@Miraz The MRI was to follow up on an ultrasound I had a few months ago, where the techs were like 99% sure that what they were seeing was something harmless, but suggested a further test just for that 1% chance. I won't be told what the findings are until February, but my expectation is that it'll prove the techs right. I hope so anyway 😛
@jayeless Hope the news from the tests comes back all clear, which they sound extremely confident will be the case.
We have the same issue with ludicrous housing prices here too, and I feel it’s only a matter of time before the bubble bursts and there’s a crash in the market. These prices aren’t sustainable, and as you point out anyone who doesn’t already own something is being priced right out of the market unless already wealthy.
@pimoore I've definitely heard about Canada (at least the Toronto and Vancouver metro areas) having similarly awful housing markets. At least it's my understanding that renters over there have pretty good protections – not that it's as secure as owning your own home, but at least you can be somewhat secure as a renter. Whereas here renters have very few rights at all, can be told to leave with 30 days' notice at nearly any time, etc. 😢 Oh the problems that result from treating housing as an investment vehicle and not a human right.
@jayeless Vancouver is especially terrible for prices, but honestly there are small houses where I live that are nothing special that have more than doubled in price. Our federal government is putting a stop to foreign investors that are driving prices up, but that should’ve been done a long time ago. At this point I don’t know what the answer is beyond a market crash to reset things, but obviously that’s not what anyone needs either.
@pimoore I think the best outcome for here would be a long period of stagnation in property prices, so existing owners wouldn't lose out (except those hoarders with their interest-only loans, but IDC about them), but over time incomes would catch up to the point that buying your own home might become feasible again. As our population keeps growing strongly, though, I feel like this is only plausible if we transition to being a nation of apartment (or condo)-dwellers, and modern apartments are so poorly built that that would have to change massively, too.
At the moment foreign investors are only allowed to buy new-construction properties, I think, but I'm not sure that restriction is having the effect people hope it would. It's a contributing factor to modern apartments nearly all being such poor quality (because the market isn't the people who'd be living there, just speculators), and it kind of ignores that Australian property investors have an equally deleterious effect on society as non-Australian ones. I did read at one point about Vancouver introducing a "vacancy tax", which seemed like a great idea. I think imposing higher requirementson landlords to maintain habitability would help us, too.
@jayeless You’re absolutely right the problem extends beyond just the foreign interests. The quality of almost all the apartment buildings here are also poor, and most condo units we’ve seen other than ours aren’t great either. Team that up with increasing cost of living Canada-wide (sounds like Australia has the same issue?), while incomes most often still don’t increase to match and the housing market affordability is further exacerbated. Here in Ontario our prices for everything have skyrocketed, along with being one of if not the most heavily taxed provinces in the country. It’s no wonder people are leaving for much greener and more prosperous pastures.
Sadly there’s no easy answer as it requires systemic change beyond just the housing market itself. I truly feel for anyone trying to get their foot in the door now and having it slammed on them in the worst possible way.
@pimoore Yeah, the problems we're facing here seem very similar to what you guys are dealing with in Canada. I think you're right, too, that a real, efficient fix would take sweeping systemic change. Sometimes I look enviously at cities that offer well-maintained public housing for a large proportion of the population, like Singapore or Vienna… it's not home ownership, but it's secure and affordable housing anyway, and that in itself would be a big improvement for renters.