3 May, 2016. 9:23
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO buy a house in an Australian capital city before you die, then you might as well pull the plastic bag over your head and do it now to prevent a life of perpetual disappointment and self-loathing, according to ABC’s Four Corners programme last night.
Better yet, if you’ve already purchased an investment property like an off-the-plan apartment or detached caravan, then you really, really should consider setting yourself on fire in front of Scott Morrison’s Sutherland Shire home in protest.
Even though he’s earning a median Australian wage, 27-year-old software developer Jackson Mons says after watching Ben Knight’s report into the property market, he was overcome by “horrible feelings of dread” and an inescapable urge to throw himself under a bus.
“I don’t drink coffee each morning, I haven’t been on a holiday in nine years, I don’t even smoke. Once a month I go out drinking with the fellas from college and that’s about it. I try harder than anybody I know to save money.” he said.
“Aside from that, I come home each night from work and lie facedown on my frameless bed and moan softly until I fall asleep,”
“The only way I’ve been able to save money is by rorting the tax office… which is another ticking time bomb in itself.”
On the other side of the home ownership coin, Mon’s parents have suggested that young Jackson is on the right path and that he should put his head down and keep at it for another few years.
Father Gridley says he was able to wrangle a small terrace house in Newtown for $115 000 in 1989 – but he was paying upwards of 17% interest on the property.
He says nothing’s changed and it’s just as hard to get ahead in this life as it was when he was his son’s age.
“Look, he can sook all he wants. I was earning $33 000 a year back then and making mortgage repayments similar to what Jackson would be paying now,” he screamed.
“He’s just not having a red hot go like his old man did. Simple as that,”
“If he wants to own a terrace house in Newtown like I did when I was his age, then he needs to get a better job and work harder. Easy.”
Gridley’s sentiments were echoed by his wife of 34 years, Hilda, who says her dreams of home ownership were only made possible after the death of her beloved grand-step-uncle, Graham – who sadly passed a wealthy man but with little family left to carve up the pie.
In defiance of her close friends, who made fun of her then boyfriends’ name, saying GRID-ley was a crude acronym for Gay-Related-Immuno-Disease, she married Gridley because it made the dream of owning property easier.
“We both had such a large earning capacity, which gave us great leverage with the bank,” she said.
“But in saying all of that, Jackson earns much more than we did at his age. Our household income when we got married was about $50 000 – where he’s earning nearly $75 000. I think he’s drinking too much.”
Rolling over and taking his face off the pillow to breathe, Jackson says everything is mother said is true. He is earning that much money but his parents don’t understand one critical aspect that differs his situation from theirs.
“I’m going to start doing ecstasy in the morning because I just want to know what it feels like to be happy leaving for work.” he said.
The collective stupidity of aspiring home owners is a cause for concern: they don’t get it. The real estate market in desirable locations is manipulated by taxation policies, like negative gearing and capital gains discounting in a way that, in bidding contest it favours the one with the most to gain from tax deductions.
Take out the government incentives and you will take out the investors, then market forces will determine the prices. But the punters elect the government so welcome to the wonderful world of universal renting, except for the good burghers in the Prime Ministers electorate.
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