks spending habits & expectations; Societal norms, eg today its almost unthinkable for siblings kids to share a room; very generous welfare - child endowment previous years was tiny; Australian jobs going overseas - higher unemployment. ???

    Can't unring a bell - it is what it is
    MD
    28th Oct 2016
    8:59am
    CindyLou, thanks for the prescient comments.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2016
    8:02pm
    Oh - and for the record - my first home was a VERY modest two bedroomer and was two hour's drive to my work - I chose to stay in town and go home on weekends to save fuel money. As a transport contractor I got to sleep in my van and shower at work.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2016
    9:34pm
    It all boils down to your priorities. If you want the lifestyle...live life to the hilt...go for it.

    BUT dont winge when you cannot afford a house.

    In life we all have to make sacrifices...if you dont't want to do that..live with the consequences.

    It is entirely up to each person as to how they wish to live their lives but dont expect others to bail you out when you get in debt or to be there as guarantor when the bank won't give you a loan.
    MD
    28th Oct 2016
    8:54am
    Isn't everyone of us contemporary to our time, the values thereof and thereby subject to the very social values therein ? Bernard Salt is therefore no exception and his article presents his take on the present generational values vs those of his. In this present day , when all forms of media are to be instantly had,(I want it all, I want it now) for the immediate impression or gratification of 'consumers' - regardless of age, or demographic - then of course an article that draws parallels between 'now and then', 'younger and older' will generate comparative bias. Whether this renders Salt's comment worthy of - almost instant - far reaching derision is of little consequence. What others, purporting to either praise or deride his comment have made of it, might very well be considered a hijack (by them) for their own self aggrandizement. For the author (Fallick) of this article, to suggest that "Bernard can't have it both ways" is a prime example of such. David's and a number of other posts have spelt out the relative differences of generational values; and never the twain shall meet, because age debars' the earlier generations just as effectively as does youth from experiencing the same circumstance."Smashed avocado" is just that, literally another hash up by journalistic 'hacks' that overlooked Salts' throwaway line and by throwing it back in his face, they have thereby made of it a personal attack. In my humble opinion Bernard is the 'salt of the earth'.
    Banjo
    28th Oct 2016
    11:14am
    The questions asked are: "What do you think? Has Bernard Salt got a point about younger people needing to skip expensive café brekkies if they want to buy a home? What about you? Can you afford smashed avo in your local café?"

    Bernard Salt certainly has a point about "some" younger people skipping expensive meals and saving to buy a house - if you want a house, there is no other way. The good thing is, there are many sensible young people out there who make the right choices and end up through sheer determination and hard work with an investment. It can be done and it's being done every day, my grandchildren are proof of that.

    The other point - can I afford smashed avo in my local cafe. Well in a nutshell, I can but I don't. We cook a pretty great breakfast at our house that costs a third of what I'd pay at my cafe. However we do go out for a nice dinner once a week and it's usually something we don't bother to cook at home. My wife and I prefer to spend money on holidays.

    I say to anyone who wants to live it up and own a house - if you're not earning enough to cover both, then you have to rethink your priorities.
    CindyLou
    28th Oct 2016
    4:12pm
    I think there are other options re investments, ie it is possible to perhaps buy a cheaper unit or house in other areas, rent the property, claim deductions etc (negatively gear) and then rent in one's preferred area. Still getting a foothold in the housing market and now there is no first home buyer advantage it seems to be a viable option. Also from my understanding if you can force yourself to live in the property for a short period (6 months) then rent out this property is seen by the ATO as the individual's principle place of residence for I believe up to 6 years (voiding capital gains tax).

    Of course due diligence needed re purchases, deposit is required, monies needed for legals - stamp duty and bank interest rate most probably a little higher.

    Certainly worth considering -
    ex PS
    31st Oct 2016
    6:25pm
    CindyLou, in principle you theory is sound, but beware, some sought after addresses have become less valuable because renters have made up the prevalent balance of the population. This can have an impact on house values simply because renters do not tend to add value to the property they rent and landlords tend to spend only what they need to in order to keep properties occupied.
    This can lead to a general devaluation of residential areas.
    My son has taken the Banjo strategy for the time being and is renting in the heart of the city he works in, he is waiting for house prices to stabilize before entering the market. If the market does not come to it's senses he does not believe that it is a good place to put his money.
    Besides he will get the family home sooner or later and that will finance his own place. My plan not his.