Sizzling property market and first home buyers
I object to pullouts trumpeting the "sizzling" property market and articles saying there's still a "chance" for first-home buyers to get into our local market (Chronicle, Nov 2) – all encouraging more FOMO and greed. I picture a drunk leaving a hotplate on and dying in the inferno.
We now have the most expensive housing globally compared to income and ironically the worst quality – our housing stock is so poorly insulated with one-third of rentals damp and resulting in Third World diseases (rheumatic fever) and likely a $50 billion bill for leaky homes.
There's much talk about RMA changes to solve supply, but it goes back 30-40 years and is more fundamental – fear of sharemarkets after the 1987 crash, unlevel playing fields re-tax treatment, a Kiwi love affair with property - to now where it's an absolute obsession.
The Reserve Bank's too-blunt instrument of eliminating the LVR to keep the economy going has exacerbated the speculation problem, with multiple-property owners shading out first-home buyers.
New Zealand long ago ceased to be an egalitarian society – our income inequality since the 1980s has increased faster than in any other "wealthy" country.
We may be the worst example, but we're not unique when you have return on capital exceeding return on labour by 2-10+ per cent yearly.
The gulf between the haves and the have-nots is accelerating to the point where it will double within one generation or less - simply because of that returns differential - without proper intervention. We're back to levels of inequality not known since before WWI. We need Capitalism 2.0 – a reboot – with a fairer basis of distribution through modest wealth/property taxes.
Both NZ major parties have been too timid to do anything for too long. Why are we the only OECD country without any such tax? I hope the Greens will continue to lobby strongly on this.
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Dublin St roundabout
Somewhat to my surprise I find that I am in complete agreement with Ms Donne-Lee, and also (not surprisingly) with Russell Eades.
Went downtown on Friday at 5pm and found the traffic flowing much better than usual at the Dublin St lights. No surprise because I noted the same easy flow when a previous set of lights in town was out of commission.
Save the purchase money, save on power, save on maintenance, save on driver frustration. Zebra crossings would solve the possible pedestrian problem. Then have a look at the fiasco at the lights at St Hill St and Taupo Quay.