Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Bricks and mortar earn more than they oughta

While we're working hard, our homes are making the real cash.
Sadly, our skyrocketing-in-value houses only earn imaginary money. Photo / Getty Images
Sadly, our skyrocketing-in-value houses only earn imaginary money. Photo / Getty Images

So according to stats just released, my house is earning more than I do. This is not cool. I often work 12-hour days. The stress forces me to drink heavily. Our recycling bin overflows with emptied, delicious, anti-stress beers and wines.

Meanwhile, my lazy house sits on its fat arse earning more than I do. The big wooden bastard does absolutely nothing. In fact he's going backwards. Things break, the spouting could do with some work and the dog is destroying the carpet. Yet week after week this slowly deteriorating behemoth earns more than me. It's humiliating.

It would be great if the gains meant something; if I could retire and have my house support me; spend that increase in value on something positive like food, clothing or video games. But I can't. Sadly my house only earns imaginary money. Theoretical cash. If we were to sell in this market we would have to buy in this market. What would be the point in that? Move from one fat lazy house to another?

Increased house value grows equity. Which is a clever trap. A responsible Kiwi knuckles down and hacks away at their principal while interest rates are low. Remortgaging is like half struggling out of quicksand only to jump back in for fun. Massively tempting. Hawaii looks good this time of year. Pool?

Despite the fact it's semi-meaningless, the increasing value of a house feels good. We love it. Even though deep down, we know something ain't right.

In the back of the mind alarm bells ring: "beep beep beep massive correction coming". Luckily those doubts can be drowned out with a buttery chards or two. It feels so good looking at your suburb's increasing values in the Herald, thinking drunkenly to yourself "glad we bought when we did".

It must be amazing for the Baby Boomers. The generation who out of pure luck bought when houses cost nothing. That's why Boomers are so happy. Never grumpy. Never complaining. Tune into talkback radio anytime and you'll hear happy Baby Boomers not complaining, judging or whinging.

They know how lucky they have been and would never blame the problems of the world on the less fortunate generations that have followed them. That would be cruel.

Remortgaging is like half struggling out of quicksand only to jump back in for fun.

I can only imagine how annoying this column must be if you don't own a house. You'd have every right to hate a property owner like me, casually joking about his rising house value.

Those who have been shut out should complain. I'm surprised talkback radio isn't wall to wall Gen Yers and Millennials ranting about the rigged system they live in. Forced to cover the costs of the very people who have yanked the ladder up. They should be angrier. They'll probably get there soon.

If the economy continues to work against people they will eventually force change. Revolt even. The question is how bad would it have to get before Millennials just take what they want? How much cake has to be blatantly eaten in their faces before they do something?

As Selina Kyle once said "There's a storm coming, Mr Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

It happened 226 years ago this week in France. Could it happen here. Nah. Well, not for a decade or two anyway.

In conclusion, some of us have houses that earn more than we do. Sadly those gains are meaningless. Luckily drinking makes the illusion feel real.

Sadly many young people have no chance of getting a house and are becoming angry.

Therefore, joking in the paper about rising property values is just the kind of rub it in the face, Marie Antoinette style behaviour that'll get us all killed.

- NZ Herald

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Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

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