The Sunday Age is always good for a laugh. The story that got me thinking, dealt with the tribulations of a young couple who were having difficulty purchasing a first home. Our aspirant homeowners were having difficulty finding a affordable property in their first choice suburbs of East Melbourne and Richmond. Now for those of you who don’t know Melbourne, East Melbourne is one of the most affluent and expensive inner city suburbs. Richmond has its dingy bits, but it too has quite a bit of very expensive housing and amongst our inner city types carries a bit of prestige.
Now in days of Yore, a young couple would scrimp and save and move into a modest home in a modest suburb and slowly move up. But not our young couple; they were starting at the top.
What got me down about this article was the way these young people felt that there was some sense of injustice in their not being able to afford luxury immediately. This sentiment is not isolated and seems to be a growing contagion, especially amongst the younger generation. I was bought up old school: if you wanted luxuries you saved up till you had enough to purchase them, not the current generation though: Luxury and prestige are a “right” and their inability to afford them a “problem”.
Likewise, there has been much talk of rapidly rising rents. I have quite a few real estate agents as patients; they’re finding it difficult to fill vacancies in rental properties. However the suburbs that I serve don’t carry high status. The “problem” our “progressive paper” harps on about is the high expense of high status housing: Big deal.
There is plenty of cheap housing if one is prepared to accept compromises; the problem is that most of our trendy, eco-friendly inner city types are not. With champagne tastes and beer budgets, the bastards are complaining about the price of caviar. Excuse me for not being sympathetic.