LETTER: Two sides to Rockhampton's cheap housing story
I READ with interest in the Editorial on Thursday, November 2 that house prices are extremely low in some suburbs of Rockhampton and buyers are gleefully snapping up bargains.
Looking at the issue from the perspective of the seller, it is interesting also to consider that many of these houses belong to older people, who, in a perfect world would gladly sell their home which may be too big for purpose now they are on their own and so move into a retirement home/village.
This would allow first home buyers to more easily move into the housing market.
Unfortunately, what is happening is that the cost of retirement villages, homes etc has become so expensive that the proceeds of the sale of many older people's homes do not nearly cover the cost of retiring gracefully.
It then becomes a difficulty for older people to live in and maintain their homes, which may require expensive maintenance and labour intensive yards requiring a gardener. The home is often too big for the elderly to keep clean, sometimes high blocked so access becomes an issue and so government and family have to step in to alleviate the problems.
Just as low interest rates suit home buyers, they do not suit those relying on income from their savings to supplement income in retirement.
While the young rail against the older generation, making it too hard for them to enter the housing market, and the government targets pensions and health care to save money, perhaps they should consider the hardship the elderly endure because they may be trapped in unsuitable accommodation due to circumstances beyond their control.