On the Move
People are on the move.
In the US they are fleeing the dreadful problems besetting New York and California. They are fleeing the high prices of Silicone Valley. They are heading to the low tax states, and in the case of the New York exodus they are heading to warmer climes. In both cases people are looking for cheaper housing prices as well.
On the other side of the pond, back in Europe, a similar situation is playing out. There has been such a ruckus over the past three years that rather a lot of people are asking that all-important question: “Why am I putting up with all this nonsense and these insanely high prices?”
There are three main trends currently in progress. Rather a lot of folks had to put up with bringing up kids during the lockdowns while living on the fifteenth floor, or worse. One family I heard of were taking their kids for exercise by walking them up and down the staircases. That is no way to live. It sounds like the treadmill in Victorian prisons where prisoners got their exercise by walking up a moving ramp. In short, those who can are moving out of high rise apartments.
The second trend is where people are moving from the colder north to the warmer south. With the Green lunatics saying we should go back to the Middle Ages and learn to live without all our modern luxuries, one of the first things to be sacrificed in the name of caring for the planet is to try and run the AC units on solar power. Of course, when you need that power, the sun simply doesn’t shine. Who wants to die of cold? Once again, those who can afford the move, have started moving.
In these days of working from home, and the concept of the beach bum, workers can be a lot more mobile than they were even ten years ago.
The third trend consists of the people who are looking for cheaper places to live because they simply cant afford the high prices in the northernmost countries.
Where I live I can grow my own vegetables all year round, and there is a vineyard just two miles away, and even more just the other side of town. I only have fires for three or four months a year, and there are vegetables in the local markets all year round at reasonable prices. Where your food has to be imported the prices double or treble.
The result of these migrations is going to show up in the statistics very soon. House prices are going to stagnate or fall in the more northerly countries, and rise in the more southerly ones.
On top of all this, there are the political problems in so many countries. There is so much unrest that people are also beginning to move to countries where there are less restrictions on the way one lives, and less political insanity.
Last week we left things up in the air concerning where the money was to come from as the world transitions back towards real money as opposed to the fiat currencies that appear to be maxed out and failing.
This is going to be a problem for those who are not part of the mobile generation. Sadly, at this stage in the current situation I dont have a single answer to the problem. It does so depend on one’s skills, and on one’s ability to adjust to differing conditions.
All I can suggest are generalities. For instance, a neighbour of mine is considering selling her home and moving out. I cant advice her where to go but what I do advise is applying simple concepts to the alternatives. For example, one should, generally speaking, not run away from something without at the same time running towards an alternative. And the more important matter is running towards something you want. Simply running away from something generally means you find the thing you ran away from follows you. My friend has no alternative so I have suggested she stay where she is.
There is a second argument she needs to consider. Swapping a home for money doesn’t sound like a great idea to me. With inflation running at 10% or thereabouts what is the point of swapping your home for money that will be worth 10% less in a year’s time?
Naturally it all depends where your home is. If it’s in an area where people are trying to move out, then maybe selling now before things get worse is a good idea. But if you live in an area where house prices are still rising and people are wanting to move to, then selling up right now would be absurd.
My advice to myself is to hang on where I am, which is currently perfectly acceptable until the confusion starts to clear and I can see things with a little more confidence. However, next week I am heading north into the middle of Portugal at the invitation of a colleague. I'll try and do a report on what I find, though it might be a day or two late.