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If you are financing a home, you will lose it - US trends

Click image for film

How long can Australia prop up a declining housing boom?

This film reports on a steep decline in land and housing prices in the US and predicts that they will fall further - by 70 or 80%. It says that if you are investing in a house or simply buying one now, you are going to lose the house because it will lose speculative value. It says that Americans with common sense are simply staying away from buying houses, knowing that they can bring the market to its knees this way. It says that the winners in this will be those who need houses and will soon be able to afford them. The losers - the land speculators; the people who have made money idly out of homelessness; the bankers, the middleclass housing investment wannabes - will lose their money. About time.

Actually, the film says that if you own a house you will lose it, however, if you really own one - just one - you won't lose it. If you are counting on a second or more houses to make you money, it is likely that they won't make what you hoped.

Australian governments, acting against the interests of their constituents, but on behalf of their corporate friends in finance, construction, engineering and property development have propped up the so-called 'boom' in housing with high immigration financed by your taxes, using the commercial media to sell the idea that this is all inevitable and good.

Growth spruikers are to blame

The populations of Queensland and Western Australia are being promoted as being expected to more than double within the next 50 years. Similar false predictions are being made in every other mainland state for shameless commercial interests masquerading as our elected representatives, aided and abetted by spruikers entrenched in many Australian institutions, acaademic ones not excepted.

For instance, Growth lobbyist and demographer, Peter McDonald of the Australian National University has made another press release in a long series of growthist apologies, "Population growth requires a balancing act: Expert Monday 31 May 2010", where he markets as irresistable the idea that the Queensland Government must consider an increase in taxes to manage future population growth, claiming this to be the finding of a new report. The report was commissioned by the Local Government Association of Queensland and claims to be independent, but its use of Peter McDonald has people concerned about population growth calling this claim into question, since McDonald is a notorious growth lobbyist.

Calling himself a "Population expert" and using the authority of his position as a professor at the ANU, Professor McDonald reports that "the inquiry has concluded that substantial future growth is already embedded in the state’s economy and that there appears to be little immediate prospect of current growth rates in Queensland - including those in south-east Queensland (SEQ) - slowing from current levels through reasonable policy initiatives available to the state or federal governments.”

Such a pronouncement conveys the false message that 'growth cannot be stopped' ... ever, and is likely to disarm the public of reasonable hope, empowerment and rational action against the growth lobby.

Talk of 'unreasonable costs' depends on the perspective you take.

Population Growth doesn't pay for itself: you pay for it

Problem is that the costs of growth are already causing unreasonable hardship to most people, by driving up the cost of water, land, employment, services, business, travel and basic utilities. The only people who don't consider the current situation unreasonable are those who benefit from it financially, and they are in the minority. Although they are in the minority, they are covered by the mainstream media as if they were in the majority and as if there were no other way of running a society than through heavy indebtedness to financial institutions invested in the construction and property development industries. It is amazing that so many people have fallen for this childish nonsense just because the mainstream press constantly repeats it and some 'authorities' endorse their message.

Growth can be stopped, quite reasonably and easily

Professor McDonald misinforms the Australian public to their great cost. Growth can be stopped, quite easily, using traditional tried and true methods. Amalgamated councils can control and withhold building permits. Better still, restore the recently abrogated ability for local governments to control the release of building permits. Allow the local community to set population levels by simply withholding building permits within the local water catchment capacity and within limits which will prevent further change to the natural environment and any rise in land-costs due to inflation related to human numbers.

Professor McDonald also said that the inquiry recognised community concerns about the pressures of continuing population growth and impacts on the quality of life. Recognises these concerns and tramples all over them!

He can be contacted at this number: 0400 252 149

To say that we cannot stop growth is like endorsing an addiction to growth and a mind-set like the Titanic heading towards the iceberg, with lemming on it that won't change the course!

If we are supposed to get more "prosperity" from population growth - in Queensland for instance - then why must the Queensland government consider more taxes? What we are seeing is a predictable rise in costs by increasing demand on finite resources - environmental and infrastructure-wise! This ever-soaring demand will spell disaster for Queenslanders' quality of life, standard of living and for its remaining wild koala populations, luxuriant vegetation and beautiful natural surroundings.

What kind of corruption and insanity, what hatred of beauty and life itself, drives this downward spiral for humankind in Australia, based on the insanity of economic growth based on population growth and endless construction?

Consider the US trends.

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Economists consider tearing down homes to protect housing market

By Elizabeth Razzi
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Douglas Duncan, vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae, raised a provocative idea at a recent meeting of real estate journalists in Austin: Some of the misconceived housing developments built during the boom years might have to be torn down because they don't make financial sense.

Duncan agreed with Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com, who warned that a "tremendous shadow inventory" of homes is poised to come on the market. That includes future foreclosures (due to negative equity and continued high unemployment), homes that will end up in foreclosure after failed loan modifications, and homes from what he calls "sideline sellers" who have been biding their time until the housing market improves. Humphries said home prices won't bottom out until the third quarter of this year, leading to "the second phase of the housing recession": below-normal price appreciation for several years. (The long-term appreciation norm is 3 to 5 percent per year.)

Said Duncan: "Some of that shadow inventory could have to be torn down. It was not economically viable when it was put in place." That includes some boom-time developments in California's Inland Empire and Central Florida. Duncan said people might find that the cost of sustaining their lifestyle in some developments -- including high transportation costs to far-away jobs -- is greater than the cost of the home. That could wipe out demand.

Who would pay for tear-downs? What would happen to the people who have hung on to their homes despite the foreclosures all around them? All are unanswered questions.

Economists are discussing the idea, but Duncan said he doesn't know of any policymakers considering it. "It's un-American to think about tearing down housing," he said. "But we have a long history of ghost towns."