Renting and buying

croaking cassandra

In his Sunday Star-Times column this week, economist Shamubeel Eaqub announced that “I’ve bought a house at last” .   He and his wife had had quite a lot of coverage for their choice to stay renting, even though they could readily have purchased a house in Auckland.    As they noted in their book Generation Rent, their decision to rent had been both a lifestyle and a financial one.

Economists have form in this area.  Most people want to own their own house sooner or later, and in the longer-term those who don’t are usually those who can’t.   When economists don’t buy it is usually a choice.

The most prominent New Zealand economist who once chose not to buy was the then new Governor of the Reserve Bank, Don Brash.    Taking up his role as Governor in 1988 involved shifting from Auckland to Wellington.  At the…

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