Principal and Director of Property Network, Deirdre Fibiger has spoken out strongly on the emerging lower income market and lost opportunities therein.
“This segment of the market has been a major lifeline for the property industry and our economy as a whole,” she said, “and we need government to become pro-active in ensuring it’s growth.”
“We firmly believe that national government must shift from it’s traditional, restitution based subsidy thinking to a more pro-active holistic approach,” said Fibiger. “Promoting home ownership in this segment as well as in the first time buyer market will stimulate growth as well as ensure more active households in the economy,” she said.
Property Network finds it concerning that there appears to be a growing trend for the younger generation to stay at home in co-habitation with family rather than aim to invest in property as early as possible. These missing households not only place a burden on parents but also have a major impact on long term spending within the economy.
In the USA this phenomenon has already hit critical proportions and the number of missing households hit 2.4 million as of March this year. 18 to 34 year olds account for more than half of this number.
The effect of this is not only a reduced demand for housing but also an increase in luxury and short term spending.
“In an emerging economy such as ours, ensuring our youth and lower income groups are stabilised through property ownership is critical,” said Fibiger. “The alternative is a generation finding itself at the mercy of consumerism and landlords in later years, a scenario which will take generations to correct.”
Fibiger believes the solution lies in:
- Creating a value added economy so as to create a more stable employment climate and longer term vision prospects
- Establishment of methodologies to enhance the value of existing lower income neighbourhoods, creating capital growth and opportunities for upscaling.
- Larger and more pro-active assistance to these market segments in terms of cost and interest rate subsidies
“The property market is a major contributor to national GDP and government needs to take a longer term investment view rather than a charity view to assistance,” she said. “Rather than simply viewing subsidies as hand outs, they need to be of the viewpoint that any acceleration of property ownership with bring about economic rewards in the future.”
Author: Deirdre Fibiger
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