Envy can be seen as a positive thing, but the example you provided doesn't support your claim. Envy is a good thing when it propels us to compete with our brother and sister in things that are good; for example, if it causes us to better ourselves islamically. Let’s say your neighbor prays more than you or is spiritually better, and your envy of his good actions pushes you to better yourself. In this case, envy would be a good thing. However, materialistic or mundane things such as your example wouldn’t be a situation where envy is good. Islam teaches us not to be envious of the things our brother have, but the good they do.