my reply to Neville Bennett – see the thread at Interest.co.nz

the url for the thread is:

http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/52561/safe-houses

He’s a nice chap, is Neville, good hearted, all that. He just thinks like an economist……but he’s closer to it getting it than most.

My comment:

Neville – a home is a home. Thinking of it as an investment, is what has gotten us into this jam in the first place. You’re ‘richer’ than half the folk on the planet – cracked bearer or not. Bulldust aside – I could fix that in a short morning with a long coffee break. It’s the attitude that thinks of them as ‘investments’, that outlaws you doing it yourself now. For nothing. A society hoist with it’s own petard.

Your idea of flats, investment and income, still fails to understand that energy actually drives wealth. So the ability of tenants to pay, has been capped and will then reduce – exponentially. Same with payments for our exports – the buyers will also be energy-handicapped, therefore handicapped in their ability to generate wealth. Few get this.

There are cities and towns out of desire/fashion, but within them, things are relative. I’d trade for a better site in solar-gain terms, or vegie-growing terms, or down-size for maintenance reasons – but otherwise? Why move?

You’re still in one of the most underpopulated (resource-per-head rich) countries in the world, nicest people, great (relative) freedoms and cultural options. What’s that worth?

The CBD you have spot-on. The writing was on the wall for CBD’s anyway. Whitcoulls is a microcosm of the move to direct sales, and working from home with skype and broadband and escalating transport costs, makes entire sense. Make it a nice, shadowless, lowrise, cafe-catering, pond and park scape.

Peak oil always meant that folk would lose ‘wealth’ from here on – there’s a dwindling ability to underwrite. So that’s had a nudge in Chch, but it was always going to happen.  This is a good chance to be ahead of the pack. While there is still discretionaly energy around, use it to build something sustainable.

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