Gen Xers and Gen Y locked out of property ownership forever


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Dream fading for many as ownership in some regions tipped to fall below 50%
Many of today’s middle-aged and young people face the prospect of never owning a house, as a study warns that home ownership rates could drop below half in some parts of New Zealand within 20 years.

The research – the first long-term regional analysis by age using 2013 census data – shows home ownership rates in some regional household types have plunged by more than 40 percentage points since ownership peaked at 73.8 per cent in 1991.

It traces ownership rates by age group, showing for example that the home ownership rate for Aucklanders born in 1961-66 peaked at 65.3 per cent in 2006, when they were aged 40 to 44, and slipped back slightly to 64.6 per cent by 2013, when they were aged 45 to 49.

Is it any surprise that Gen Xers and Gen Y are now effectively locked out of property ownership? Having to pay for their own higher education, having to save for their own retirement, having to try and scrape together the money for a deposit in a  housing market dominated by property speculators and all in an economic landscape that gives the subdivided middle classes of NZ an illusion of wealth that they will never want deflated by a Capital Gains Tax?

Once upon a time the promise of democracy was that you could look into the face of your child and know that they will get better than what you had, today after 30 years of neoliberalism the promise of NZ democracy is that you can look into the face of your child and know they will live a life of debt and die before they ever repay it.

We have traded poverty for the servitude of debt. New Zealanders had an option at the election to try and change this, to reverse the inequality that now riddles our society like cancer. Internet-MANA were championing 20 000 new state houses, free tertiary education, free public transport, feeding every poor child in every poor school and making internet access a right.

Sadly the majority of NZ were swayed by a contaminated right wing corporate media who for the last 6 years were working hand in glove with the dirty ops department of the Prime Minister’s Office via modern day populist fascist Cameron Slater and decided that it was Kim Dotcom who was trying to influence the election, and not the National Party.

Labour’s plan to build 100 000 houses for the children of the middle classes does nothing to stop this generational theft. I don’t want to change the Government like my tired friends at The Standard, I want a changed Government.


  1. Owning a home of our own is a part of the New Zealand dream and has been all of my life. Now I personally find that, as mentioned, this dream is just that, something insubstantial, ethereal, not part of reality. With debt being the predominant starting point for the finances of those of a certain age and the cost of living rising without incomes doing so at an equal rate we find ourselves chasing a dream that for most will never eventuate.

    Add to this problem the issue of Auckland property prices (for those in the region) and the dream becomes a nightmare. Surrounded by adverts and brochures, TV shows and billboards, all screaming that home ownership is just half a million dollars away when you can barely cover your bills really is disheartening. This is the situation for those with a dual income and no kids. For those families on a single income with a few children there is just no way on earth they can ever attain a home of their own.

    It should never have come to this. Unfortunately property speculation, treating houses as investments, not as the homes to live in they should be considered, has meant insufficient homes to go around while demand has increased due to greater immigration and natural population growth.

    This is truly a saddening state of affairs.

    • one problem that i dont think many anticipate is that the young and educated who cant afford a house are less likely to start a family. The unpredictability of rental accomodation means that those planning financially to have children will never get the security required to commit to it, leaving only unplanned families and accidental pregnancies to fill the void.

    • Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Bomber is really good at angry, but terrible at solutions.

      Possibly this is on purpose because presenting solutions invites division, but anger unites.

      However, you can only put off solutions for so long before your anger is shaped for you into an undesirable direction.

      • I believe that the intention of presenting the problem without proposing any particular solution is to promote discussion. It’s my belief that there needs to be a concerted effort to direct the New Zealand public’s investment dollar away from the property market. This might be into the stock market, savings, public institutions, anything other than our people’s means of shelter from the elements.

        This would be part of the overall solution which would be many-pronged. Like sensible nations we should not allow the purchase of our countries very land or homes by overseas interests. With less competition for the limited stock of housing prices would drop and more realistically reflect the worth of the properties concerned.

    • Most people that have been either buying or selling houses know about Chinese property investors, that the Government wants us to believe has little impact on property availability.
      I just have to wonder whether the trade deal with China includes buying NZ property without restriction, that would account for neither party willing to act on property investment portfolios of overseas investors.

      • It is correct, the FTA with China means, that China must not be disadvantaged when compared with any other country New Zealand trades with, and that includes “investment” here.

        New Zealand’s government accepted China’s law, that land there cannot be bought there by foreigners, and only leased for times, but they granted China same treatment and rights as all other “investors”, also in residential property.

        I read the FTA, cannot quote the exact clause, but it is 100 percent true and applicable.

        That is why FTAs need to be treated with great caution, as it is usually the BIG trading partner signing it, who gains the most, why would they otherwise bother with “small fry” like NZ Inc?

  2. There will be some Gen Xers and Yers that will be able to afford their own homes, it will be those that have middle class parents, who can help them out with a loan to start off with a deposit, or who will leave an estate for them to take over one day.

    We have a return to the engrained class system now, where there is less social unity, and where people may still look after their own flesh and blood so to say, their off-spring, but nobody else.

    Also one major issue is the continued demand. As long as we have rather liberal, large flow immigration, many of them also kind of middle class professionals with savings, and some returning New Zealand citizens and residents, and then also the overseas property “investors”, that we know too little about, the demand will keep pushing prices up.

    You need an army of builders to keep up with it under present pressures.

    It is also the goal of the present and some other past governments, aiming to increase the population, that makes for easy “economic growth”, but it really benefits just those that already have a lot of property and investments. Trickle down does not work, we know by now, but they still sell their fairy tales, and want to tell us the country should grow to 7 or over 10 million.

    That will not benefit most ordinary folks, as it means consuming more of the food we grow, using more of the resources here, and needing ever more energy and so forth.

    Yet they carry on with it, telling us big is great, growth is needed. Look at other parts o the world, apart from the few developed countries, also getting more unequal by the day. Most humans live meagre lives, according to the mantra of the capitalists, Bangla Desh would have to be a blossoming economy.

    Perhaps the government will take up Robert Jones’ recommendation from a year or so ago, and import thousands of cheap labourers and builders from Asia, to build “cheap homes”.

    I would not put it past Janie Whyte and Mr Seymour, to warm to such ideas.

    Oh, so wonderful it all is, I wish more would do the complete calculation and projections, and wake up and see they are being conned.

    It will all only be partly a generational challenge, some will do fine, just fine, others will be servants and beggars all their lives, unless they stand up for change.

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