In the midst of our nation’s worst housing affordability crisis on record, the front page story on Saturday’s Courier-Mail newspaper manages to make rocketing house prices into a good news story.
The story contains a range of phrases portraying price hikes as positives – such as “solid gains”, “healthy price growth”, Brisbane “leading the way .. with consistent price growth” and “suburbs within 10km of the city performing especially well” and the suburbs with the biggest price rises (of around 40 % in one year) described as the “top performers.”
There’s nothing unusual about such a story of course, but this sort of mindset is one reason why it is so hard for political parties or the mainstream media to focus on effective solutions to the housing affordability problem.
If it was any other essential item like food or petrol or cars going up in price so constantly, it would be seen as unrelentingly bad thing, but this approach is rarely applied to housing. Of course, housing can usually be resold for more than you bought it, unlike most other items. Housing becoming more expensive might be a good thing if you’re an investor or if you already own a home, but it certainly isn’t a good thing if you’re trying to buy a home or if you’re a renter whose rents go up as a consequence.