Reset our thinking about property and ownership

Why do we have unaffordable rentals and housing scarcity?

There is no scarcity of actual houses. The population has not exploded in the last few years. On the contrary.

Zero interest rates make borrowing money cheap. Cheap money enables companies and people with access to large amounts of cheap money to use the large amounts of cheap money to bet on the financial markets to make more money – an example of money making money off money without actually creating any real value –  or to buy real estate and by doing so, taking more real estate off the market for affordable housing.

Homes sit empty. Or are put on the short-term rental market – the AirBNB market – where the opportunity for profit is greater. 

Whole communities are hollowed out by a lack of access to affordable housing and rent. They stand looking at the empty houses or the homes rented to holidaymakers, wondering how their future opportunity to stay in the community they were born to is now gone.

When we make homes the vehicle for wealth creation we debase the fact that homes and housing are an essential human need. 

A world with a future might place human dignity and access to the basic needs for survival as primary.

Remove profit from health, education, child and elder care. Allow people to invest in a maximum of two homes, with any third coming at a much higher tax rate to prevent accumulation. 

We must reset our thinking about property and ownership. An oversupply of housing that sits empty or is used for business purposes – Airbnb – rather than housing people, takes from the younger generation to increase the wealth of the older one. 

This sits inside the story of safety and security in our elder years, a valid point. But to afford my safety at the cost of a younger generation’s opportunity is not the solution.

We might ask better questions and create more thoughtful systems.

Photo taken October 5th 2022