If You're Still Living With Your Parents, You're Definitely Not Alone

We're all living with our parents now, that's just how it is.

It turns out that over half of Australia’s young adults are still living with their parents and the numbers are rising, especially for dames.

That’s people aged 18-to-29, not young people that are kids. Kids still do predominately live with their families, that’s not news.

But in yet more less-than-promising news taken from the latest Housing Income and Labour Dynamics survey (known as the HILDA Survey because it’s a kickin’ sort of a name for a thing) it turns out that kids aren’t moving out as early as they used to. Or, in some cases, at all.

The number of men living with a parent or two jumped from 47 per cent in 2001 to 56 per cent in 2017; but the number of women in the same boat went from 36 per cent to 54 per cent. Which is a heck of a jump.

So if you’re still living with parents, know that you’re not alone. At least, not nearly as often as you’d like.

There are some other surprising findings from the data: people in smaller towns moved out earlier than those in cities, the fastest growth in staying-put is in Queensland, and some of the reasons might be quite positive ones.

For example, it seems that are more people pursuing higher study, and some of the numbers might be people travelling before entering the full-time workforce.

But other big factors like the causualisation of the workforce making incomes less reliable, as well as increased housing costs, are less easy to spin into upbeat headlines.

And those lower rates of moving out in smaller towns might reflect that property is cheaper, or it might reflect people leaving to find work in cities.

In any case, let’s hear it for the parents. Goddamn but they put up with a lot.

The Worst Rental Bond Stories Are A Lesson In Winning At Renting

Getting your bond back isn't always as simple as you'd think.

One of the greatest annoyances about the whole renting thing, aside from the whole renting thing generally, is getting your bond back after you move out – which is as close to winning as renting gets.

No matter how flush you are, moving is an expensive business and securing a new place means paying the new bond before getting your old one back. And thus for a lot of renters that money is the difference between eating meals and doing weeks on two minute noodles.

Cheap dinner, or Christopher Pyne’s hair? NO-ONE CAN TELL.

And in theory it’s a pretty straightforward process: you leave, you clean the place and your landlord does a final inspection before giving your state bond body authority to release your money back to you.

In practice… well…

A quick and completely unscientific survey established that landlords will not necessarily see things the same way.

I lost part of a rental bond for dirt in the oven door, but it was in-between the two fused pieces of glass that make up the door so… not really sure how I could have cleaned it? Still stings years later.

I’ve lost parts of bond before for stupid things I was too tired from the ordeal of moving to fight, like $50 to replace a dead rose bush.

I lost part of a bond once for a broken rangehood. I’d done a tae kwon do class and was demonstrating how high I could kick and kicked it off it’s sliding thingy and broke it. It was fair.

I lost a small portion for, I kid you not, “cobwebs” with no evidence that the property manager even inspected it in a timeframe whereby spiders could not have produced them and no pictures to prove it to me.

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars fixing things that were broken when we moved in because “it doesn’t say it’s broken on the initial inspection sheet”. Now when I move into a new place I list every-fucking-thing that’s dirty, broken, not working, not cleaned properly, or just sitting there. Even down to blown light bulbs.

So now you know that they’ll hold out for, what’s the answer? Know your rights, be ready to exercise them, and don’t back down. Many landlords will cough up the bond if it saves them a tribunal visit, especially if they know they don’t have a leg to stand on.

Also, this is the best tip we’ve ever heard:

I strongly insinuated that I was a lawyer the time before last. It worked brilliantly.

So yeah, maybe invest in a wig?

Your City Isn't Full, It's Just That Australia's A Bit Crap At Doing Them

Welcome in, we're not fulll!

One of the current truisms about Australia’s biggest cities is that they’re full and we need to find ways to reduce the population because there are just too many people in ’em.

It’s an excuse which has been used to justify everything from immigration cuts to massive expressway projects, and it’s taken as a given that our cities are “full”, almost as though each Australian city is a hermit crab with a shell it simply cannot remove.

And look, living in big cities can be crowded and stressful.

And yes, Sydney contains just shy of five million people, depending slightly on what bits you consider “Sydney”, with Melbourne not far behind – making them the the biggest and most crowded cities in the whole wide world!

Sorry, that should read “85th and “90th Biggest And Most Crowded Respectively”.

Among the cities that have more people – and again, it’s worth noting that different sources use different definitions of where said cities begin and end – are such metropoli as New York (over 8 million), London (just under nine million), Mexico City (also just shy of 9 million), Jakarta (10.6 million), Moscow (13.2 million), Tokyo (13.5 million), Istanbul (just over 15 million) and three Chinese cities: Beijing (21.7 million), Shanghai (over 24 million) and Chongqing, which contains more than the entire population of Australia with over thirty million people.

So why can dozens of cities get bigger than Sydney, yet our largest city remains mysteriously at capacity?

The McKinsey Institute in the US has looked at the question of whether or not there are hard limits on how big a city can realistically get and concluded that yes, there is: it’s dependent on the competence of the government.

And that’s it.

If the government wants to make a city work, they plan accordingly – and think long term to do so.

They also look to questions of how to make the economies of scale in things like service provision work (it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to provide services to a huge but centralised population than a more diffuse one spread out over a vast area) while investing in core areas like transport and affordable housing.

Get that balance right and you get London and New York, vibrant places that are economic and population hubs. Screw it up and things go less well.

Also, you get zombies.

And that is a complicated job, not helped by state governments that proudly trumpet how they’re letting, for example, the construction industry operate without much regulation, and then act admit that hasn’t worked when said companies create buildings that become uninhabitable.

So next time you hear a politician talk about how a place is “full”, remember that they’re actually making excuses for not doing their job.


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