Another slower month of housing sales will give the Reserve Bank optimism its efforts are at least keeping some heat out of the Auckland market

By David Hargreaves

Despite another month of slower Auckland housing figures, I still think it's too early to call the Auckland market as officially in retreat.

Let's wait and see what March brings. I think those figures will be more definitive.

The March figures will also take us six months beyond the official start date of the Reserve Bank's 40% deposit rule and therefore to about the time I would expect to see the impact of that starting to wear off.

But certainly, I do think the Reserve Bank will now be hopeful that the wind has been taken out of the City of Sails sufficiently to get through to the election.

More subdued?

However, if we do get through this year with a more subdued Auckland housing market, there's plenty of reasons to believe there could be a post-election flurry of housing activity - as there was in 2014.

The concern would be that the current quiet period will encourage people - notably those in Government - to 'relax' and put the structural problems in our housing market on the backburner.

While we are still firing up new record levels of immigration to fuel a need for housing, while Auckland still has constipated urban planning processes, while the building industry soon seems to reach limits to how fast it can expand, while New Zealand still gives taxation advantages to housing investment over other asset classes - the situation is still ripe for another full-on explosion in prices in the Auckland market.

And this is at a time when household debt levels are constantly reaching new peaks.

The IMF pointed out, I think disconcertingly, last week that the RBNZ's existing weapons in its 'macro-prudential toolkit' are now "approaching their practical limit".

Fobbed off

That's why I think it was really irresponsible of this Government to cynically fob off the RBNZ's attempts to get debt-to-income ratios installed in that toolkit early this year. That's one obvious thing that is needed to protect effectively people against themselves and putting themselves at risk by overstretching in an overstretched market.

In looking at why the housing market has backed off somewhat, I think it is clear that there's been more at play than simply the RBNZ's new 40% rule.

The banks have rather hidden behind that in order to considerably tighten up their lending criteria.

When you look at it, then it makes sense the banks would actually have quietly welcomed that rule because it's a lot easier for them to see they won't lend because they can't lend than to simply say that their current circumstances don't make it prudent for them to do so.

And of course in a normal market unencumbered by LVR restrictions if one bank doesn't lend another might - so all the banks feel under pressure to lend, perhaps sometimes inappropriately, so they don't lose market share. Apply a rule to everybody and everybody's market share stays the same.

Rising borrowing costs

The other thing helpful to the RBNZ has been the rising cost of borrowing, with more potentially ahead.

If interest rates do indeed start going up somewhat more aggressively in the US then that will keep more upward pressure on our lending rates.

And another thing is, I still think there's an outside chance the RBNZ might have to lift official interest rates as soon as late this year.

The 'market' is still giving some chance of that eventuality, while most economists say no way. I do note though that the BNZ economists are certainly of a view that inflation is going to surprise on the upside.

So, I think it is possible that interest rates will prove a dampener on the housing market. And let's face it rising interest rates are the surefire way to take the heat out of a housing market - even if sometimes it takes time as evidenced by what happened in the mid-2000s when the rates were squeezed and squeezed.

Big impact

Because we are already at such high levels of indebtedness now, I don't think such energetic rate rises would be necessary. Indeed quite modest rises from here would have a big impact on debt servicing ability, I think.

The other fact mitigating against a strong recovery in the housing market now this year is the election itself. The market did take a pause before the 2014 election and there's no reason to believe something similar would not happen.

So, let's see what happens in March.

If there's no signs of strong recovery in Auckland house prices, then I think the Government might have got away with this till the election.

Masking the problem

But let's not kid ourselves, a slower market right now only serves to mask that there's an ongoing future supply/demand issue in Auckland.

It's to be hoped that the incoming Government later this year is quick to come up with some viable solutions.

We can't just keep risking the prospect of boom and bust cycles.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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101 Comments

Regarding your comment about masking the problem, that is, "a slower market right now only serves to mask that there's an ongoing future supply/demand issue in Auckland." Can anyone provide examples of a sustained fall in house/land prices at the same time as sustained high population growth? As I see it, housing is an essential (like air and water) and with [NZ experiencing] continued third world population growth rates, people will keep paying as much as they can for housing whilst cutting everything else to the bone.

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Which just highlights again that the government needs to address foreign purchases and listen to the people's objections to its tap-wide-open approach to immigration.

It can't keep propping up investor-voters portfolios in the way it has been.

@ Rick: Yes totally agree, at least other popular cities are able to recognize just what a huge influence foreign buyers have on their housing market. Vancouver has been the most proactive and has dramatically been able to slow down its housing market before it further risked businesses being squeezed out by the high cost of living.

And they also recognize that the new Capital Flight controls from China have further driven down the market and this is also driving down our market since the top end buyers have now gone, but who knows how long that will last for? We still need a similar Foreign Buyers Tax.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/world-s-biggest-real-...

http://www.straight.com/news/864656/chinas-new-capital-controls-are-just...

I get the feeling everyone in government knows it's playing a large role, but like authorities did in Vancouver they're keen to keep it quiet for as long as possible, lest they have to reduce the benefit to their investor-voters and their investor-MPs.

But never forget, it's at the expense of young and future generations of Kiwis.

Edit:

And I say this as someone who voted them in twice before reading more widely about what they were up to. If you have any doubt how willing they can be to sacrifice the lot of young Kiwis, remember John Key getting caught telling businesses he wanted to drive wages down: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00304.htm ....no surprises we see National opening the taps as wide as possible to bring in cheap labour on anecdotal justification.

While I'm yet to choose a party to vote for this time around (and have never before voted Labour), I won't be voting for a party that's shown they're ready and willing to sell out younger Kiwis less fortunate than I am.

If the people does not understand the mood of the people, vote them out.

9 year is a long period.

Absolutely. As housing sucks up more and more of people's income, less will be left for investing in productive activities thus contributing to NZ's continued relative decline in productivity.

Oh well, at least then National can say with a straight face that we need foreign investment smh

It can sometimes be a case of chicken and egg.

Real estate is pretty fundamental to Auckland's economy, both property sales and construction, arguably both enabled by increases in debt.

So, a sustained downturn in property could well flow through to employment, reduced levels of construction (seems counter intuitive but the data supports it) and eventually even lower levels of immigration (lack of jobs plus political pressure as locals struggle to find work).

I would say Ireland was somewhat similar; population growth and massive house price increases which all reversed pretty fast when the bust arrived.

Pretty much the same new money is being created via residential mortgages but it seems to be flowing to other parts of the country. It's difficult at this point to see what impact that is going to have. Activity will no doubt slow but there's no indication of a crash at this time.

I remember the 87 share market crash.

Right up until the time it happened everyone said "there is no indication of a crash at this time because this time it is different".

Nothing has changed,human nature being what it is, investors just follow the "bigger fool theory ie there will always be someone who will pay more than I did.

Or, as I have seen numerous examples around me on the shore of 5 -8 people per rental

Are you living in first world country?

The demand issue might be resolved with a change of government.

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It's literally INSANE that my already taxed income (as an employee) gets taxed again, when I save it and acrue interest, or invest it, and there are a bunch of greedy specuvestors out there taking us all for a ride not paying tax on their capital gains.

The system needs bloody fixing.

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Well, yeah, it does.

National is not going to fix it.

Specuvestors and property investors do pay capital gains tax!

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Must be a rare occasion if they do

.

Succinct and to the point.

I am going to get shot down over this comment , but maybe there is no real housing crisis............the whole fiasco is a result of a combination of fear and greed , a bad combination at best .

Don't we just need to house the 70,000 new migrants that arrived in the past 365 days , and we will be sorted?

The so -called crisis is actually a logical consequence of the prices of secondhand houses tracking the costs of new builds upwards , and the market ran away with itself last year .

Buyers rushed in to the market because of the fear of losing out ( first home buyers) and greed (speculators) , not because there are not enough houses or the ability to build houses , but a combination of fear and greed

We are seeing proposed multi-storey apartment block developments being canned due to lack of demand (and stupid high prices ) and that should tell us that there is no real shortage .

I will concede there is not available much at the lower end of the market , but this was always a problem , nothing new .

What does this tell you ?

Its not a crisis

The only thing I disagree with is that we do have a crisis. However everything you've said is applicable as we don't have a perfect view of what is going on at ground level.

People are cashing up and leaving. How many people moving to Auckland are homeless but living on someone's couch? How many are just converting existing houses into overpopulated flats?

Are all the effects in Auckland just exaggerated by high prices? A lot of the houses for sale in Auckland look like they are sitting empty. If they sell at a more reasonable price would there be enough supply to reduce the current problems? Maybe in the short term.

Whereas in Wellington there's just a shortage of houses for purchase or rent.

Is the effect just a matter of how people are reacting to the housing market? That could be the case. So are we oversupplied with housing? Not necessarily.

Yeah, Nah.

Yeah, when there is a lot of cheap credit and a demand for housing people pile into housing investment. This happens everywhere in the world and the current boom is a global phenomena - greed and fear making prices go up everywhere.

Nah, Auckland builds a lot slower than the rest of the world so prices go up a lot faster here because there is only speculation and stuff all new building.

In the short term Auckland gets excellent price returns, but in the long term a tsunami of over supply is coming that will lead to a global price reduction in rents (except in Auckland where the rent will remain high).

Auckland has a competitiveness crisis.

It is a crisis when I was told yesterday due to the construction boom it is currently taking up to 8 weeks just to get Concrete.

So why is every concrete supplier in Auckland so bloody useless that they can't scale up their operation a bit?

No one wants to put capital into plant it's better invested in something non-productive like an existing house. You'll find that most will not want to scale up and be burnt during a collapse in demand. It shows a lot of confidence in the Auckland market.

Because construction picked up much faster in other places and it was more profitable to invest elsewhere. We are the last place to start building and our growth is taking place right when the global construction boom of the last 5 years is showing signs of coming to an end.

Our idiot council finally opened up some land, albeit in the middle of nowhere, and we are belatedly having some growth. But we are very late to the party.

And then there is the logistics, we have adopted a policy of exurban growth. Where would you add capacity when growth is spread far and wide to Pukekohe to Wellsford?

Adding capacity in Auckland is risky and costly.

Any idea's what the under-utliization rate of housing is in AKL (i.e single home owner with 3bd's or more)?.
Anecdotal evidence in Sydney is that there is 20yrs of supply.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/twenty-years-of-sydney-housing-supply-locked-u...
Not sure if AKL figures exist.

Multistorey apartment cancellations have been because lack of bank finance and construction cost escallations. Flo in Avondale for instance was almost fully sold out.

Things have happened to improve the choked up supply side of NZ housing:

1, Capital investment (cashed up Aucklanders) leaving for the provinces, as reflected in last years big non-Auckland price rises. The provinces all build much faster than Auckland and thus supply increases faster than previously possible.

2, The updated Auckland Unitary Plan has freed up land in exurban Auckland. A staggeringly large amount of land for new sprawl is being opened up in the exurbs of Auckland. The Auckland Council plan of sprawling like a mutha-f**kr, means that building work is picking up in the Auckland Region and supply increasing.

Auckland Region is about to have a period of stagnant house prices, whilst the effects of mega-non-contiguous sprawl (more traffic, more pollution) and capital flight work their magic.

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'Lets not kid ourselves,'Auckland/ New Zealand has reached unsustainable household debt levels. The only convienent masking of Auckland's housing woes are to hide behind tenuous headlines attempting to keep the myth alive. Lets see the demand as prices fall 35-50 percent, as rising interest rates take equal chunks out of the economy, and hammers the NZD into submission, In the past 16 years we have managed to quadruple mortgage debt, whilst barely doubling the size of the economy, and where is the bulk of that mortgage debt- one city. We can keep it going a little longer, but there is no miracle on the horizon. Actually where is New Zealand's forseeable growth coming from, what will compensate for a collapse in housing values.

Brilliant comment. In theory at least that lower NZD should lead to new businesses forming....but the shakeout might be protracted. Dairy and tourism should continue to muddle along with a lower dollar.

We have a need for construction but I don't see the credit being available as prices fall and NZ inc becomes less fundable.

Be interesting to know how many Kiwis returning from OZ, have retained houses they previously bought in Auckland before heading across the ditch and are now tipping the tenants out. If that's common it will be driving rental demand up and dampening down the level of buying interest you'd normally expect from high immigration.

Does anyone know how much council levies , fees and taxes add to the cost of a sub-dividing a section in Auckland ?

Firslty , DC levies are simply a tax for which the council does nothing .

Then it costs another $14,000 for a water connection ( which doubled in 4 years) when inflation was 2% per annum .

And the sub-divider has to pay for everything that is processed by council , its an horrendously expensive exercise , and it contributes to the affordability issues we face

..a quick look back over the weekend at the overwhelmed, underfunded and crumbling sewerage and water sytems gives you an idea of why these costs are bing imosed. The system is designed for a much smaller population base. Add the billions needed here (listen to John Campbells interview yesterday) and the transport issues and we soon see why this growth traget/plan for Auckland is insanity. These cost you highlight are a reflection of actual burdens, not a fantasy tax.

It's time for the Mayors in this country, epsecially Goff, to start publilcy questioning the govts mass growth plans (never mind the climate refugees we will be expected to recieve from the Pacific over the coming years). This growth is a cost, not an income stream.

So if DCs are a tax for doing nothing, then i guess the council spending $40million of DCs purchasing land to expand greenspace at monte cecilia park is 'nothing' to you? Just small change for an insignificant park?

You only need to look at the disconnect between house price and rent to know there is no housing shortage, just speculative greed to get max CG!

Then look at the disconnect between local income and house prices to understand where the greed comes from mainly
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/03/daily-chart-6?fsrc=...

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yet Nick smith wants to build/ sell off reserves https://goo.gl/j8zD2T
Is it just me or is this guy crazzzzzy?

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I see him as New Zealand's Inverse Midas...everything he touches turns to sour milk (or insert preferred noun)...

Inverse midas indeed! tks for that term never heard it before

I think the Banks have tightened up but the fundamental problems have not... high immigration, low interest rates, demand from overseas buyers and tax breaks for property investors. So i do not see much of a change.

>" demand from overseas buyers and tax breaks for property investors. "

And the example of Vancouver suggests it's time to do something about foreign demand and favourable tax treatment. Before - like Vancouver - young Aucklanders have no future at all in their city of birth.

Government can play with future of the young as they do not vote.

Make your vote count and vote. Election not too far away

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Totally agree with David H that it is too early to say and should wait.

Remember that this government has not done anything to solve the housing crisis, instead is trying to support them by not taking any action (National Not taking any action = National Taking Action to support speculators and overseas buyer).

It is now up to the people of NZ to decide, do they want this government for the 4th Term or need a change.

And hot money into RE seems to have dried up? Sky casino not playing the intermediary anymore?

AML was passed yesterday covering RE, lawyers, accountants, they now have to report, can not turn a blind eye anymore
https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/new-anti-money-laundering-rules-will-have-...

“If there are people using the property industry as a way of laundering money, then this legislation will have quite a significant impact on that,” PM says.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament yesterday. It has not been passed yet.

Yes National have been really dragging their feet over this, so obvious that they don't want to upset their false economy. Rather than support our really economies such as: IT, tourism, agriculture and exports.

I think the turnover of Sky City would be an interesting comparison with Auck house prices. I sold up all Sky City shares before the major fall in Oct as I expected the Chinese crackdown to have an impact... with more downside to come as the foreign cash (that according to Key had little impact) dries up.

I don't know what the change in VIP income will be like. However hotel rooms in Auckland are really expensive this year and if you try to walk in to the flash restaurants at Sky City they are fully booked over the weekend.

Strong tourism seems to be dampening any effect.

The market knows, yeah. See Skycity's drop in share price when the Chinese government cracked down on Crown Resorts executives in Macau late last year: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1173...

"There's no money laundering through New Zealand" would make a great Tui billboard.

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Boiling water in Auckland soon ❗️
Guess the 70K migrants per year wasn't factored
into infrastructure ✅
Too much time wasted on flags✅

It was a 1 in 100 year event.

Planning for expansion of waikato pipeline well under way to cope with population increase

The National Government has done very well overall of running the country over the past few years, compared to most other countries, including Oz.
Yes we know houses are over the top for many on here, and I appreciate that it must be hard .
However the fact that our country is desirable is partly due to the National govts performance.
Seriously a mish mash of wannabes of Labour Greens etc. will be a shocker for NZ.
Labours promises are just that and have no substance to them.
They talk about affordable housing and yet they have no idea of how this is to be achieved and are just vague words.
Be very careful who u want to run the country. Yes if Labour get in then yes house prices will be cheaper for you, but you won't have any way of paying for the mortgage as they will not be able to work with the Greens

Yes that's correct "Da Man" (sorry but Iaugh/cringe every time I see that)

Remember that period during the 90's and early 2000's under Labour with Helen-Grad running the joint..

She sure as hell wasn't my choice but we didn't implode did we?

The mass unemployment, plummeting property prices, incomes shredded, NZ Inc bankrupt, cats and dogs living together.........Oh wait, none of that happened.........

Talk about hysterical BS.

DISCLAIMER: I voted for National during that entire period and haven't voted labour since 1988 when I was a student..

This ridiculous assertion that only a "centre-right" party can run the joint is nonsense - the greens scare me but they wouldn't get SFA chance of truly implementing some of the crazy stuff they spout any more than ACT...

Name us specifically one (or more) success(es) of the National Party over the previous 4 years, TM2.

The Nats gave us the Auckland Super City.

National gave us Max Key.

yes - i heard it said his new single will be worth billions to the economy?

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Rubbish.

National have simply borrowed through the GFC and post-earthquake while freezing budgets for critical services. (See the recent increase to police because of falling quality of services, resulting from Collins calling out English and Key on their underfunding.) Now we've got about $100 Billion of government debt, and a huge property bubble because they've done nothing to address housing demand despite having campaigned on the need to address the crisis.

The country has always been desirable, but in recent times we've invited more in under the guise of a dodgy PTE sector that functions as little more than a back-door visa entry. It's simply been an invitation to flood in from low income countries, and the expected flood has eventuated. While the government has tried to proclaim they come here for "a world class education", those who go through the sector know there's none of that going on.

And if you insist on driving housing prices further up, up and away - by voting National back in - why on earth will young Kiwis stay in New Zealand when you've left them no viable lifestyle to aspire to?

Property needs to be made about homes again - just as previous NZ governments did for you and your lot.

If we make "skilled migration" about "skilled" again, implement effective anti-money laundering measures, and make housing for New Zealanders first - e.g. via a foreign purchase stamp duty - then let's see how things balance out, price-wise.

At the end of the day a vote for National is a vote of self-interest to keep one's portfolio growing at the expense of young Kiwis. And upcoming generations.

A vote for National = #RentTillYouDie

(Disclosure: I say this as a former National voter who's never voted for Labour.)

Nice summary Rick. God defend NZ because the NAts sure aint.

Me I am voting TOP, I just couldn't vote Labour, nor NZF.

TOP sure have some good stuff, but I do think labour are starting to,perform. I'll be strategic voting, ousting the Nats is my priority. This and the last years of Muldoon would be the worst chapters in NZ political history.

National = Big talk, no walk.

Labour = No talk, no walk.

Well that sounds much more efficient. Plus, less scope for disappointment.

National = NZ Government

Labour = Auckland Council

Choose a proven level of incompetence.

I'm voting for Peter Dunne - he hasn't done anything.

Where has our positive "Boy" gone? You used to be so positive and great to read as everything was so wonderful out there. Now you constantly give us negative snivelling comments full of fear. Please get back to your old self for our sakes.

Thank you for your sage advice again THE MAN. I will follow your advice and vote for National and keep saving for a deposit having been forced out of Auckland, and probably next Wellington. Will buy in Christchurch multiple rentals as the returns are too good to be true.

Regardless of party, we need to stop property speculation foreign or domestic, protect the average man/woman right to achieve home ownership within our economy, and promote expenditure in productive assets or activity. Recommend...

Foreign -Slow immigration down, have stricter tests, kill the PTE training system that is back dooring residency, stop overseas ownership, target higher rates at empty housing, and heavily penalize those that defraud all of this, and those "Bleeping" lawyers/accountant kiwis that help them do so.

Domestic - Limit favorable tax treatment to new builds, promote apprentice training with some tax offset or similar, and make any property that has received any tax credit on owners personal income tax (even if its 10 cents) have a compulsory 30% capital gains tax regardless of tenure or holding period, kill interest only loans, keep 40% equity rule.

Unfortunately this is not National, so will be voting elsewhere.

Yeah will vote anyone but National.

National and Labour.. two sides of the same coin, we need change.

Gordon, not too sure about what you are on.
I have not been talking negatively at all! What are these negatives you are going on about?
Is it the LVRs?
NZ is a great place to live in.
Live in Chch and earthquakes and all still beleive that it is the place to be for lifestyle!
If people are not happy with the house prices in Auckland and want to own, then the only alternative is to move out.
Move to Sydney or Melbourne where there is job opportunities.
Try buying a so called affordable home there in close proximatey to the Centre.
Go

>"If people are not happy with the house prices in Auckland and want to own, then the only alternative is to move out."

So you're saying young people who were born and grew up in these centres should simply cede the cities of their birth to foreign buyers so that property investors can have their swollen portfolio prices?

What a great legacy to leave to one's children and grandchildren!

I'm from a small town and the only way to get anywhere was to move to a larger city. Now it's reversed. The kids these days just have to move with the times and let Auckland die.

"If people are not happy with the house prices in Auckland and want to own, then the only alternative is to move out."

That's a very defeatist attitude, you're missing out voting for a party that gives a damn, protesting and contacting your MP to register your displeasure at the situation.

Yes it's wise to wait for March figures as March is one of the strongest months of the year, but very low March auction clearance rates, low sales volumes and resulting increased housing stock for sale means the market in Auckland HAS turned. For the rest of the country it's much less certain as prices are much, much more affordable and resulting yields are higher.

In some industries/businesses such as dairy farmers or car sales yard the stock (cows or cars) are included in the tax return each year at valuation (methods vary) and tax is levied on the difference as part of the total return. Doing that for all property "investors" would quickly lower the appeal.

Yep. Method of choice would be cost rather than market (or other) value. Hence no impact.

"while New Zealand still gives taxation advantages to housing investment over other asset classes"

David please can you clarify what these so-called taxation advantages to housing investment over other asset classes are?

Untaxed capital gains? Nope. Capital gains are similarly tax free on other investments such as shares where the purpose of investment is for the income stream (ask Gareth Morgan how much tax he had to pay on capital gains from his investment in Trademe for example).

Tax deduction for cost of borrowing? Nope again. If I borrow to invest in the share market the interest costs are deductible just like if I borrow to invest in property.

Appreciate this isn't the point of your article (which is a great article by the way), however the myth that housing has tax advantages has basically become widely accepted precisely because of these type of references. It simply isn't true (at least not to my understanding - I'm willing to be proved wrong).

the tax advantage is that the "total return is rental net return (taxable) plus capital gain (non taxable)". Go to any property seminar and they'll tell you that. The system allows you to set up a business that is showing a loss (negative yield) from day one and claim the losses while aiming for the capital gain. Totally different situation from a having a successful business sell at a profit
How can anyone seriously claim a "business" when it is set up to show a loss?
That alone should be evidence enough for IRD to deduce intent to make capital gain and thus taxable uinder present tax law

Incorrect. That is exactly the same tax treatment as investment in any other asset class. Eg. Shares I pay tax on dividends but not capital gain.

...you're too late to the party. This has been explained until wer'e all blue in the face. Go study the TOP policy's and you'll get an idea. Then compare what breaks a landlord gets compared to a home owner.

Sorry Rastas you are wrong. The claim was that property investment has tax advantages over other investment classes not over owning the house you live in.

Also I understand top policy pretty well actually. It's been held out as attacking property but the same tax treatment they propose similarly addresses other investment classes in exactly the same way as property.

So more urban myths and alternative facts.

Other investments do not receive WFF. Nor is their prime focus tax free gains whilst masquerading as a business. Back to kindy my friend, your are too out of touch to play here.

Re the myth that housing has tax advantages... I dont have a property investment, but do you pay GST on your earnings? as your tenant is paying for goods.

No gst on rental services fair enough. Same can be said for financial services though so this is not specific to property over all other investment classes.

Mikeo, agree completely. About the only one you missed is deprecation.
I consider depreciation to be a interest free loan that at worst I have to pay back in full,
NZ Housing has lost building depreciation (tis a shame as eventually the building will need replacing, though 4% was too generous), AUS still has it.
Cost of interest is another difference.

Cost of interest is deductible for any investment class. Depreciation no longer can be claimed on residential property so less favourable treatment than some other investment classes e.g plant and machinery

yes, mikeo , you should attend some of these property investment seminars (they are free) like I did.

These "experts will "bang on" all night how the tax system favours property investment over any other investment.

You may learn something from an evening with these people!
I suggest you go to one.

The seminar is free...and then the course following is basically $10,000.

David's analysis is incomplete without discussion of the effects of capital controls in China on property markets, eg as someone posted on another thread this morning:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-26/world-s-biggest-real-...

What happens with future capital outflows from China is important, no?

The rest of the world acknowledges the effects of Chinese money flooding (or suddenly, not flooding) into their property markets. I don't know why our media doesn't do the same...

I think the reason they - and the government - do not acknowledge it comes down to vested interest and a desire to make a quick buck, even if it does mean selling Auckland - and other places - out from under the next generations.

As soon as they acknowledge it's a major component of demand, questions will start being asked about whether this sellout should be condoned or discouraged (e.g. via a hefty stamp duty).

No strong opposition and no strong media but definetly voting for change of government. National has to go or if given 4th term - young generation will have no choice but to move out of NZ.

Not only young but all who have no house.

The current govt immigration policy is quite right as we have skilled shortage of labour force, but need to modify the current policies such as the immigrants have to stay on the skilled jobs for at least 5 years, this is to avoid people got the job (or buy a skilled job), stay until got PR then quit it. The govt should lower quota for work visa, lower skilled categories and increase the time for benefit eligibility from current 2 years to 5 years.

And they found the right economist to support their rhetoric - good 'ol Tony Alexander.

Here's the current rules
While there is no capital gains tax in New Zealand, some capital gains - on shares, property or other assets - are taxed as if they are income.
The gains are taxable - and losses deductible - if you are in the business of trading the assets, or if the profits are business profits.
But gains are also taxable if they "come from any undertaking entered into or devised for a profit-making purpose", or if you bought the assets "with the clear and dominant purpose" of "selling or otherwise disposing of them".
The law exists it just needs to be applied- and watch the investor market fall