OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Media beat-off

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  • Angus Robertson,

    Poo, laser -- who'd have sonic?

    Who can't master the isomorphic controls.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Bernard Hickey,

    Keith et al
    Many thanks for the robust discussion on this by many with an expert interest in the HES and how it can be used.
    I hope the people at Stats just to show them how important their work is and how much passion it can generate.
    I've learnt a few things and it's made me think again about how to use this data.
    I agree that using overall averages to make points about specific populations is difficult. If only there was an HES for Households with mortgages.
    I grudgingly agree with Christopher Worthington's point and envy his skills with table builder showing the average mortgage payment for those with mortgages was $314 a week in the HES. That's $3 less than the number I "guessed" for 2008.
    cheers
    Bernard

    Since May 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Keith when you're happy to write this:

    "So let's talk about interest rates, not bloody cheese."

    Knowing kids are hungry out there, well we're not on the same page are we?

    My point there is very simple: If they can't afford cheese, it's not because the price of cheese increase by $6, it's because they're spending $80 more on housing. Drop the cost of housing (e.g. Lower interest rates), families will have more money to spend on whatever. Cheese, even.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    it's because they're spending $80 more on housing.

    let me preface this with "i'm no economist, but..."

    keith's right. the groupthink has been "get the biggest mortgage you can afford" + "house prices can only go up".

    too many families are struggling because they haven't budgeted for their main cost, interest on their borrowed money, to increase by +2% per annum.

    if they'd bought the smallest house they could tolerate, and left themselves some savings money they'd not be in this pickle.

    and yes, the poor without mortgages are suffering, but they've always suffered. so, no change there.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    i agree with Che.

    but you have to remember that if interest rates move from 8% p.a. to 10% p.a., then the mortgagee is facing a 25% increase in debt servicing costs.

    so, for a $300,000 mortgage, your weekly interest bill would move from $460 to $575. an extra $115 is not a huge sum, but it has to come from somewhere.

    i really think that people whose household income is 50-80K, are foolish to borrow 300-400K for a house. 5-6x annual gross income seems way over the top to me. especially if that income is dependent on two earners.

    with food, petrol and all sorts of prices set to expose the official infation statistics as a charade, any deterioration in employment could really see middle class nz take a hit.

    the real wild card is the nz dollar, imho. if that bubble bursts...ouch.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Keith et al

    Many thanks for the robust discussion on this by many with an expert interest in the HES and how it can be used.

    Thanks for coming by Bernard, and for recognising that criticisms are made in the spirit of debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    so, for a $300,000 mortgage, your weekly interest bill would move from $460 to $575. an extra $115 is not a huge sum, but it has to come from somewhere.

    Man, I wish I could say 'an extra $115/week is not a huge sum'.

    I'm in a race between paying off my student loan, and my mortgage coming off a 5 year fixed rate in about 30 months. The mortgage is going to win by about 18 months at present, if interest rates are still this high... who knows how that's going to work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Kyle -- if your student loan is zero-interest (or even if it's just lower-interest than the mortgage!), then surely the choice is a no-brainer: pay down the mortgage before doing anything about the student loan.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    kyle, linger's right. without interest your loan shrinks in real terms every year (meaning, $6k in 10 years is worth less than $6k today).

    if you're paying more than the absolute minimum on your loan you're doing yourself a disservice.

    only been paying mine off for 38 months now.

    and counting.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed6502,

    Infill (and high density apartment living), where it's most appropriate, is just one way of addressing housing supply. Although of course, some people will always have an issue with anything taller than a couple of storeys. One such conflict between infill and the suburban status quo came to a rather amusing head late last year in Khandallah.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    On infill, I'm all infavour of it, done right. Five-Up seems a good plan but have a look at this. It's built so it got approval and someone 'designed' for someone else to 'live' in.

    I call it A BLOCK

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Property/Residential-Property/Houses-for-sale/auction-153205688.htm

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle -- if your student loan is zero-interest (or even if it's just lower-interest than the mortgage!), then surely the choice is a no-brainer: pay down the mortgage before doing anything about the student loan.

    Oh I'm not making voluntary payments. I make enough 'voluntary payments' in the form of child support already, compulsory loan payments, and tax already (my marginal tax rate is the delightful figure of 67%).

    The only reason I would make voluntary payments, if for some reason I found a couple of grand lying around, would be to clear it which would increase my take-home pay. It doesn't make financial sense in the long term, but at that stage the lost money is probably only a hundred dollars or so, and it'd be worth that to have less stress a year early.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    if for some reason I found a couple of grand lying around, would be to clear it which would increase my take-home pay.

    i've thought exactly the same thing.

    or, if a future government were to bring in some sort of minimal interest rate.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • ali bramwell,

    Yeah...who knows how long the interest free status will hold? assuming that future govts will never charge interest on student loans is a bit like expecting fine weather every day...or like expecting the housing market to rise indefinitely.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    On infill, I'm all infavour of it, done right. Five-Up seems a good plan but have a look at this. It's built so it got approval and someone 'designed' for someone else to 'live' in.

    I call it A BLOCK

    Holy crap. Is there time to buy a house while on a salvia trip? For less than $270 000 in Linwood you could have, say, this.

    The only reason I would make voluntary payments, if for some reason I found a couple of grand lying around, would be to clear it which would increase my take-home pay.

    This was the choice we made last year, to get rid of the loan for both the teeny-tiny tax cut, and just not having to worry about it any more, which has been great.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Holy crap. Is there time to buy a house while on a salvia trip?

    Inadvisable.

    For less than $270 000 in Linwood you could have, say, this.

    That's some nice house for the money alright ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    For less than $270 000 in Linwood you could have, say, this.

    'fess up Emma - is that your house?

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Ouch. Sorry Kyle; from your earlier post it seemed you actually had different options you were able to consider.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    That house is under offer as well. Interesting neighbour down a bit who mounts service medals.

    Regarding the Swastika on the house in Auckland. I would be uncomfortable with it but I can see their point in having it.

    Here in Christchurch Swastikas can be seen in the brick work of a chimney of a fine Fendalton home next to Rangi Ruru & cnr of Strowan Rd; the Druids Friendly Society fasade Manchester St; the Theosophy building on Cambridge tce; inside the Anglican Cathedral in the square (which makes the hoo ha over the table cloth a bit of a non-event); and the Nazis of Nursary Rd plus iron cross etc.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Regarding the Swastika on the house in Auckland. I would be uncomfortable with it but I can see their point in having it.

    I know a historian who had the same symbol (it's not a swastika, I believe the swastika is based on it) on the cover of a book which was about race and identity, particularly in Asian countries.

    Because it looks like a swastika, they redid the book cover for the American market without it.

    (What is it with the American publishing market anyway? Everytime I tell one of my American friends that Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone was renamed Sorcerer's Stone for the American market, because they didn't think Americans would know what a philosopher is, they give me a funny look and say that they know what a philosopher is. Is American publishing about trying to find the lowest common denominator to put on the cover?)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    For less than $270 000 in Linwood you could have, say, this.

    That's some nice house for the money alright ...

    I'm salivating at the wood panelling. Yum.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    A garden spade made in Sheffield England, presumably before The Second World War, was brought into an exhibition of appropriated symbols here in Christchurch a few years ago. It had a small logo stamped into it which included a swastika and the words 'Kia Ora'. We tried to get to the bottom of it by contacting the Sheffield museum but had no reply.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    'fess up Emma - is that your house?

    Geez, that would have been clever. Unfortunately, no it isn't. Once we get our son safely enrolled at the trendy-liberal special-character non-zoned high school, then maybe that can be our house.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i stayed in an ante-bellum mansion in dallas that had swastika on the manyof the flagstones on the ground floor (the dining room, kitchen, etc).

    apparently it was a navaho fertility symbol (or some such).

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • libertyscott,

    Keith, I've responded to your post on my blog at http://libertyscott.blogspot.com/2008/05/abandon-railways.html

    The simple point is that long distance rail and road freight have similar environmental impacts on a NTK basis on average, with both varying according to route. Road is higher overall because it carries all short haul freight, and most environmental costs of road (and rail) freight are in urban areas. Most short haul freight is within metropolitan areas, so the exposure to people is, on a Net Tonne KM basis higher than rail. The Surface Transport Costs and Charges study, which is available from MOT direct (sadly removed from its website) clearly states that the marginal environmental costs of rail and road freight are similar for freight between Napier and Gisborne, rail is higher than road for Wellington to Auckland and road is higher than rail for Kinleith to Tauranga.

    You've quoted poor quality data, a European study which is not comparable (far higher rail freight capacity and volumes to get economies of scale) and Chris Kissling who frankly isn't very credible at all, given he waxes lyrically about the future of transport including "smart clothes that open doors for you" (does he live in a cave to not notice electric doors aren't new?).

    The environmental case for rail is very slim at best, at worst it's a fraud and rhetoric by those who worship rail as a religion. I personally love trains and know a great deal about rail, but I'm not going to pretend rail is what it isn't.

    UK • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

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