Home owners in Sydney and Melbourne are in thrall to rising property values in Australia’s two largest cities. The purchase of a home being the single largest investment in most peoples’ lives, means that many of these individuals, couples and families are turning to home renovation to increase the value of their investment. With record low interest rates and substantial home equity returns fuelling this renovation fever, it shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The value in dollar terms is around $33 billion in renovations happening in 2016, according to figures provided by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Sydney House Prices Are Pushing a Renovation Boom

It is no wonder, then, that there is no shortage of work for builders and tradies in Sydney. Places like Bunnings hardware are, also, benefitting from this tremendous renovation boom. The home is a place under constant fiscal attention in the lives of home owners in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Interviewed homeowners have expressed concerns about not falling behind in the great property race. It is like their lives have become marathon competitions, with the prize being enormous sums of money at the hoped-for conclusion of this race.

One wonders what it is like for the children and families living in these homes, these hotbeds of construction. Psychologically are these homes under threat from rapacious materialism at the expense of the nurturing qualities that a home is supposed to provide. If mummy and daddy are so hell bent on improving the property value of the family home, is there a downside to this? A newly renovated home is lovely and affords lots of new features to enjoy. Or does it? Has the home, actually, become a living display home, with kids being warned not to live too much inside their house for fear of wearing things out?

Will the Sydney scene scar its residents for years and generations to come? Will the real estate obsession, this life size Monopoly board game being played out in streets and suburbs, damage the human beings who live inside the homes in this city? Money makes the world go around, so the song goes from the musical, but home is, also, apparently, where the heart is. How do these two themes coexist under the one roof? Is the money-making obsession, the cuckoo driving the other birds out of the nest? Only time will tell and the many academic studies into the effects of this strange paradox, which I am sure will soon follow.