Sunday 30 October 2016

Affordable Housing, How Do We Get Back To It?

Today throughout the Western world we have the issue of housing affordability, houses are expensive and becoming more expensive. This didn't happen overnight, it has been growing for decades. And our "Leaders" put up all kind of schemes to bring things under control but non of them work...or ever will.

They have tried tax breaks and in Australia they even gave out a first home buyers grant of $10,000. They have tried releasing more land, good agricultural land, to be paved over for housing, they have even tried high rise living. But non of it has worked because each of these ideas is based on the very Liberal idea that every problem is an economic one. There are a number of reasons why house prices have increased and they do not really want to fix any of them because at heart the real problem is Liberalism itself.

What are the issues?


Two Income Families


Foreign "Inventment"

Right Liberal Economics

Lets look at each in turn:

As society has become atomised, as people are denied the ability to form permanent relationships with the opposite sex, then there is a requirement for smaller housing and more of it. Instead of a family of 5 living in the same house, we now need a number of houses to accommodate the same number. More housing, more cost.

With both men and women working, households that remain together have much more income to spend on housing. And everyone knows it, so prices have gone up, nothing complex there, if more money exists then prices go up to get a bigger slice of that money.

Added to this are Foreigners who immigrate into a country. They need somewhere to live and that means more housing, ever more housing. More housing and up goes the price.

Then we have Foreigners who never even arrive in the country, but their money does. It's called Foreign "Investment", but "Investing" in housing only increases the price as it increases demand. So why would Foreigners be interested in owning housing in another country? For two reasons, first of all property in the West is protected, it's very hard, although not impossible, to take someones property away from them. That is not true in non Western countries, in many countries property is only protected if your powerful or if you have powerful friends, but at any time it can be taken from you. To protect themselves people who can buy property in the West. Secondly it gives them ties to a country so if they want to immigrate they can point out that they have ties to the country as they own property.

And last but not least is the often bizarre economic ideas of Liberalism. Liberalism believes that there should be little to no restrictions on the movement of people, goods or money. It also believes in the autonomous individual, that society is made up of random individuals all going about there separate business. So Liberalism is happy that families are not together, because they believe in individuals not in families. They support immigration and Foreign "Investment". Why? Because it grows the economy and growth is the holy grail of Liberal economics. Nothing is higher or more important. It is this growth that is the poison and until this obsession is fixed then nothing will get better.

So if we want to make housing more affordable what would need to be done?

The best would be to do all of these things, but even some of them would help greatly.

1. Help men get and keep jobs, because it encourages marriage and family

2. Encourage marriage and family

3. Help keep families together

4. Stop immigration

5. Either stop any Foreigner from owning property or allow a reciprocal agreement whereby only countries that allow your citizens to own property can buy property in your country.

6. Discourage people from owning multiple houses as this forces prices up. It would also allow more people to own their own home instead of renting.

All or any of these would help bring house prices under control. Of course it would not happen overnight but within a decade housing could be brought under control. Pricing could be returned to a more sustainable level. Money spent on housing is dead money, it does not grow wealth, it grows debt.

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  1. You're absolutely correct.

    I live in what used to be a semi-rural area on the extreme fringes of Sydney. Farmland around here is disappearing at a terrifying rate, all to provide more housing estates. It seems like just about every week there's another new housing estate. With all that new housing you'd think house prices would be falling. In fact they're increasing at an extraordinary rate. House prices around here are ludicrous.

    And the quality of life is going down the toilet. We now have the sort of traffic congestion you'd expect to find in central Sydney. Crime is still low but it's increasing steadily. We're slowly being culturally enriched.

    What used to be a quiet and rather pleasant place to live in becoming just like the western suburbs.

  2. Shipping containers. Affordable and relatively nice housing. Can be modified and tailored to meet expectations.

  3. Garlow. Garage Bungalow. A basic stater home.

    Bedroom, living room, kitchen, toilet. With the land and you establish equity and then slowly but surely enlarge.

  4. Shipping containers are not that great, they rust, they leak and they look horrible without a great deal of landscaping. Further they do nothing to address the basic problems of making housing affordable.

    Mark Moncrieff

    1. Agreed. It's a pretty sad reflection on our society that we should be seriously discussing housing people in shipping containers.

    2. In any case the real problem is the cost of land, not the cost of actual houses. If you can't afford a house you probably can't afford even to buy the land to put a shipping container on.

  5. I'm surprised that this isn't a bigger political issue in Australia. People are committing to a lifetime of paying off a large mortgage to a bank. Young people in their 20s are finding it difficult to break into the housing market in Melbourne and Sydney. If a society were serious about family formation it would want to arrange things so that housing for young adults was affordable.

    1. If a society were serious about family formation it would want to arrange things so that housing for young adults was affordable.

      This is an issue that Steve Sailer has been hammering for several years now - the critical importance of affordable family formation and why it should be a huge political issue but isn't.

      To me it seems like yet another case where the Christian churches have dropped the ball - this really is an issue they should be pushing and it's an issue that that might actually win them back some support from ordinary people.

  6. Hello,

    I am a bit late too the game (once more). The irony is that part of the reason is because of the very problem of very high housing cost.

    It is true that all of those things which you talk about are part of the problem. But think you understimate a few thing. Modern urbanism (post ww2 mainly but there were some bad beginning in USA from the beginning) is very inefficient and destructive of social tissue, hurting the poor, handicaped, and the elders the most. Japan is an example of a modern society with much better urbanism. They also got next to no immigration, so it helps too. Some good introduction to better and traditionalist (in the meaning we like) urban planning :

    "let's build a tradition city and make a profit" big public score

    Example of Japanese system of zoning :