Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Some days it's bad news being a bum renter. The packing. The moving. The unpacking. That waft of drugs from the apartment across the hallway. The fact you're posting using the free WiFi at McDonald's, desperately hoping that guy sitting behind you isn't a real estate agent who has figured out who you are and will be waiting to cave in your head outside, in the car park.
But then you calculate your rent against how much it would be to buy this dump. Renting is half the price of buying. And why are you renting this place? Because for the past six months they've been unable to sell it. Oops. And then when you finally get your TV tuned in, you see people are crying on Today Tonight because they're defaulting on their mortgage. The price of missing out on some free downloads ain't that bad. But now the financial gurus at Today Tonight offer the wet dream solution of every real estate pumper - raid your superannuation. Just pray you weren't in MTAA super, cause then you will be defaulting. Good luck if your union leader weasels caved to their mates and unbeknownst to you, tipped you into that shit fight.
But let's be honest, financial literacy would suggest you still believe the government actually owns your superannuation and it's not your money. Just like house prices always go up. Oh we are so screwed.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, it's bad times being a renter. Half the amount of money to service a crumbling asset and your superannuation will still be in tact, come your retirement at age... 90. However anyone doing anything sensible with their money wouldn't have been ploughing it into real estate over the past few years, so retirement will be long before that, hopefully in somewhere less scoobied than Australia - like Vietnam or Cambodia, or Afghanistan.
And that last country is in better shape than our real estate market. Defaults are up. Housing finance, well Tasmania, the rancid trend continues. Give this enough time and we'll regress all the way back to the 80's as sellers cling to a Hollywood type result when an Eastern European snuff film is the more likely end point.
If you're a vendor clinging to the ridiculous, remember this - just because you and your lady did the deed in three out of the four bedrooms and the living room - and maybe even the kitchen - does not mean anyone with common sense will ascribe the same sentimental value to your Mcmansion. It's a roof, four walls and a few windows. I'm renting the same for less than the interest you're paying.
For any wavering bears. Put your big boy pants on you fucking sissies - this is just getting started. Households are tapped out. Credit card debt is still on the rise - for living expenses. And people are clinging to ludicrous solutions to fix their problems. The Australian need to cling on to that housing dream to the bitter end, and not admit defeat, may make this collapse a bigger disaster than imagined. The timely exit to safety is not the refuge of the spineless, it's the move of the prudent, but how many are prudent? When a significant number of people still believe the government owns their superannuation balance.
I'll be back in business when I get a connection in my new digs, digs that come at a 50% discount to anyone buying this place, while at the same time it falls in value. Despair of piddling corrections is foolish, this is not the ASX that can smoke you in the opening minutes, it's a market that moves like frozen treacle, but it will make all your dreams come true.
Finally, when this whole thing crumbles, there will be two types of economists - real estate economists and real economists and I wouldn't want to be the former. Because you will be hunted like the pig you are. An apple will be stuffed in your mouth and you'll be relegated to revisionist position on Switzer, with nothing better to do than whisper sweet nothings in Hockey's ears.