Aussies giving up on home ownership

By Leith van Onselen

Young Aussies are giving up the dream of home ownership, according to a new survey of 1,000 Australians by Mortgage Choice in conjunction with research firm Core Data. From Domain:

The property market has become so expensive that nine out of 10 Australians are despairing about their prospects of achieving the ‘Great Australian Dream’, new data shows…

Of those surveyed, 67.3 per cent said the market was “too hot” due to rising prices… 87 per cent said it was too difficult to achieve the traditional home ownership dream of a freestanding house…

“We need to find a way to either cool the market down, or help Australians who are struggling to get their foot on the property ladder achieve their dream of home ownership” [Mortgage Choice chief executive John Flavell said]…

Taj Singh, co-founder of lobby group First Home Buyers Australia, said the appetite from first-home buyers for a house had changed over the last year.

“Some are accepting that they may have to rent for their entire life and pay [the landlord’s] mortgage who is subsidised by the government through generous tax incentives, or they may have to move interstate or to the country to realise their Great Australian Dream of home ownership,” Mr Singh said.

I explained last week the reasons why I believe that some type of first home buyer (FHB) bribe will be included in the May Budget, including:

  • The Coalition is desperate to counter Labor on housing affordability;
  • The Coalition knows it must stimulate housing to keep the economy growing and wants to avoid, at all costs, a bust under its watch; and
  • Stimulus is supported by the property lobby, one of the Coalition’s key backers.

With political and economic pressure building on the Turnbull Government, the stars are aligning for a cynical FHB bribe under the cloak of ‘housing affordability’.

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Comments

  1. Hard to say on the FHB bribe, but I’m not confident they can get it through, or if they will try at all knowing it will fail.

    A smashed avocado subsidy, now you’re talking!

    • Jesus christ, if you live in Melbourne plant the Bacon varietal and get them for free

      (or find a friend who has land)

      If no land or renting

      Just stop leaning, move to the country where the jobs are (Armidale zinging!) and plant some

  2. Would it be a doubling of an existing grant or would it be a reintroduction of a phased-out grant?

    I am not looking to buy a house, so I do not know.

  3. Potential FHB here – fundamentally against receiving any bribes. Currently in Brisbane so already able to access a $20,000 grant for new property. Brilliant…if all new property wasn’t super shoddily built, on a 400m2 block (or less) or 25km from the CBD in a cookie cutter manufactured slum of the future.

    Now if it was applied to existing property that’d just make all existing properties more expensive relative to the bribe. As I’m already competing with baby boomers and all the specufestors it won’t make any difference at all. Just inflate the overall mortgage repayments. Brilliant.

    Have I given up on home ownership? Not entirely – given the pressures family and life and the general disdain in which renters are treated. Eventually I’ll come to terms with inflated prices and swallow a large mortgage and try to pay if off as quickly as possible. Assuming the current bastards in Canberra will continue to do everything in their power to keep the bubble inflated.

    In the meantime, we invest in a variety of ETFs and limit exposure to Australian property – stashing away as much as possible. The ludicrousness of a young (33 and 30 year old) couple earning WELL over average salaries not being able to ‘afford’ property is not lost on me. Well not being willing to ‘afford’ property.

      • The90kwbeastMEMBER

        If you’re on an above average income (which is good – as can be a bit hard in Brisbane), I would suggest Brisbane is relatively affordable still, you can still get somewhat reasonable houses for low 500s in suburbs like Banyo or alternatively 3 bedroom townhouses for mid to high 400s in Nundah, which is only 15k and 11km out of the CBD respectively…

      • Move further North, South and commute? Well therein lies the problem doesn’t it. I shouldn’t have to move away from the city I live and work in to afford a house. And yeah spoiled Gen Y and all that but I refuse to commute for 1 hour+ each way so I can buy a house. Not to mention the M1 and the Bruce Highway are absolute shit fights almost every day. No thanks.

      • Yeah, sure you shouldn’t have to

        I shouldn’t have to get a planning permit to put a deck in
        I shouldn’t have to pay to get asbestos safely stored at the tip (it should be free or Hardie should pay)
        I shouldn’t have to pay the local council fees for services that don’t get delivered
        I shouldn’t have to subsidise the fossil fuel industry
        I shouldn’t have to allow CSG exploration on my private property

        The list goes on

        But be realistic and play the hand dealt to you

      • I fail to see the link between your list of “shouldn’t” haves and our country’s housing affordability issues? Those all seem like reasonable things.

      • Ok – you seem to dismiss my issue with housing affordability as “just one of those things that is life” and I fundamentally disagree with that. You then provide a list of what I assume to be problems you have to deal with in your life. I do fail to see how any of them are relevant.

        I shouldn’t have to get a planning permit to put a deck in – Councils have regulations so shonky decks don’t get built, collapse and kill people. Building standards, regulations, laws – all positive parts of society.
        I shouldn’t have to pay to get asbestos safely stored at the tip (it should be free or Hardie should pay) – community safety when dealing with a hazardous waste. Hardly anaolgous to high house prices.
        I shouldn’t have to pay the local council fees for services that don’t get delivered – I don’t call the police very often but still pay taxes. Again – irrelevent when talking about housing prices.
        I shouldn’t have to subsidise the fossil fuel industry – unclear what your gripe is here.
        I shouldn’t have to allow CSG exploration on my private property – you don’t own the resources under your land.

        So yeah – I did try harder and it just seems like you have a lot of “issues” but I still fail to see how listing them means that I should accept massively inflated house prices? Your issues – legitimate or otherwise – are pretty irrelevant.

        So thanks but no thanks for your “suck it up” advice.

    • Far out you have just described me. Only we’re moving ourseves to the Netherlands in a few weeks. Don’t know when I’ll be back. Fuck you, Australia.

      Oh and 300 megabit fibre Internet. In the countryside. Years ago.

      • MediocritasMEMBER

        Bon voyage mate, the Netherlands is great, although they also have a bunch of specufestors stinking up the place.

  4. Not just FHBs, my wife and I would love to upgrade to a new house but the nosebleed high prices has made it impossible without burdening us with large debt.

    • This is a big part of the problem for FHBs – if upgraders can’t afford to upgrade, how can property become available for FHBs?

      • probably time to let go of the idea of ‘Australia’. it’s getting sold and you can’t compete with the real money

  5. UrbanWastelandMEMBER

    Good. The faster the obsession with property dissipates, the sooner the positive feedback loop driving the Ponzi will be interrupted.

    “Some are accepting that they may have to rent for a while and pay [the landlord’s] mortgage interest, which is subsidised by the government through generous tax incentives, until negative yields force the landlord to sell, allowing them to finally realise their Great Australian Dream of home ownership.”

    Fixed.

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      I’m on a 6-figure income and consider myself totally priced out of the market. Although I’d like to buy and stop renting, I’m not even bothering to look. Unfortunately, when local buyers like me lose their mojo, TPTB just find a way to open the door to more international buyers and keep prices buoyant.

      • UrbanWastelandMEMBER

        Oh I know. My post is steeped in bitter wishful thinking.
        Having said that, international buyers may well lose their mojo too with sufficiently widespread doubt in price inflation.

      • LOL my base salary is 150k with yearly bonus stock options etc. closer to 190k. My partner only on 60k… We live in Sydney, look at the prices and sacrifice needed to buy and say, no thanks. Rent is shit but so is being a mortgage slave for a shit shack at 1.5M or more for something in the Inner West.

        I tried to buy in Melbourne last year but realised how fickle employment can become. I’m still not sure I’ll be in this job in 6-12 months time so… so much for job security and I can’t guarantee I’ll find as good paying job next time. So no point assuming what I earn now will be what I earn in 30 years time.

        If I don’t see the point in the current prices, I’m not sure who is still seeing value out there…

        I will be traveling to Adelaide, Kyneton, Castlemain, Bendigo, Great Ocean Road and maybe up Lakes Entrance way over next couple of weeks. In part to explore living in other areas. With my current Sydney deposit I could buy outright in many places and be mortgage free or close to it.

        I really feel sorry (and angry) for those less fortunate than I, my brother and his partner being 1 of those people.

      • MediocritasMEMBER

        Very similar situation here Gavin. I earn a lot, but the position is not long-term. I can’t justify the risk of a long-term mortgage when my employment is short-term and likely to require an international move soon.

        For me, a major factor is liquidity. I used to be a professional quant / trader and probably the most important lesson I learned is that you NEVER trade an illiquid listing. No matter how attractive the trade might look, if you can’t get out of the trade as easily as you get into it, then stay the hell away from it. Nobody has a crystal ball and if you turn out to be on the wrong side of an illiquid trade, you’re hosed.

        Not only is housing illiquid, the transaction costs burn a huge % of the trade relative to other asset classes. People who are playing this for the $$$s with the actual bricks and mortar (vs derivatives) are schmucks who’ll eventually get what they deserve. No way do I think that the average specufestor is smart enough to take profits when the taking is good. They’ll sit on their paper wealth (based on current market value) all the way down.

        Housing shouldn’t be a speculative asset class. It should just be for housing. So many people are getting burned on the way up and even more will get burned on the way down. It’s just stupid.

      • That’s the problem these days. Since you guys are earning 6 figure salaries, the banks are more than happy to throw 1 or 2 millions your way, and with some deposit, you can well afford to buy something in the 1-2 million range. There are plenty of option the the 1-2 million range. Of course you guys are not stupid enough to borrow 1-2 million, but the problem most people are.

      • Friends of mine, a couple – both doctors – are having to leave Inner West because they want to have a second child. Already own a house but even the cost of upgrading is forcing them to look elsewhere, possibly interstate. Not that they will have trouble finding jobs anywhere they go, but illustrates the absurdity.

      • UrbanWastelandMEMBER

        “No way do I think that the average specufestor is smart enough to take profits when the taking is good. They’ll sit on their paper wealth (based on current market value) all the way down.”

        Maaaate, if the price goes down you’re only losing value. You don’t lose money if you don’t sell…

        I last heard this from a director at one of the Big Four. You can’t make this stuff up.

      • @Mediocritas, for a trader, I’m surprised you broke one of the few rules about investing which is don’t gamble what you can’t afford to lose. The problem is, when we are born, we naturally have a short position (-1) on housing. When you are -1 housing, you are exposed asset price inflation risk of housing. It works both ways as house can go up and down but if you want stability in your life, you would have to turn that -1 position to a 0, i.e. buy one house to live in.

        The fact of the matter is, when you consciously refuses to buy a house thinking it will go down, you are speculating, you are trying to profit from your -1 position on house. You are gambling your milk money in this rigged market. Not smart and it is back firing very very badly.

        All that rant about illiquidity etc. etc. only applies to when you have a neutral position (i.e. own PPOR) and choosing how to invest your money. If you blur consumption item (PPOR) from investment, you’ve lost the plot.

        Anyway it’ a terrible situation to be in, at this stage, rent is the only option.

      • MediocritasMEMBER

        @Joe: That’s like saying I’m short CBA by not buying CBA in a bull market. To be short I must have an obligation to cover and run the risk of being wiped out by rising prices. By not having a position at all, I have no obligation and nobody can issue a margin call.

        Having no position is not short. If I entertain what you’re trying to say, then why do you assume that I’m sitting dumbly in cash and losing out to inflation? If I feel like playing housing, I’ll play listed REITs where the liquidity is fine rather than bricks and mortar, so I can choose a comfortable position size and trade in any direction without any emotional attachment. That trade isn’t attractive enough though (not enough volatility) so I avoid it.

        I don’t see how anyone can avoid blurring the PPOR and housing speculation given that every price you see out there is a product of heavy speculation. Do I want a PPOR that I can call my own? Sure, but it’s impossible to not pay attention to the speculative aspect of the pricing caused by so many other market participants herding in one direction and to think about how that may effect my future financial position. It makes far more financial sense to rent even if it’s not what I really want.

      • Gavin, depending on what your looking for do yourself a favour & go the extra distance to check out Mallacoota.

        Just be aware that the further from the power centres – the lower the wages unless your job’s transferable or you pull a job on a rig.

      • @Mediocritas you still don’t get it. You can’t EAT shares, you can’t DRINK CFDs, you can’t live in your paper options but you CAN live in a house and you don’t want to live with your parents I assume so you are short one house when you move out.

        It can be either an investment (rent it out) or a consumption item (PPOR). Buying a house for PPOR and buying a house for investment are totally 2 unrelated things based on completely different criteria. You don’t see this? This is what makes RE unique!

        Look I’ll spell it out for you a bit more;
        Housing as investment:
        – ROI, Capital growth, liquidity, investment timeframes, just like any other investment.
        Housing as PPOR:
        – Where are my kids going to school, uni etc
        – Is it close to where I work
        – Is it close to public transport, hospitals
        – Proximity to facilities, swimming pools, nearest shopping centre
        – Importance of stability for my family so you don’t get kicked out
        – Importance of freedom to change whatever you want with the house

        You start to see a pattern?

        I do agree at current prices, if you don’t have $1m CASH, you would be crazy to buy PPOR, which is very sad.

      • “we naturally have a short position (-1) on housing”

        Agree with this premise Joe. If a person has an intention to one day own a home, that is the position one starts in.

      • Original JohnMEMBER

        /sarc To be born into Australia with an automatic Housing Short position indicates that you have selected the wrong parents and need to immediately appeal to the deity/controlling being to request a hearing into your situation. In the advent the governing being in your belief system denies your appeal, I would recommend you either follow Father Hockey’s sagely advice or relocate to a country which does not value realestate as the centre of your existence. Changing deities and belief systems would also be highly recommended.
        /sarc

      • MediocritasMEMBER

        @Joe: we’ll have to agree to disagree.

        Just consider my situation. My industry requires me to move internationally to follow the jobs. I can’t take the house with me and I can’t afford to leave it behind, given such awful rental yields, so I have to sell. Should I blindly buy a PPOR because I want a PPOR and not speculate regarding likely future prices? Hell no. If I’m going to go long housing, I want to be confident that prices will be higher in real terms at the point of my likely future sale, or that there’s ample liquidity and low transaction fees so that I can bail out easily at my stop loss, otherwise I’m not making the trade.

        In my case don’t you see how buying a PPOR and being a speculator are irreversibly mixed? If prices were sane, I could afford to not care about a loss and then I could agree with you, but with such insanely overvalued prices, I HAVE to treat housing like a speculative trade, hence I don’t agree with you.

        When most of the price is a product of speculative market activity, the only way to avoid becoming a speculator when you buy in is to have so much money to burn that you simply don’t care about taking a large loss at the point in the future where you may need to, or want to sell (divorce, upsizing, downsizing, moving, financial hardship, don’t like the place, etc).

        If your argument is that you buy a PPOR and NEVER sell, then OK, I can agree but for how many people in the younger generations today will this be true? Permanent PPORs go with long-term job security. That’s dead and buried in a neoliberal world.

      • Gavin

        Big +1 to Kyneton, Malmsbury, Newham etc (if you want land), Woodend. If I still lived in Vic I’d live there in a heartbeat.

        Brother just sold a 4BR 2 storey house in Woodend for a fraction over 500 (bought acreage in Macedon, unbelievable place). Woodend still ok pricing.

        We’re from the area (Gisborne)

        Awesome lifestyle. His kids go mushrooming at the back of Mt Macedon, grow apples etc

        If you’re a cyclist, awesome cycling, Northern Combine races around Kyneton, Newham etc – rug up but. (I still laugh at the hilarity of warming up for B grade races whilst it sleeted and the 6.4kg bike on tubs almost blew out from under me)

        If you’re in the market, great area

        Only minus is it’s so far from the surf, but then you can only surf 1 month a year in Vicco within freezing your nuts off or wearing a 10/9 steamer like a deep sea diver (ironically one of the reasons we moved to Northern NSW but then….the sharks)

      • And also change the mood of rich foreigner specufestors who have been given the entirely incorrect impression that their dirty money is welcome in this country where current and future generations are growing up destitute in the land of their forefathers.
        Vote for One Nation = Vote for Housing Affordability (=Vote for Economic Reset)

  6. Do these first home owner bribes actually work? If the govt pays out 20k to take out a 750k+ mortgage (or 1m in Sydney, the current median right?)… what’s the point? Pennies in front of a steam roller?

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      They work in the very short term as sellers are slow to raise prices.

      But over time, sellers set prices at the point where buyers are prepared to pay. If buyers are given more money then they can afford to pay more and sellers eventually raise their prices accordingly.

      Government programs to support buyers therefore end up making housing even more unaffordable, then, unless the government wants prices to fall, it has to maintain the buyer support program in perpetuity at the expense of the budget.

      It’s a terrible, terrible idea but sellers love it and the Libs are the sellers’ party. (I’ll include potential sellers in that list, those who are enjoying watching the values of their houses rise and feel wealthier without actually locking in profits).

    • Current median is over 1.1mil in Sydney >_<

      The FHB bribe works by allowing the seller to include the FHB grant into the prices, so a 20K grant means prices are 20K higher. FHB still goes for it because the 20K is added to their deposit, so they can now get a house 100K more than they could have afforded (80% loan, it'll be 200K more at 90% with PMI).

      • But eventually the leverage on the $20k gets priced in, so the $20k bribe turns into $100k (okay – just under as not every interested buyer is eligible for the bribe) in the pockets of the developers, and the FHBs are just as unable to afford a house as before (maybe worse, as they need a bigger mortgage to make full use of their deposit).

      • And the way auctions work in Sydney these days even $100k is neither here nor there to most bidders. Houses routinely sell for $400-500K over the price guide, some even before going to auction.

  7. Its just another way to try and get people to buy expensive houses. Its sad to live in A country where the government is happy to have house prices out of reach of the average citizens. I didn’t buy before these last interest rate drops. I stupidly though that there is no way the Government will re ignite the housing markets out of reach us battlers. Australia is a country and a place to live but somehow the government thinks its a money making business.

    • https://realnewsaustralia.com/2016/04/24/1973-the-birth-of-corporate-australia/
      Welcome to Wonderland – so many red pills, so little time. AUSTRALIA is a corporation registered with the SEC.
      I should caution you, questioning corporate sovereignty and being aware of Admiralty Law, colour of law, the Magna Carta and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia is liable to put you on a government watchlist as a potential terrorist.
      Also, for a peaceful life, pay your taxes and traffic/parking fines unto Caesar, as the Bible says.

  8. MediocritasMEMBER

    It’s possible to have a speculative bubble in ANYTHING. Tulips FFS.

    Given that, there’s a potential “out” for the government here. Start subsidising investment in tulips (kidding, use your imagination) in direct proportion to the removal of subsidies for housing investment.

    Deflate one bubble that has harmful externalities while inflating another that has much less harmful externalities.

  9. We are just about to capitulate and buy a new home, so expect the whole thing to come tumbling down around May or so.

    • Yep, we’re in the same situation although with a longer timeline. My wife made me give a date that we would hold out till and I said one year. Next January if nothing has changed then we pulling the trigger.

      It’s hard to justify really when you can rent so cheaply in such a great location and then for the same money buy a dump that is miles away from anywhere!

    • That’s what happens to every share I buy. At least you can put a nail in the wall. Good luck Smithy.

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      With the quality of construction materials these days I wouldn’t be surprised if your new house literally tumbles down in May. Sorry man, I feel the pain.

      FFS, we could build the damn houses with our own hands in a fraction of the time and expense that it takes to buy at these prices. Of course it’s not the house price, but the land.

    • dr smithy…good luck….i think you are looking around the bris western burbs from memory???? i have seen lots and lots thru open houses recently….chinese of course abound, always in groups, but also canadians!!!! go figure

      • Yeah, this is the place:

        http://www.realestate.com.au/property-acreage+semi+rural-qld-pinjarra+hills-124643886

        Unfortunately (fortunately ?) it seems we’ve been gazumped. Someone else got an offer in Monday without even making it conditional on a building inspection and it’s been accepted. So unless their finance falls through [0], no new home for us. Based on previous experience, it’ll be another 6-7 months before we find another place we both like. 🙂

        The offer that’s been accepted is $965k. Which compared to similar properties in the general area, is pretty competitive (mostly due to Pinjarra Hills vs Pullenvale or Brookfield I suspect). We’ve been looking on and off for probably 18 months now.

        It’s a frightening amount of money, but we are buying planning to live there for 20-30 years until the kids are grown and gone (unknown unknowns notwithstanding).

        [0] As an aside, for people interested, I’m being offered loans between 4x and 5.5x my gross income (with 3 dependents – wife + 2 kids). But I haven’t looked at any of the majors (inquired with BOQ, CUA and Heritage). Missus is currently on maternity leave so we’re not using her income, but doing so (she goes back to work in April so it’s worth asking the question) would give us about 6x out combined income – ca. $1.5m. This is direct with lenders, haven’t approached a mortgage broker.

      • @DrSmithy, that’s my kind of place. 4 car garage. The price is absurd however. But then again I’ve looked at similar style properties for that price in Lilydale Victoria. The thing is, I need garage space but not a big house. Usually you only get the garage space with a large house.

        I’m finding places I’m interested in are snapped up quickly before I even get a look in half the time. Lots of panic buying, jumping in before they miss out further. That worries me a lot.

      • Epic spot smithy and Strava country.

        Can you buy something sans 4 car garage and wack up a skillion 4 bay?

        We just converted our single lock up roller door internal entry to house to video/photo studio and wacking a 3 bay skillion out the front – bye bye UV, bye bye hail and extra tank water catchment

        Cheaper than finding a place to suit

      • To be honest, the garages/sheds were mostly gravy. I’d use them, but lacking them wouldn’t have been a showstopper for me.

        The key selling points were:
        * Big rooms – it’s not a “mansion”, but it’s a big house because the bedrooms are all quite large (25-30m^2 each) and there’s good open-plan living areas. Plus all the ceilings are 3m+.
        * Generational living – we’re likely to have the mother-in-law babysitting for us a couple of days (/nights) a week until the kids are school age, so a granny flat or similar is very attractive.
        * Related to that, a floorplan that’s conducive to a “parents wing” and a “kids wing” down the track when they’re teenagers, but also allowing us to have our bedroom close to theirs for the next 5-10 years.
        * (Mostly) Single level – I’m indifferent but this is a big thing for the wife.
        * Big decks/verandahs
        * Pool (saves $100k having to put one in)
        * Nice cross-breezes
        * Fairly usable space for kids to play in
        * Space to put in some fruit trees, veggie patch, etc and run a few chickens/ducks/other animals
        * Good location for access to the city, school zones, etc.

    • drsmithy,
      according your previous posts, which I enjoyed a lot, you are very educated, articulate, rational and fair guy with sense of community. You are emotionally blackmailed, and you are at the stage where you have to choose between emotions and everything you are, so far.
      If you give up, what chance this society have?

      • Thank you.

        We are very fortunate to be in a pretty solid financial position and already own the house we live in now. The only problem it has is that it’s not as big as we’d like for two kids to grow up in. But, they’re not even a year old so there’s not a massive time pressure – we figure we have at least another couple of years before there’s real pressure to have found the right place.

        In the dozens (possibly hundreds) of houses we’ve looked at over the last 18 months or so, this has been the third we’ve both thought was “the one” and the first that wouldn’t be a big budget stretch. Hence the keenness to buy despite that ridiculous cost.

        However, it looks like we’ve been gazumped. Someone else got another offer in before us and it’s been accepted. So unless their finance falls through, the search continues.

        (I’d really, really love to build – contemplated a career as an architect for a while and have an itch to scratch – but all the blocks of land that are suitable within the radius of practicality are $700k+.)

    • Nah, Brisy will be fine.

      If prices drop like a rock it will not be dropping from Mt Everest high like in Syd and Mel.

  10. “I explained last week the reasons why I believe that some type of first home buyer (FHB) bribe will be included in the May Budget, including:

    The Coalition is desperate to counter Labor on housing affordability;
    The Coalition knows it must stimulate housing to keep the economy growing and wants to avoid, at all costs, a bust under its watch; and
    Stimulus is supported by the property lobby, one of the Coalition’s key backers.
    With political and economic pressure building on the Turnbull Government, the stars are aligning for a cynical FHB bribe under the cloak of ‘housing affordability’.”

    Just reading this and knowing it is TRUE makes me feel ill.

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      It’s like they’re looking at a tumour and fretting about how to keep it growing. No consideration that there’s actually a host…

  11. Does anyone know where we can source data to find places the LEAST over inflated in Australia, perhaps New Zealand too?
    I may consider buying in the next 5 years and I’m living in the shithole that is Melbourne, what has very, very VERY rapidly become an awful place, unless you’re an incredibly rich Chinese investor or someone who likes “borrowing” BMWs from people by force.

    I never ever thought I’d say this but I’d consider a regional location, or another state. I’d miss the food of Melbourne and I can’t stand Queenslands “It’s 5pm, close all shops, oh god Saturday, nope, closed!” attitude but if that’s how the rest of the country is, besides Melb and Sydney, so be it. I can’t endure this place much longer.

    Tasmania over inflated? What about far far south NZ, which I’ve been considering (I firmly believe in global warming issues in the next 10 to 25 years)

    • Perth Median has gone from 475K to about $525k since 2007, so i’d look at some pockets here. Will get worse i reckon, but i’d rather be buying here than in Sydney and Melbourne. Personally i like Maylands and Bayswater. I also like Leederville, and North Perth. Close to the city, public transport, plus some cool things around there, golf course, cafe etc. I think good potential for long term growth. Plus Perth is nowhere near as boring as it used to be.

      Plenty to do and see these days:

      – heaps of new small bars and restaurants in the CBD
      – Elizabeth Quay addition
      – Crown redevelopment. Hotel, casino, dining etc.
      – New State of the art stadium. They have held off installing all tech in this thing until the last minute to make sure it is all the newest stuff available right before it is ready to go
      – Northbridge has become a great place for nightlife again. Pubs, clubs, small bars, casual and more finer dining. Finally being linked to the CBD.
      – World’s third largest fringe festival every summer. Cool shows and pop up bars all over town.
      – Good weather.
      – Beaches. Scarborough redevelopment. More to do when not in the water. The wind is annoying though.
      – Good looking people. I read somewhere Perthians north of the river are the skinniest people in Oz. I believe it too. Big healthy living and eating culture. They must all be property owners!!!!!!!
      – Traffic is still tolerable
      – There is good coffee everywhere. I mean everywhere!!

      Still heaps of BOGANS though!!!!!!

      • Perth is ground zero for the bust. If we had real media, you’d already know about it. Till then, squat in an abandoned west perth office

      • We have been slowly busting for a while though. Prices have been sticky. Slowly following rents down. West Perth is a wasteland at the moment.

    • HI mate – I agree – TOTALLY.

      I am looking at moving to regional Victoria. But simply can’t justify $850k for a quarter acre block 1 hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne.

      It is so farcking absurd – its on another level ridiculous.

      At this stage the options are – leave Australia – also looking at New Zealand – but maybe Europe or Canada.

      If there is a correction then this country is absolutely screwed – there will be massive violence – serious levels of violence.

      If it doesn’t crash – then its lost its soul anyway.

      I’m over it. Such a horrible nasty place.

      I grew up in inner Carlton, Fitzroy in the 1970’s – it was rough – but the food, people, lifestyle was incredible.

      I can’t begin to tell you what its like watching your home turn from a sleepy village into a strip mall.

      I also grew up in Lorne – 30 boats on the pier, 3 restaurants, Costas, Chris’s and the Arab. Cray fish raffle every Sunday outside the Ozone, crays were $10. Now its totally, completely, destroyed.

      This year it was FLOODED with Chinese in Porche Cayanne crowding out the real estate agents – sickening.

      I’m out.

      If you want somewhere great – look to the Sapphire coast. South of Nowra all the way down to Jervis bay.

      .

      • Hey Joseph,

        The Chinese problem is having a hugely detrimental effect on me personally. I’ve never been a racist person, I would’ve described myself at one point as an “SJW” infact. Now, seeing what is happening to Australia, I can’t help but look with disdain and I hate myself for it. I don’t want to hate these people but they are coming in on a scale that’s unheard of and they are vastly more wealthy than the average person.

        What does it to? It drives up housing prices, it drives up the cost of *EVERY FUCKING THING* because if they can afford to buy overpriced shit, it becomes the norm.
        If the Porsche Cayenne is selling like hotcakes to them (it is) then Porsche is going to maintain or increase their price. The average selling price of all vehicles will go up, the price in restaraunts will go up, everything will go up, because economically something out of balance has entered the equation.

        I’m so fucking sick of it, there’s a billion of them and presumably several million, multi-millionaires and they have a thirst for Australian property and products.

        They are fucking decimating us all and as usual the government sees nothing but pretty god damn $$$ dollar signs.

      • If you don’t wanna be swamped by asians, then you should stop voting Greens and vote for “racist” One Nation 😉

      • Sadly I agree with both Joseph and Esss, it’s like I’ve become an economic refugee in my own country. Whenever you question the holy grail of housing in this country you’re told to shut up and work harder by the older generations or housing rich folks.

        I miss the old country, the fair go etc.. I left Europe because I missed Australia after 6-7 years but if I had stayed in Ireland, bought a house I’d be in a far better position than I am coming back here. It makes me want to return to Europe, maybe buy a place in regional France or Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden.

        Of course there is also the US but… I think Europe is far more progressive in many aspects.

      • @Esss
        you seriously misjudged how rich the Chinese are. The actual number of people who can buy anything is much less than that. The 95th percentile of households with disposable income ¥175k per year, which is $33k aud. That’s just 23 million households earning more than Australian minimum wage.

        http://people.tamu.edu/~ganli/Report-English-Dec-2013.pdf
        Page 18

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_households

        All of their asset is in Real Estate. Please re-read and understand every post Original John wrote. He is the only one at the coal face, and seems to know what he is talking about.

      • Kevin
        there’s still a f$ckload more souls with a f$ckload more money than in Straya

        And many buying illegally

        That’s the point, innit

    • I just moved back to Australia yesterday (from China, I get the angst) after a long time away. I’m in with my parents for a while but I’ll be going to regional Australia once I finally figure out how this country works. My instinct is to go to Tasmania, though before I do anything I am going to research like crazy. There’s the social aspect to consider in addition to the financial/economic/job. Will you actually be able to integrate? Can you make the changes necessary to fit into the regional area and will they let you? I’ll be trialing this out on the Mornington Peninsula by leveraging off my parents social network, but if I go regional I’ll have to start from scratch which is not easy (though my parents managed that as teachers in a couple of regional places in Victoria in the 70s and 80s).

  12. If you’re reading this, Chris Bowen, please prepare a staunch opposition to this stupidity ASAP. It may not happen, but if it does, I don’t want the next generation to be further disadvantaged than this one with respect to give ownership.

  13. single young aussie male here who has given up on home ownership! even in dubbo where i live prices are exorbitant. i live in a $150 a week rental apartment that looks like a prison but its still better than the prison of paying off a mortgage in this country, especially in a captial city. no way would i ever buy a house in sydney or melbourne in a hundred years. i have saved over 100k as well and still consider it a drop in the bucket compared to real estate values in this country. i resent beyond all recognition the government of this country who i feel has been instrumental in screwing over my life. i would leave if i could and want to.

  14. maybe FHB would have a chance if people like the wanker who sits in front of me didn’t own 4 houses courtesy of his rich Chinese parents.

  15. Deluge of affordability data forces government’s hand | The New Daily

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2017/02/02/housing-affordability/

    Voter backlash and a slew of damaging data has made it impossible for the government to refuse to act on housing affordability, setting the scene for a May budget that unleashes superannuation fund money to fix the problem.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to the National Press Club on Wednesday that “ensuring more Australians can afford to buy a home is a priority”, although he warned there are “no quick fixes or silver bullets”.

    It has been a tough two weeks for a party that until recently denied there was anything wrong, as report after report proved the ‘Australian Dream’ is getting out of reach. … read more via hyperlink above …

    The real ticking time bomb for the Tories is home ownership – Allister Heath – UK Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/11917816/The-real-ticking-time-bomb-for-the-Tories-is-home-ownership.html

    The PM’s vision of an aspirational meritocracy will come to nothing if there’s nowhere to live … read more via hyperlink above …

    Demographia in the news …

    https://www.google.co.nz/?gws_rd=ssl#q=demographia&tbm=nws

  16. I think a decent grant of around 50k would help first home buyers into the market and will also help appreciate the value of homes so that investors also profit. I have hopes that it will be at least this much but probably more. It would be a win win for everyone.

    • With a First Home Owner (Vendor) Grant that big, i’d go from being a 7 out of 10 to at least a 9. Winning!

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Not really fair to divorcees and former owners priced out ofthe market.

      I propose in stead, a kind of one off UBI where everybody over 18 gets 250k deposited into their bank accounts.
      A win-win-win for every body!

      • Yeah. Pay off the mortgage and get another IP. Sorry FHB, median price is now 2mill, and by the way your rent has just been increased. There are suddenly heaps of people offering me 30% more than you were paying so we’re not extending the rental agreement.

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      There should also be a YUUUUGE tax on people who are saving and not buying houses. Just like how we tax companies that pollute the environment and cause others to have to pay for it. By not buying houses, these savers (spit) are preventing prices from rising and harming both the economy and the rest of the people in the country. They should have to pay for the damage they’re doing, it’s the right thing to do.

      • I think an even better idea is making the key section of an employees yearly performance appraisal based on the value of their investment property porfolio and the amount they claim in negative gearing. Extra bonuses should be given to those with self managed super invested in property…

    • First home owner grants are and have always been a disaster unless they are directed to new housing AND low income earners. The last time it was done the price of housing went up double the grant. We called it the ‘rich kids subsidy’ – the government hid the results but we believe 90% of it went to the top 10% of incomes. And then was promptly diverted to investor houing. NEVER NEVER ask for FHOS.- worst policy of all time.

      Flood’s law – the most powerful group eligible for it will always get the subsidy.

  17. When do the Aussies intend to learn a few political lessons from New Zealand ? …

    This political housing failure must not be tolerated.

    NZ Labour throws down the gauntlet on housing – MacroBusiness

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/02/nz-labour-throws-gauntlet-housing/

    By Leith van Onselen

    With the New Zealand General Election scheduled for 23 September 2017, the Labour Party opposition has upped the ante on housing policy. From Stuff.co.nz: … read more via hyperlink above …

    NZ house prices plunge in January – MacroBusiness Australia (behind paywall)

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/02/nz-house-prices-plunge-january/

    NZ house prices plunge in January

    By Unconventional Economist in New Zealand Economy

    at 9:30 am on February 14, 2017 |

    By Leith van Onselen

    The REINZ has released its house price data for January, which revealed a seasonal 5.0% monthly fall in the national median house price, with prices up 9.4% year-on-year:

    New NZ PM facing immense pressure over housing – Leith van Onselen – MacroBusiness Australia

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/01/new-nz-pm-facing-immense-pressure-housing/

    Yesterday’s release of the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has stepped-up pressure on New Zealand’s National Government, and new Prime Minister Bill English, to undertake genuine housing market reforms in a bid to restore some semblance of affordability.

    The latest Demographia report showed New Zealand’s Median Multiple (median house price divided by gross annual median household income) jumping from 5.2 to 5.9, pushing New Zealand to second spot out of the eight countries surveyed (see next chart). … read more via hyperlink above …

  18. I read that article in domain today and was surprised at how closley it relates to my situation

    Im a FHB. Earn 150k, wife works too. We have 2 kids in childcare and rent a house on the edge of syd for 550pw. Takes me 3hrs a day to travel to the CBD and back. Weve saved 200k deposit and have 100k from mum and dad and with ALL that we struggle to find anything for under a mill. 750k loan is all im willing to take even though we could get more.

    Our target house is a 3bdr on a smallish block on the outskirts of syd, but even these are going to developers for 1.1m who then chuck a duplex up and sell both for a tidy profit.the sums just dont add up for FHB. My dream of owning a house is dying fast. Were being forced to look at townhouses or duplexes but even these go for 950k+

    3 hrs travel means i dont see my kids untill the weekend. I leave and theyre asleep. I get home and they go to bed soon after. I cant get work anywhere else except for syd or melb cbd unless i take a massive pay hit… but then again whats the point of working if it doesnt let you enjoy life

    • Some 3 bedroom villa can still be found for under 750k near Parramatta. The older ones have a nice yard and decent size bedrooms. (bought a 3 Bed 2 bath 2 car space garage last December for 705k, including yard it’s over 200 meter square, single storey). The newer ones are double storey which I will avoid.

      • thanks – ive been looking at heathcote – edge of town down south. seems houses there have jumped recently. not much under a mill now

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      There’s an externality there that’s never considered and certainly not paid for by the FIRE sector. The impact on the kids.

      Many in the same boat I’ll wager and it stinks, meanwhile in Singapore, 82% of the housing stock is government owned and where you get to live is influenced by where you work.

      • Was about to say same. This ponzi has so many hidden costs,. We’re willfully destroying our lives, our children’s lives and increasingly our parents lives too. .

    • I nearly borrowed 750k to buy something, my advice. Don’t go that high, its not worth it. I only planned to go that high as I was looking at a warehouse which i figured I might be able to rent space for other classic car enthusiasts like me to use and store their cars contributing toward the mortgage. But that’s not a guarantee either.

      Keep renting, in fact, move closer in so you don’t have to travel 3 hours. I know you want to save money, but it’s not worth it. You’ve saved 200k+ already. For now enjoy life.. I rent at 600 p/week in the Inner West. It’s a shit house, I have to do a lot of lawn work and no air con etc.. but we survive and I’m close enough to work to ride in.

      • Gavin, have you considered the Mornington Peninsula, like Frankston South? Frankston has many parts, but in South Frankston, there are some very decent houses on large blocks, and you certainly get a lot more house for your money than closer in. A lot of houses there also have self-enclosed flats and you might find that once you rent it out, the repayments would be very, very little, even with a large mortgage. It means also, that if you lose your high paying job, at least the rent would still be coming in. It would be 40 mins away from your mum in South Caulfield,

      • Hey MD, yes thanks for the suggestion. I’ve been looking out that way, actually a year ago or more now I drove down that way to check out Frankston in general and I don’t mind the area. The only real problem is you’re so far from the city, the drive is quite long all the way to Caulfield. Not sure how it is to commute, I’d probably take the train but not done that on a regular basis to see how exhausting is can be.

        When I first started considering the area houses were 350-400k max, now they are 500-600k in many parts. Nice stuff is 800k+ which doesn’t make all that much sense.

        Olivers Hill is obviously another league, always liked that spot.

        My Grandma owned a place in Rosebud / Toogarook many years ago (my aunt has it now and uses it for a Holiday Rental), and we used to go that way all the time for a weekend getaway. So the Mornington Peninsula is close to my heart. Just never saw myself living out that way.

        Here’s a video of friends and I driving down that way 1 weekend way back in 2006. You’ll have to excuse my mate being a doofus in his car. (He had a VL Commodore, never were my thing), but he still has 1 and I’ve still got the old girl (240z).
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWAfn_W7iIY

    • Suddenly a decentralised Straya supported by Fast Rail looks pretty rad

      Jesus, someone in your sitch can’t buy, we’re all fked

      Can you telecommute

      (“We have to move for health reasons”)

      Come to work 1-2 days a week?

      3 hrs a day

      Shiiiiit

      If I spend 3 hrs commuting it’s cause I’ve cycled 70-80km in the hills to/from

  19. I assume you are in Sydney. Look at a 3 bedroom house in Winston Hills , close to Parramatta and Castle Hill. You should be able to get one for under a million. The house might need some updating, but you can do that in a few years.

  20. I assume you are in Sydney. Look at a 3 bedroom house in Winton Hills , close to Parramatta and Castle Hill. You should be able to get one for under a million. The house might need some updating, but you can do that in a few years.

    • Winston Hill? Free standing house is mostly over 1 mil, don’t trust the listing prices, check the sold prices instead. The prices have gone crazy in the past few years as developers buy up blocks and turn them into duplex.

    • 1 million eh? You can say that so quickly, and even be blase about it. How long to pay it off? Have you accounted for the other costs that Bennoz and Mediocritas mention above? F that.

  21. “Some are accepting that they may have to rent for their entire life and pay [the landlord’s] mortgage who is subsidised by the government through generous tax incentives, or they may have to move interstate or to the country to realise their Great Australian Dream of home ownership,” Mr Singh said.

    Seriously, that’s the best the “co-founder of lobby group First Home Buyers Australia” can come up with?! No wonder this country is f*cked. Have you maybe considered:
    –voting as a block for a political party that has your interests in mind?
    –starting your own political party?
    –doing something really daring like organising a rent-strike or a run on a bank?

    Sometimes I wonder if young people in this country want to live like this.

    • MediocritasMEMBER

      – youngsters have no money so a run on the bank will achieve nothing. Even if there was enough activity to cause concern to the banks, the RBA will always stand ready to open a super-cheap discount window.

      – a rent-strike has merit if EVERYONE does it. But if only a few do then they’ll struggle to rent ever again as they’ll be black-listed in the tenants database. In this land where renters are treated as second-class citizens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a landlord backlash leading to criminalisation of rent non-payment and prison time.

    • A rent strike would stop this thing dead. Probably within a matter of weeks.
      But that would require old fashion collective genuine political action. Not something the millennials – who regard themselves as new age individuals with their signature tatts and fascinating facebook insights – would go for.

    • Therefore the most logical solution is voting for the right party that will make changes. Vote One Nation haha.

  22. The Liberals are going to regret helping to create a generation of renters, it will come to bite them in coming elections as their natural voter base (home owning families) no longer exists as a majority.

    • Hill Billy 55MEMBER

      Spot on. Its the other side of the coin wherein Arthur Calwell said, looking out over western Sydney in the 1940’s that, by encouraging everyone to buy their homes, the Labor Party had created a natural constituency for the Liberal Party.

  23. Australia is such a smart country.
    It stands idly by and allows its youth and FHBs to be crushed by baby boomer and Chinese investors.
    It allows a whole generation of young people to be spectators watching the consumption of property by people who dont need it, but just grow their tally of IPs for their portfolio.
    It does nothing to incentivise young people and FHBs to think that one day, rent will be history.
    It does nothing to STOP property investment and to encourage cashed up investors to invest in Australian businesses.
    It allows the growing inter-generational gap to widen without any thought for what Australia will look like in a decade, 2 or 5 decades time.
    It encourages animosity, and a growing legitimate angst against this craziness.
    It is way past time that the young and FHBs realised just how much they have and are being shafted.
    It makes people question having a work ethic. Why bother working when there is no hope of saving? Instead, dont work, inherit a property or 2, and be a lazy fuck, since working with no prospect of ever saving a deposit irrespective of wage, is now a pipedream.
    It makes you disbelieve all those old virtues your parents taught you. We are truly going backwards.
    It is way past time to revolt against this shit.
    Any advertisement by political parties at this stage is merely tokenism at best, a lie and /or smokescreen.
    ALL OUR POLITICIANS ARE LIARS, SELF-SERVING CUNTS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN OUT THE BACK OF A YARD AND…. THEY HAVE STOOD BY AND LET THIS SHIT HAPPEN. THEY HAVE ALLOWED OUR YOUTH AND FHBs to SUFFER AS THEY WATCH AN INFLUX OF ILLEGAL FUNDS TO FUND ZERO DEPOSIT HOME LOANS FOR THE CHINESE, AND BABY BOOMER GLUTTONY. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH OF SELLING OUT OUR KIDS FUTURES. THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF TRULY ADDRESSING THIS GROWING CRISES IN THE MAKING FOR OUR LOCALS, SINCE THEY HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN DILUTING LIVING STANDARDS FOR OUR YOUTH, AS THEY PROFIT OFF AN ARTIFICIAL IDIOTIC PROPERTY MARKET. THEY CAN LIVE AS AN ELDERLY WITH A LEGACY OF INACTION AND GUILT, SINCE THAT IS JUSTICE.
    Our system is broken.
    We need to wipe the slate clean and start over.

    • “living in housing commission for 18 years”
      She denied a needy person a home for 18 years and defrauded the government. If the judge is fair & competent she will get 18 years jail (no parole) and liquidated to pay the government back 18 years of market rent plus interest.

      • Why should they be treated any different to the multinationals, the big end of town and the super rich who rort the system?

        They must be flayed aggressively with a wet lettuce leaf (preferrably by one of our political leaders, failing that a high ranking offical from a statutory body) and then articles must be written/interviews screened on the MSM about how severe the punishment was.

        Then they must be returned to their housing commission house and one of the big banks should offer them finance so they can buy their third investment property…

    • Original JohnMEMBER

      Only while it goes up…… HA HA My friend in Donghai asked my wife and I to check out a block of land he was looking to buy with the buyers broker he was using in Sydney. They had settled on a 2000m2+ block with a DA subdivision approval into 3. So the agent says, don’t worry, with the existing house on the front block, you can’t take that one, so let me take it and you have the other 2 empty lots. Long story short, DA is approved for a FULL DEMOLITION of existing structure, remaining 2 blocks have nature reserves and heritage listed trees that limit use. Block listed for $2.9mill, she wanted to offer $3.9 mill and have my friend pay $2.6 mill. WHAT A SCAM!!!!!!

      Needless to say, the Great Chinese Dream is no longer of interest to him. He thinks we are nation of scam artists and liars.

      • wasabinatorMEMBER

        Interesting viewpoint given that I presume this person was preparing to launder funds to make that purchase?

      • Needless to say, the Great Chinese Dream is no longer of interest to him. He thinks we are nation of scam artists and liars.

        So basically what I think of all of them? The ones buying up property in Oz for excess of 1.5M that is. But yeah never trust a real estate agent OR a used car salesman. Actually sometimes a car salesman might actually be ok.

      • Original JohnMEMBER

        @Gavin – with 3 blocks approved under the DA, this would have added 2 additional houses to the market on 700m2 each. In other words, his investment would have generated extra housing for the market in a very good school area and made him a tidy profit. Not everyone in China has made their money from graft or deception. But Australians know everything about the Chinese so I guess there are never exceptions

      • OJ – two observations for me. Firstly, system is farked that allows your mate to launder monies (law is USD 50k per person out of china remember) to price locals out. Secondly, we are a nation of liars and scam artists, that is very clear to me.

    • Original JohnMEMBER

      Assumptions make an ASS out of U and ME. No – money is 100% legit from export trade over 20 years to US.

      • if he is sourcing from inside China (no idea where it sits right now) it is illegal and considered laundered money (the chinese law is exporting inexcess of USD 50k per annum is illegal). Utterly irrelevant how it was generated originally if it’s now coming from inside China

      • @travis
        You have no idea what money laundering is do you? It only applies money made from illegal means. Just moving money around is our right. Just because China banned it does not make it immoral. Facebook is also banned in China, so is many types of speech, you must be calling for anyone who do those two things to be lynched too? Or does it only apply to people who competes with you in real estate?

        All of those problems are actually caused by Aussies, but it just feels so much better to absolve ourselves from any faults and just blame ‘the others’.

  24. Its not only young Strayans that are losing the dream of home ownership but also many older Strayans are starting to work out the next steps in sustaining house price inflation in the leafier Strayan suburbs (and some not so leafier Strayan suburbs too). That will involve destroying many, many suburbs over the next few decades by making them crime and drug infested to such an extent that real estate prices in those suburbs collapse because it isn’t safe and no Strayan wants to live there. This hasn’t happened yet in Straya to a significant extent yet but there are plenty of examples of this in our beacon and role model, the US of A. But rest assured its coming soon to a Strayan suburb right near you…

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Use it to your advantage. This arvo was at an open home. Maybe four, five little groups there. The police helicopter flew over. Old guy starts making jokes about looking for car-jackers and the like. So I mentioned I’d seen a couple of the response Landcruisers in the area during the day.

      Couples started to look at each other. So I ran with it…

      Think we’ll apply for that one tomorrow. Reckon we’re a shot. In any rate, we were the only ones that hung around…

      • LOL Gold. Sadly if this nonsense keeps up I see us becoming more like Johannesburg / ZA. I lived there for 3 months. It was an experience, it’s cleaned up a bit recently but it made me appreciate the fact that Australia could have turned out that way but didn’t. However with the way things are going I see a whole underclass developing and it makes me concerned about the future of this country.

        But I guess the wealthy will always have their gated suburbs. I see the Apex gang in Melbourne and I think, this is the result of stupid policies and the economic disenfranchisement of everyone not already wealthy or with asset rich parents.

      • Gav
        I just think these Apex clowns didn’t get enough smack bottoms when they woz kids.

        We were an economically disenfranchised family and I didn’t run around acting like a right cnt

    • Locus of ControlMEMBER

      Disenfranchise too many people and I can see it happening. If you don’t allow people to participate in all aspects of the economy (a job, adequate money, access to housing and transport, education and healthcare etc.) people have to adopt a much more ‘dog-eat-dog’ approach to life out of necessity. And that means more crime, more violence, more unrest… It won’t be good for either the poor or the well-off. Be poor and your life will be hard and hellish; be rich and watch your back everywhere you go.

  25. I do say this with all seriousness. Arming oneself may be a prudent act in risk management at this point in time.