I know I shouldn’t… but I’m kind of looking forward to this recession

When real estate agents sit rocking in corners muttering things like ‘there’s blood on the auction room floor’ as multi million dollar properties sell for a million or two less than what they think they should I know we’re all supposed to feel afraid. Instead, I feel a small glowing ember of - hope.

Obviously, bankrupt celebrities and investment gurus on the run from the law make better news than your average working family renting a house in the North so we don’t often get to hear that the painful process of recession that the media keeps banging on about may actually offer some serious opportunities.
image of developers real estate
Let’s face it – most of us are not really worried about the loss of our second or third investment coastal property. Are we?

Many properties that were bought to be used for a maximum of 3 weeks of the year by Europeans and North Americans who spend half of the year somewhere else are getting flicked off quick as the Northern Hemisphere’s economies tank. Bought with overseas buyers’ spare change, these investments artificially inflated the prices of whole areas out of the range of many working families. As did the access to easy credit encouraged by ‘Money Masters’ who told us that we could all be rich and use someone else’s money to do it.

Can it be such a bad thing if some prices take a reality check?

Arguing with one such ‘investor’ recently, and knowing nothing about economics, I had difficulty trying to explain why I thought things were so out of whack. Until I realised that the minimum wage paid to many grown men and women doing vital work today is less than I was paid 25 years ago as a 15 year old to baby sit already sleeping children. Then, you could get a great house for $100K. Something had to give and with low interest rates and falling house prices it may not be long for many Northland families to start thinking that they might own their own piece of
Godzone after all.

As long as you have a job – say the doom mongers. Well, yes but there’s several benefits, especially in Northland in the current climate.

With Australia’s bum on fire and with its head under water the Land of Oz is looking less lucky by the day. As mines start closing and high paid jobs are harder to come by perhaps some Kiwis will start flapping their way back home bringing their cash and talent with them.

For a few years it seemed like someone had pulled the plug out of the North as I watched a steady stream of the young, talented and ambitious bail from the region hoping to find riches in Australia.

If there is little chance of getting a safe, well paid job in the big cities or Oz or it looks as though you might even lose the one you have right here you might be more willing to dig in and start taking big risks. The kind of risks that small businesses take all the time – the ones that eventually generate jobs and encourage investment into an area.

Matt Watson, the mad Marlin man, while sitting in his shed in Takou Bay, decided that roof tiling wasn’t floating his boat – so he took to the skies in a helicopter in order to land on unsuspecting marlin and film himself tagging them. While his exploits could be described as ‘Irwinesque’ in their risk taking and not for every out of work roofing contractor – he’s landed a whopping contract from Animal Planet and this could potentially generate a fishing tourism boom back to the North that could bring huge economic benefits.

Kaikoura Whale watching venture started from much humbler beginnings and look at it now.

Instead of wailing and gnashing our teeth at this recession maybe we need to go back to our respective sheds and re-group.

The North has shed loads of good things going for it and I can’t think of a better place to ride out a recession.

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