I am going to give you a useful view on the budget, probably with some swearing, and then you can go back to drinking that glass of sav blanc.
First question: Is the Super Saver Scheme the BEST THING EVER for first home buyers? No, not really. But it’s not bad either.
The best thing that could happen for the poor young first home buyer is that we stop immigration, use more contraception and go back to living with three generations in one house. None of which I am actually advocating – but the point is, supply is the biggest issue.
I listened to a story on ABC Radio National this week, about the economics of population growth (that’s the kind of party girl I am). Our population is growing faster than ever, and we have to house everyone. At the same time, the number of people who live in each dwelling has gone down a lot since the 1960s.
I live by myself, so I am guilty of driving this trend. But the ethics of resource consumption aside, it’s clear that we have too many people and not enough housing, and this will keep prices high for the foreseeable future.
However, that’s OVERALL. House prices rise and fall in line with the fate of the particular cities and towns they’re in. Townsville, Mackay and Perth are just some of the places that have faced steep falls in prices, as the mining industries propping them up have faltered. Hence why the old property investment game is a bit tricky.
“But what does this all mean for me?”
This is a bit of a diversion to say a couple of things: 1) The government isn’t going to solve house prices for you and 2) if you want to buy a property in Sydney or Melbourne you’re kinda screwed.
Well, not completely. There are other ways to get into the market – they just take longer. For example, the ‘rentvesting’ idea: rent where you like living, buy where you can afford to. My new boss, who is a famous finance guru (cos who else would I do PR for?) reckons you should buy not just one, but two or three properties this way.
The key is, they are in areas where the price is more manageable. Regional towns or smaller capital cities (although probably stay out of Brisbane high-rise apartments for the moment – they went a bit nuts building them and have too many now).