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Housing Economics

There are few political footballs that get reinvented more often than those encompassing housing. In the Depression years the states intervention into funding the building of rudimentary rental accomodation was one of the key reason this country was able to kick start its dormant economic wheels. That experience was repeated with increased gusto after our servicemen returned battered and bruised from their exploits in foreign lands.
In the 60s we enjoyed the never to be repeated experience of being ranked with the third highest standard of living in the world.
New housing estates boasted row upon row of uniformly square boxes clad in equally uniform weatherboarding, painted in insipid variations of blue, green and yellow.
It is hard to imagine today that this blandness was a lifestyle to which we could still aspire.
The economic outcomes of that investment in housing were indisputably beneficial to everyone. Standing in dole queues without the opportunity to work replaced by activities that helped our communities rebuild their lost self esteem.
It is hard to understand therefore the current call from some of our so called economic gurus to desist from spending in an industry whose benefits are well understood.
A shortage of housing, for a population that has expanded as New Zealand has become less isolated from the rest of the world, has recently seen price escalation become the focus of political concern.
Ways are being sought to contain the fears of another "bubble" where those on lower incomes are denied the opportunity to participate in our collective addiction to home ownership.
I well recollect my father telling me that he "lived in the best era of all time - that he would not want to start over as housing was becoming absurdly high". In particular he did want me to invest in the indulgence of a coastal bach.
No superannuation scheme, Kiwisaver or insurance policy has come near to the returns  from following the fundamental Kiwi drivers for the boat, bach and BMW.
Economics is, at its roots about activity - any activity - and we Kiwis spend a lot of our time nurturing our homes - we have a significant DIY industry that operates outside the boundaries of our economic indicies.
The purveyors of doom who rant that we should give up our love affair with our homes in favour of producing products that are "wanted by the world", fly in the face of human nature.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the 70' s had nothing but passion and a vision to inspire them for their creations.
For us Kiwis it is similarly necessary for us to follow our passion and our vision.
Our yachties have set a fine example for us to follow.
We don't want political grandstanders to pour cold water on generations of innovators who have taken the humble state house to a point where our houses are scientifically specified art forms.
Our number 8 wire heritage is in our folklore.
We are innovators, and we do have passion.
Lets lead, and let the rest of the world follow. 
Housing is in our blood.
Prices will undoubtedly continue to rise - that's inevitable.
We shouldn't however cringe, but take it as a sign that all is well.






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