The Press Release Pusher

“The First Home Buyers Grant (FHBG) has been frozen since 2000. Property prices have doubled since then, so the Government needs to help first home buyers and increase the grant.”

So said a press release from mortgage broker Mr Dean Rushton, CEO of Loan Market.

This week I got him on the talkback line for an interview:

Barefoot: “Why should taxpayers put their hand in their pockets to push more people into an overvalued property market?”

Broker: “Because the market needs new entrants.”

Barefoot: “But haven’t we learned from the US that encouraging people who don’t have adequate savings to buy homes is a dumb idea?”

Broker: “Yes, but we need to maintain a healthy market.”

It was a lively interview that proceeded to produce a full board of angry callers (if you’d like to hear it click here).

With nearly twice as many unsold homes sitting on the market now than about a year ago, a stimulus wand needs to be waived to prop up the market – well, according to him anyway.

But as a social policy stimulating the first home-buyer market has been a disaster with nearly one in two first home buyers who are in some form of mortgage stress.

The Three Talkback Callers

The Press Release Pusher
“We should increase the grant to help struggling first home buyers.”

The Ruthless Numbers Guy
“These people are idiots – they deserve to lose their homes.”

Girl Power
“Property doubles every 7 to 10 years.”

I really enjoyed my time on talkback this week. The listeners were smart, good hearted, everyday types of people. Ironically, the only problem calls I had on a radio show devoted to talking about money turned out to be the callers who were licensed professional advisors.

Tread Your Own Path!

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swamibu/2868288357/