Friday, March 13, 2020

Housing Affordability Australia - Information, Statistics from 1950s

This article was written in 2014 after a family member was struggling to purchase a home and indicated at the time, people buy houses all the time. I knew this was incorrect and extensively researched the reasons why it was a struggle and why - in the 1950s and 1960s - people could afford a home while living on one wage. This article is the result of the research and also my understanding of mental health abnormalities in our present society.

** The detailed Statistics are in the Addendum section - towards the end of this Article **

Unaffordable housing and living conditions causes stress. Living with stress and insecurity causes illness - physical and mental. These conditions are also the main reasons behind social upheaval, poverty and crime in Australia.

The most pernicious effect of these conditions is the mental health deterioration of children, alienating them from adequate love/nurturing, which is an innate requirement for natural, loving, and instinctive true self/soul.

It's a sad reflection on Australian society when speculative ego profiteering in housing, coupled with inadequate wage reforms, has resulted in a deterioration to the living standards for the majority of our 12 million wage earners.

The aim of this article is to show the reasons for this deterioration, the changes necessary for change. It takes courage to read and digest this article as the one requirement is to question personal ideals and subjectivity - outside personal comfort zones.

However, ultimately, this new knowledge would be the catalyst, enabling eventually, our 12 million plus wage earners to purchase a home with repayments at 25-30% of their wages - just like it was in the 1950's-1960's.

At this early stage I feel it necessary to explain, in a small way, why our species, as individuals, have been manipulated by societal directions negatively, because of external influences. 

Our pleasure (comfort) zones in our brain are drivers for relief from stress - they are very powerful. However, they are very destabilizing if we are not aware of this disability. The powerful critical thinking area - the frontal lobe - creates a balance (if used) within our life. 

Generally people become addicted to their life without realising the change. And this is where change must start - realizing the addictive forces of emotional pleasure leads us on a future road of personal and social disharmony. By blindly denying the fragmented life seen (as it is too uncomfortable to digest outside personal ideologies) is to be a contributor to future social decline.

The following introduction section, with sub headings, highlights a number of issues relating to house affordability in Australia today, which if not rectified our Australian society will continue to decline in the future. Other subject life matters relating to this issue will be on separate pages in the future. 

Housing affordability is not just related to money. Unaffordable housing relates to social unrest, stress, anxiety and illnesses. Unaffordable housing affects everyone in Australian society and undeniably reduces the time and mental dexterity required for love and nurturing for our offspring to grow adequately. 

This article advocates for everyone to reconsider their current lives, through a process of knowledge and evaluation, and consider changes towards an enhancement of their inner selves and changing the culture of present life. This in turn, will influence governments to make reforms, for a better Australian society in the future. A society that reflects the prosperity & personal growth of the 1950's-1960's.

It is about looking outside the box of what is seen visually today, and perceived as life today, even if it is uncomfortable. To ask questions about this current perception of life and how ‘out there’ influences an individual’s life to many extents in a negative way.

To consider the alternatives, to reach inside and feel a life that is more in harmony with inner self, rather than daily involvement with the constructed material world which is portrayed outside. What is seen outside is really only someone else’s idea of life and based around economic advantages rather that well-being.

Society life predominantly focusses on the survival of a mechanical economy rather than inner holistic well-being. This has to change for our society to have a balance.

It is a natural desire to seek content living conditions - as long as ego does not inflate desire for excess.

"We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." (Einstein)

In life we require three basic needs: Shelter, food and water.

The basic economic structure of Australian society should make provision to provide ‘affordable’ housing, food and water for each participant. This is far from true.

Society as a whole needs to gain knowledge of why these conditions have developed and continue to persist today. Then it will be possible to take a personal active role in changing the current society paradigm perceptions to enable Australian’s future to prosper with well-being.

The knowledge also includes the functions and operations of our brain and body to enable why each person thinks the way they do, why individual paradigms are the way they are and why Australia is living with unaffordable housing and insecure daily living conditions. 

Implementing a change within each individual’s life and family structures is the catalyst that will enable a culture with more contentment and balance, for Australian society as a whole.

If change is not implemented, the indicators are that Australia will continue its progression into social decline.

Housing affordability and prosperity was possible during the 1950’s-1960’s and it is possible to recapture this life today - with change.

The current social paradigm includes ego, materialism, entertainment, competitiveness, and narcissism monetary profiteering.
The new social paradigm will concentrate on secure and balanced living conditions for the majority which will ultimately provide contentment and well-being. This will be a life where our natural abilities within are reinforced, to reach our natural existence, rather than the competitiveness of a stressful state of survival that the majority of our society finds itself in today.

The cultural perspective will then change, resulting in a paradigm shift – a shift where the priority will be affordable homes and living conditions. This will rise above the hardwired perceptions that have been nurtured and programmed within each individual over the past 30-40-50 years.

Australian society has changed since the 1950’s-1960’s - it is now necessary to recapture the true essence that those years portrayed and move forward for a better Australian life.

"Unless we have amoral familism that also focusses on love-indoctrination to ameliorate living standards, societies infliction with neurological absence seizure will persist allowing un-articulated analogies within current abstract realities." (Mitchell Zen)

Today there are approx. 12 million wage earners in Australia made up of approximately 8 million full time workers and 4 million part-time and casual workers. Only 600,000, or 5%, earn over $100,000pa. Compared to the 1950’s-1960’s, the majority of workers live without security and well-being.

Since 1985 part time and casual workers numbers have doubled. As this trend continues towards our next generation, part-time workers will exceed full-time workers. This will have devastating results within the social environment.

In addition, security for full-time workers is continually being eroded. They are increasingly offered insecure ‘contract term’ employment, while part-time and casual workers on average work less than 20 hours a week. 2013 - The median annual wage for full-time workers is approx. $60,000 while part-time workers earn less than $30,000 per annum. Only 5% of Australian adults earn more than $100,000 per annum. Median wages: 50% of full-time workers (or 4 million workers) earn less than $60,000 per annum. 

During the 1950’s and 1960’s there was virtually full-time employment and a home cost approximately 3 times the yearly wage. 

Calculated today this means if you are on the median annual wage of $60,000 your house should cost $180,000 to be on the same prosperity field as the 1950’s-1960’s. However, today, there is no full-time employment for all and additionally, a house costs 6 times, or more, the yearly full-time wage.

As the years go by no worker in Australia will have the security, and be able to afford to buy a home. We could say times do change and accept and adjust to these society restraints today. However, this is defeative, and this thought pattern is a direct result of living conditions being ruled by the dictatorial terms of the rich few, causing psychological disempowerment upon the population. 

Australia used to be a proud country. There was more productive distribution  in the 1950’s and 1960’s and the people were proud of their life that encompassed personal growth, hope and prosperity. This used to be Australia’s heritage and should have been maintained – but wasn’t. Comparing our life and standards to other countries is no relative comparison because we are Australia – we are not another country. We were proud of achievements during the 1950’s-1960’s and Australia deserves this life again - because we are Australia - and because it is possible.

During the 1970’s living conditions started to be eroded through continual economic mismanagement in relation to the balance between wages and home affordability. The early to mid 1970’s was the catalyst. 

The balance could have been maintained, yet, ego speculative money markets, fuelled by government mismanagement, sought profits rather than the basic formula of maintaining affordable housing and living conditions for all Australians. This was further eroded during the excesses of the 1980’s. 

You may also be thinking: “This can’t be changed, that is life!” No, this is not so. The last 30-40-50 years have programmed disempowering thinking into the population. Governments and financial institutions have instilled in everyone that they are in charge, not the people, trust us they say, they know best, we are the ones with economic intelligence – it shows now, this was and is far from true. 

They have been wrong and continue to avoid this major issue - that “unaffordable housing and living conditions is the main driver of social unrest”. They were, and are, the ones that thought only of other monetary policies, and have disempowered the population into submission. The basics of Australian life have been eroded - with financial gain only for the minority.

It is now time for the Australian population to demand change for affordable housing in Australia. Just like, and with the same fundamentals, as it was enjoyed in the 1950’s-1960’s.

Illusions are found in other areas of obscure perceptions. Add the distorted promoted version of the ‘unemployment figures’ to the equation. If a person works 1 hour per week they are considered employed. Employed!? Far worse today than the era of the 1950’s-1960’s. But this type of reporting is considered acceptable, as it gives the population a deluded sense of security and hope.

Taking out a housing loan in the 1950’s-1960’s meant the repayments were approx. 25%-30% of a weekly wage. As the median wage of full-time workers is approximately $60,000 today (2013), to take out a home loan for $400,000 today calculates at approx. 50% of your wages in home loan repayments - Almost double that of the 1950’s-1960’s. 

Insecurity causes stress, and living in a state of survival with stress, causes illness. In turn this causes social upheaval resulting in more poverty and crime. This is the future current Australians can look forward to.

This was not the case in the 1950’s-1960’s. 

Can our Australian society capture the security that the population enjoyed in the 1950’s-1960’s? Yes it can. Firstly it requires each participant, governments and financial institutions, to question their current paradigm and their perceptions of what life should be - what are the real priorities of life. This would mean choosing between materialism, entertainment, competitiveness and profiteering, or the better alternative of establishing contentment, stability, security, hope and a future that includes well-being. New thinking - new perceptions.

Secondly it then requires governments and financial institutions to build homes that reflect a balance with median wages of the majority of wage earners. Enabling them to possess a mortgage that is just 3-4 times their wage, and not speculative profiteering. 

The effects will be far reaching - Stability in the housing market, less profiteering and will give each participant freedom to purchase other necessities. Thus providing well-being and personal contentment and most of all – hope for the future. A society with hope for the future is a society that is content, balanced, more equal and where social unrest declines.

It is far better to have the security of affordable homes and food rather than excessive materialism, entertainment and ego profiteering. One does not have a place to live with just materialism, one does not have security with just entertainment and one does not have peace of mind with ego profiteering. It may satisfy pleasure zones in the brain but has no bearing on stability.

"Whatever any man does he first must do with his mind, whose machinery is the brain. The mind can do only what the brain is equipped to do, and so man must find out what kind of brain he has before he can understand his own behaviour" (Gay Gaer Luce and Julius Segal)

Knowledge is the defining key. Gaining knowledge about why each person thinks the way they do, gives each person inner power and empowers individuals and others around them (Noetics/Noesis: Intellect/Think/Mind/Metaphysics) Rather than feeling and living in the current society disempowered state. 

Transcending this knowledge with experiences and creating new perceptions from this knowledge through inner perceptual thoughts and observation is the key. By escaping from the repetitive life box of mundane existences. By digesting new knowledge within the right brain thinking processes and using observation as a tactical positive inner environment is a calm process of feeling change. To feel a change in Self, outside ego. Ego has no place in transcending thoughts - ego should be the servant and not the master. Leaving ego behind enables the higher senses to rise and is where perceptions change. Changing inner perceptions is the road to change. 

Knowledge about the powerful area of the brain’s frontal lobe can give each person this focus as it is the new most powerful portion of the brain. However, it is far less used than the limbic/mid brain or more primitive brain - where each day reactions occur, stimulated by the unconscious emotions of the programmed past and hardwired over many years. The mid brain is also the centre where pleasure is derived. It is natural to seek pleasure but without the balance of focussed intellect knowledge, through the frontal lobe, that balance with our mind, body and society, as a whole, is unbalanced and social decline continues. Self is trapped within the confines of desire and mediocrity.

Is pleasure and entertainment more acceptable in life than the security and affordability of a home and food? Are unbalanced emotional hardwired thoughts and actions from the past better than creating a new life by using your frontal lobe? 

All this is possible. It takes focus and intent to create new neurons within the brain – and a new thought pattern and life with perceptions that are more stable. This will create a new you – and be free from the emotional hardwired daily unconscious reactions and beliefs that have been programmed over the past 30-40-50 years, and passed onto each generation.

The big question also is consideration for our next generation?
As the majority of our wage earners and participants in society are living in a stressful state today due to unaffordable living conditions, what type of life has the next generation to look forward to, if something is not done now?

Being just a good parent won’t change the social environment structure. The children of parents today will leave home and have to contend with life themselves. How do you feel today? Do you want your child to live in this stressful state of society survival with unaffordable homes and living conditions? It will be worse in 5-10-20 years. Or would it be better to change your current perceptions and be active in creating a future life with better alternatives and growth, within a social environment that has more peace of mind? 

These are big questions for everyone, and by gaining knowledge and gaining this power, each person can start to change themselves, the culture around them, and change the government’s perception of how life should be for the majority of participants. Life is not based solely on fiscal policy and GDP - life is based on affordable homes and living conditions.

Nature is part of our existence. It is our natural life. We are connected with nature. Natural life should involve a security within our life with a prosperity for future hope. Housing and living conditions are the basics of this prosperity and change is necessary to harvest this development. 

There are over 12 million wage earners that can start and make this change – people power is a great force. 

Imagine what it would be like if 12 million wage earners contacted each politician, each fortnight, and demanded a home and land package that resulted in a home loan where only 25-30% of their median wage of $60,000pa was possible? Reforms would then have to be made to allocate money and implement a structured plan to achieve this. 

Imagine if you started a local AHFA (Affordable Homes for All) branch in your town. A collective group of people to further the cause. Imagine the possibility of promoting this and having other AHFA’s in other towns.

And change is then achieved.

Finally, it is up to everyone to firstly question current realities, perceptions and personal paradigms – and move ahead towards a better security for all wage earners and society as a whole, where the basics of life are the main considerations in life. And additionally, for governments to reflect this change with a balance between housing and weekly and yearly earnings for more than 12 million wage earners. A balance where only a maximum of 30% of wages is used for a housing mortgage.

Just like the 1950’s-1960’s.

Life today is unfortunately portrayed through ego, materialism, entertainment, narcissistic competition and profiteering. These are not necessities, but rather an emotional response to the external environmental distractions. These are the areas that need to be re-assessed and move forward to a life with more harmony and security. 

Be inspired, accept inspiration, create a new you, and change the future for all.

"Life’s basic needs for contentment are affordable housing, food and water".

What will you do?

The above graphic shows figures for each 10 year period from the 1950's. House, wages and interest are for January of each 10 year period. For example - January 1960, January 1970 etc.

House prices are 'median' house prices across Australia. After studying capital city prices and regional prices this amount gives a more realistic picture for all centres in NSW and Australia.

The home loan repayment was calculated over a 25 year period to arrive at the weekly figure plus the percentage of wages figure for the weekly repayment.

** 2012-2013 - House prices could be more and wages could be slightly more. However, whichever way of calculating this section the main aspect is that 55-70% of your wages is allocated to a home loan. Which is unacceptable.

Example - 6% equals 60% - 5.5% equals 57% - 5% equals 55%. Additionally you need $50,000 plus before you apply for your $450,000 loan!

One has to also consider the land price increases. During the early 1990's we could buy a block of land in the country at approx. 30% the value of a home. Land $30,000, new home $120,000. Today a standard project home costs approx. $200,000 and the land is $150,000-$200,000 - Almost the same price as the home!!

Possibly two of the main points of the above graphic calculation is to show :
(1) How wages have not kept up with house prices creating the percentage of wages allocated for a home loan to increase, from the 1950's-1960's.
(2) How speculative property money markets have eroded security in life for the majority of Australians. This needs to change if Australian society is to have security, peace of mind and prosperity in the future - just like the 1950's-1960's.

The period from 1972 to 1976 was the catalyst for future decline. 

Economic mismanagement by the Labour Government caused a doubling of house prices in just 3 years, plus excessive wage increases.

This period was then followed by the 'greed excesses' of the 1980's resulting in the high interest rate of 17% at the end of the decade. House prices also doubled in a short period of 5 years. Excesses also included a need for larger homes. In the 1960's the average size ranged from 60 to 100 square metres, and rose to approx.160 square metres in the 1980's.

During this time, the wealth of the super-rich trended upwards from 1984. Additionally, while under the impact of the federal Labor government's wage-cutting accord with the ACTU, worker's real wages were eroded by 25%.

The above graphic shows what would happen if wages kept up with house prices from the 1960's to today. If this was the case, today your salary should be $157,500 pa. In this calculation interest rates were kept the same over the same period.

One must ask big questions of what advantages this has for our economic and social structure.
(a) A more equal society where over 12 million wage earners have security and well-being.
(b) Government regulations implemented to limit speculative profiteering within the housing market.
(c) More disposable income for purchases of Australian made products if repayments are only 30% of weekly salaries.
(e) Establish more Australian manufacturing industries to supply demand - more employment.
(d) Less need for cheap imported products as there is more disposable income to purchase Australian products - even if they cost more. Equals - looking after our society as a whole.

Example - Today there is less disposable income due to the weekly cost of living and the insecure employment structure, which makes cheap imported products popular. Australian products may be more to buy, but there is more disposable income to create this balance if home prices and wages are balanced. Also important here is that Australia will have more employment opportunities... and thus .... more equality, well-being and hope for the future.

The above graphic calculations has a similar outcome if house prices were balanced with wage increases. Working both these elements together would provide a better outcome for over 12 million wage earners. The average price of a house today would be under $200,000 if this was the case.

Australia has a population of just over 23 million in 2013 - nearly 70% are between the ages of 15-65. This is a very large majority to instigate change.

With over 12 million earners in Australia they deserve to be prioritized as a significant contributor to Australia's economy and thus deserve affordable housing and living conditions. Providing the comfort of well-being and contentment with a positive future.

Just like the 1950's-1960's - a positive era of growth and prosperity.

The above graphic shows if employment conditions continue with the same trends as from 1978 to 2010, full time employment decreases to 55% and part time employment will increase to 45%. The average hours worked for part-time/casual workers is only 16 hours per week. This will mean there will only be 6.5 million full time workers in the future, and 5.5 million part time workers under the current population structure. Another reason why there needs to be radical and visionary changes - now!

Thus the indicators are, from an historical perspective and all the above graphical content collectively, and information, that for the majority of Australians to have prosperity in the future, the system needs to revert back to a similar perspective as the 1950's-1960's.

This perspective includes changing current paradigms and perceptions and implementing the necessary changes to incorporate well-being - for all Australians. 

Approximately 12 million wage earners earn a median annual wage of approx. $60,000 - 50% earn less and 50% earn more than $60,000 but less than $100,000. Only 5% earn over $100,000pa.

During the 1950’s-1960’s houses cost 3 times the average annual wage. Today, this equates to a house should cost under $200,000. Their repayments were just 25-30% of their weekly wage. Today, for a person to purchase a $450,000 house and land package, they would have to earn $121,000 per annum to achieve a repayment weekly value of 30%.

For a wage earner on $60,000pa to purchase a house and land package for $450,000 their repayments would be $670.00 per week or nearly 60% of their weekly salary (6% interest rate) They would also have to have saved over $50,000 before purchase.

During the 1950’s-1960’s, there was virtually full time employment. Today, just 70% are full-time, while the part-time workforce has increased from 15% to 30%, and work an average of only 16 hours per week. In 1978 only 5% of men worked part-time - today 17% of men work part-time and increasing.

These details do not provide a positive picture for Australia’s society in the future.

 .....It has to change.....

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(c) Mitchell Zen