If you're an Aucklander and you own a house, you've probably given yourself a little congratulatory hug this week.
Lookee, you've told your significant other, we're sitting on a fortune. Our house has gone up by $100,000. In just a year. We're rich.
Enjoy it. Because it ain't so pretty from this side of the country. I want to know who let Auckland's housing market get this crazy because I am not happy. Not happy at all.
It's a complicated financial game of dominoes that has resulted in me, the girl in Wellington, being affected by Auckland's house prices. We know it's complicated because, clearly, not even the people who run the country understand it or they would've stopped the house price fire by now.
I have a stake in a house in a nice suburb in Wellington. The stake is that I'm married to its owner. I am not the owner, as determined by a prenuptial agreement I myself insisted on, and thank God for that because the house is now a financial drain on the owner.
It's a nice house. It has four bedrooms, a newly renovated kitchen and a large deck with a spa bath. It has two bathrooms, a bush view and double-garaging.
The owner has done everything to sell this house. He employed a gardener to trim Wellington's Waitakere Ranges back from the washing line, he roped me into a weekend of painting and Jiffing walls, he paid a company to put in fancy furniture and trick prospective buyers into thinking their couches will look just as lovely in that lounge.
The house won't sell. It has been eight weeks. Eight weeks, exclaims the Aucklander sitting on a fortune! There must be something wrong with the house!
No, there isn't. It's just that you people have forgotten what's happening in the rest of the country.
While Auckland's house prices have soared in the past year, Wellington's have fallen. Yes, fallen. You know things are bad when we envy Whanganui's $4000 increase in the median property price.
Auckland, I know you think things are going swimmingly but, actually, they're not that flash. Wages are barely rising. Dairy farmers aren't breaking even. Inflation's dangerously low.
Normally, the bigwigs in Wellington would do things to fix this. But they can't because of you and your houses, Auckland. Anything that would help the economy would only make your house prices shoot up even more.
Check out what the Reserve Bank has done this week. We all knew it had to drop the official cash rate. We'd been saying it for weeks. So it did so, but only as much as it absolutely had to. It was like prying a whisky glass from a drunk. How did we get to this point? Who keeps saying there's no Auckland housing bubble? Are these people mad?
Please, no one offer me a job in Auckland. I can't afford a house in your city. It's fine for you folks who bought a long time ago and can trade across from one ridiculously-priced house to another.
I'm really cross the Auckland housing market's been allowed to get stupid.
I'm cross there are still people who think it isn't stupid. I'm cross that if something goes wrong and the prices drop, the rest of the country will be dragged into the black hole of suffering Auckland created.
But mostly, I'm cross because, thanks to Auckland, no one can do anything to lift Wellington's property market and get that house to sell.
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