Things… maybe… aren’t so bleak.
Here's a good joke - have you heard the one about the 21-year-old student who owns three homes and is a successful property investor?
Not very funny, is it?
The kids-are-doing-alright property stories are saturating the media.
Last week, a young Auckland landlord who started out with a $200,000 wedding gift from his father told the Herald “If I were 16 years old today, I would join the army and toughen the f*** up”.
Today, the Herald profiled a student and an administrator, both 24, who “could have a $1 million-plus portfolio by the end of this year”. All they needed was a loan and an “equity gift” from their parents. Meanwhile, a 19-year-old who has just bought his first home was profiled by Stuff.
We ventured to Victoria University to ask students if their future is looking as peachy, and if simply toughening up is the answer.
HOLLY MORTON, ENGLISH LITERATURE AND SPANISH MAJOR
I‘m ever hopeful that something is going to solve this problem and we can all own homes, but at the moment, anyone our age would be lucky to be in that position in their 30s.
As an English and Spanish student… yeah, it’s not looking good.
I would love to one day own my own home, and I can dream, but it’s not something I think about all the time. When I do think about it - yeah, it would be a great feeling to have a place of my own and one day not have to rent anymore.
ED HARDIE, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS MAJOR
I do think I’ll own a home one day, but realistically, that definitely won’t happen before I’m 30.
I see the property market as a pretty unstable thing that, right now, is only trending one way. But I think we’ll reach a point where something has got to give and either homes will become super unaffordable and everything crashes, or the Government will step in and actually do something about it.
It’s a security thing - at the moment myself and my friends are renting on fixed-term contracts, so if the landlord changes his mind, we won’t have somewhere to live.
Then again, if I owned my own home I would probably have a big mortgage to pay off. That’s the next struggle.
IAN BROADHURST, JAPANESE MAJOR
I would definitely like to think owning my own home is possible. But my best guess is it won’t happen for another 10 or 20 years.
Most of my friends stay with their parents, but I have a few who have a shared ownership of a house. None of them go to university. They work and are able to split the bills. It’s a situation they seem really happy with.
FREYDA LENIHAN-GEELS, BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE MAJOR
I haven’t ever been able to imagine myself owning a home in New Zealand.
I more see myself one day living overseas. The state of things here is definitely pushing that motivation. If I thought it was possible to own a home in New Zealand, I would be more than willing to settle here.
My friends and I actually talked about this recently - someone asked if any of us had started saving for a house. I think about one out of the 12 of us had started saving and no one else was even thinking about it.
QUINN DAVIS, COMMERCIAL LAW MAJOR
Right now, I don’t think property ownership will ever happen. For starters, I'll come out of university with substantial debt, and I don’t really see myself, personally, getting into a situation that will only get worse.
I study Commercial Law and Chinese, so it may sound like I’m going into a career that will make lots of money, but nah. I would love to move around a bit and travel, so I can see myself still renting in a decade or two.
I haven’t put too much thought into the subject and it’s not a day-to-day worry. Flatting is tough enough in terms of not having much money.
BAYLEY GODFREY, COMMERCE MAJOR
I would like to own my own home at some point in my 30s. I absolutely want to do so - that way you don’t have to worry about landlords, and you can make a place your own.
I do think about this kind of stuff and it can get quite depressing. Overseas is looking pretty good at the moment, but then it depends if and where you can get a job.
CHAREI HOOPER, LAW MAJOR
I do think I will own my own place… eventually - once the student loan is gone. Hopefully that will happen before I’m 30.
I definitely want to own my home. If anything, just as an asset, so the kids can get something.
House prices and the market aren’t yet concerns for me or my friends. But there will definitely come a time when I won’t want to flat and live with other people.
KATIE JANE, RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR
I’m just not interested in owning my own home. I wouldn’t mind a little bit of land and a caravan or some kind of shack, but I just don’t see a big house as a life priority.
I don’t feel like having material security necessarily makes us happier. I think I would be less happy if I owned my home because I would feel trapped. I’m happy if I have places to go to and feel like I belong to a community.
I just don’t give a crap about house prices and the property market, but at the same time, I feel very strongly about homelessness and people who buy up properties just to make a profit.
I don’t think owning your own home is a necessity in life, but I do think having a place to live is.
VICTOR-ALAN WEEKS, DESIGN, MUSIC AND PACIFIC STUDIES MAJOR
I’m in New Zealand for a short period of time. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, and I attend school back home in the US at Davidson in North Carolina.
I will absolutely one day return to Atlanta and I would absolutely like to own my own home. I believe that’s up to me and depends on how much work I put into it.
If I wanted to settle down straight away, I could, but right now I want to travel and make music and experience more of what the world has to offer. But owning my own home is something I want to do.
The talk about the property market and home-ownership is very similar back home - there’s a very pessimistic view of those kind of things. But you don’t get anywhere in life thinking about the negatives - you’ve got to stay focused and keep your goal in front of you.