Average Auckland house price inches back to $1.1m; National average rises to $628k; Uncertainty remains over whether LVR restrictions and looming interest rate rises will keep slowing house price growth

Image sourced from Pixabay

Lending restrictions and looming interest rate rises are subduing rampant house price growth, but question marks remain over whether the slow-down is here to stay.   

Quotable Value’s (QV) December House Price Index shows residential property prices throughout the country rose by 1.3% over the three months to December, and 12.5% over the year, with the national average hitting $627,905.

While the average is at a record high, the annual growth rate has nudged down from 14.2% in December 2015.

Looking at Auckland, home values increased by 1.5% in the three months to December and 12.2% over the year, reaching $1.047 million.

However the year-on-year price growth was the slowest since January 2015, with prices actually inching back 0.4%, or $4200, from November to December. 

Barfoot and Thompson data released on Monday showed a similar trend in the Super City, with sales volumes in December falling to their lowest level since 2011.  

QV national spokesperson, Andrea Rush, says: “December saw a continuation of the trend of a slowing rate of value growth, activity and demand. 

“This trend has been seen in many of the main centres since the introduction of the loan to value ratios (LVRs), which require a minimum 40% deposit for investment properties.

“This coupled with the annual Christmas holiday period slow-down has led to a decrease in values in some parts of Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch since November."

Will the LVR-led slow-down stick?

However Rush is unsure whether national house price growth will continue to ease throughout the year.

“A similar trend of plateauing/decreasing values was seen in the Auckland market over the summer period last year following the introduction of the (30%) LVRs for the Super City region only,” she says.

“In 2016, the Auckland market then picked up in March, which is usually the busiest month of the year, and it’s possible we may see this happen again.

“However, if interest rates continue to rise during 2017 this may further reduce demand from investors and lead to a longer period of lower value growth.”

QV’s Auckland general manager, Jan O’Donoghue, says it already “appears some investors are choosing not to buy more property as they have lower expectations of potential capital gains during 2017”.

“But any slow-down will be balanced by the fact the market is still being driven by strong net migration, relatively low interest rates and a lack of supply compared to demand, particularly in Auckland,” Rush says.

Auckland

O’Donoghue adds Auckland properties with sub-division potential (under the new Unitary Plan) are still selling well and achieving record prices.

“This includes properties in areas that are close to up and coming town centres and have good transport links, in suburbs such as Mt Wellington and New Lynn,” she says.

Hamilton

QV general manager, Richard Allen, says the Hamilton market has become one of two tiers.

Poperties over $550,000 are attracting buyers, but those under $550,000 are proving less popular, as LVR restrictions are deterring investors. This has however provided an opening for first home buyers.

“We have also noticed an increase in the number of movers who are up-selling homes under $550,000, and buying more upmarket properties of up to around $700,000 with the capital gain they have made,” he says.

Tauranga

QV valuer, David Hume, says the announcement and immediate implementation of the LVR restrictions in July saw a cooling off in the Tauranga market, although things have picked up in recent months.

“Rents have continued to increase throughout 2016, with an average three bedroom house now renting for $100 more than it did two years ago,” he says.

“The prestige market has shown good growth over the last six months with a number of sales in excess of $1.5 million, on the back of a strong stable economy and cashed up Auckland buyers looking for a lifestyle change.”

Wellington

In Wellington, values are continuing to rise faster than in Auckland, but at a slightly slower rate than prior to the LVRs being introduced.

QV valuer, David Cornford, says first home buyers are active and seem to be taking advantage of the fact there are fewer investors in the market.

He also notes the effect of the earthquake appears to have largely disappeared in the housing market.

Christchurch

QV valuer, Damian Kennedy, says the market is quiet in Christchurch, with December listings down around 20% from December 2015.

“Well-presented homes in the $500,000 price bracket remain popular as do entry level homes,” he says.

“Some first home buyers who are buying properties with parental support are finding they are being affected by the LVR changes also, as the support they are receiving from parents is at times being classed as an investment.

“A lot of people in Christchurch are under-insured and need to increase their level of insurance. However, there appears to have been little effect in terms of people addressing this even in light of recent earthquakes.”

Dunedin

LVRs haven’t affected the Dunedin market, as house prices and sales activity have remained strong throughout the Christmas period.

“This is likely to be due to the fact the Dunedin housing market offers a much lower entry level and price point than the other main centres. Thus it’s easier for investors to find a 40% deposit to purchase there and investors have remained active there,” Rush says.  

QV House Price Index December 2016
Territorial authority Average current value 12 month change%
Auckland Region 1,047,179 12.2%
Wellington Region 574,410 20.5%
Main Urban Areas 751,460 12.3%
Total New Zealand 627,905 12.5%
     
Far North 376,947 14.7%
Whangarei 457,990 20.3%
Kaipara 467,348 27.8%
Auckland - Rodney 929,162 14.0%
Rodney - Hibiscus Coast 903,672 12.4%
Rodney - North 957,501 15.6%
Auckland - North Shore 1,218,254 11.8%
North Shore - Coastal 1,395,709 12.1%
North Shore - Onewa 975,593 11.1%
North Shore - North Harbour 1,184,533 12.4%
Auckland - Waitakere 840,639 12.4%
Auckland - City 1,218,979 11.2%
Auckland City - Central 1,062,115 11.7%
Auckland_City - East 1,520,349 10.7%
Auckland City - South 1,104,779 11.5%
Auckland City - Islands 1,021,594 12.7%
Auckland - Manukau 904,516 13.6%
Manukau - East 1,161,823 13.7%
Manukau - Central 688,248 11.1%
Manukau - North West 781,663 15.4%
Auckland - Papakura 681,953 13.3%
Auckland - Franklin 659,906 13.8%
Thames Coromandel 636,951 16.5%
Hauraki 353,162 30.0%
Waikato 429,013 24.6%
Matamata Piako 390,849 26.8%
Hamilton 534,860 20.4%
Hamilton - North East 681,272 21.3%
Hamilton - Central & North West 499,701 20.0%
Hamilton - South East 484,566 19.2%
Hamilton - South West 467,435 19.0%
Waipa 486,655 24.8%
Otorohanga 246,849 9.2%
South Waikato 184,672 32.4%
Waitomo 172,581 17.0%
Taupo 413,011 14.0%
Western BOP 571,520 23.0%
Tauranga 672,197 24.0%
Rotorua 375,187 27.1%
Whakatane 373,702 20.4%
Kawerau 176,324 60.2%
Opotiki 250,147 16.0%
Gisborne 269,266 16.7%
Wairoa 164,486 11.0%
Hastings 387,133 20.0%
Napier 415,189 20.7%
Central Hawkes Bay 251,001 14.6%
New Plymouth 411,160 10.4%
Stratford 237,270 13.2%
South Taranaki 198,035 5.2%
Ruapehu 155,436 16.5%
Whanganui 204,916 8.3%
Rangitikei 160,210 9.2%
Manawatu 284,779 12.3%
Palmerston North 345,068 14.5%
Tararua 168,576 9.2%
Horowhenua 254,113 19.1%
Kapiti Coast 480,923 23.0%
Porirua 477,692 20.1%
Upper Hutt 422,596 21.7%
Hutt 470,907 21.3%
Wellington 693,842 21.9%
Wellington - Central & South 697,056 21.6%
Wellington - East 738,555 18.2%
Wellington - North 614,937 23.1%
Wellington - West 815,985 24.0%
Masterton 271,912 11.6%
Carterton 315,863 18.9%
South Wairarapa 363,766 14.8%
Tasman 499,082 14.4%
Nelson 499,866 16.6%
Marlborough 421,688 15.2%
Kaikoura 401,384 8.5%
Buller 185,826 -1.9%
Grey 212,567 5.1%
Westland 233,680 1.0%
Hurunui 374,684 5.2%
Waimakariri 431,724 3.5%
Christchurch 494,247 2.5%
Christchurch - East 368,548 0.7%
Christchurch - Hills 656,669 0.5%
Christchurch - Central & North 585,705 3.2%
Christchurch - Southwest 474,260 4.1%
Christchurch - Banks Peninsula 513,275 4.8%
Selwyn 544,335 3.8%
Ashburton 352,732 3.2%
Timaru 334,433 6.5%
MacKenzie 410,692 25.0%
Waimate 225,411 4.7%
Waitaki 256,882 10.6%
Central Otago 398,063 15.7%
Queenstown Lakes 1,022,214 31.6%
Dunedin 354,133 14.6%
Dunedin - Central & North 368,259 13.5%
Dunedin - Peninsular & Coastal 308,938 11.4%
Dunedin - South 338,291 15.9%
Dunedin - Taieri 371,192 16.4%
Clutha 186,819 14.1%
Southland 228,760 7.6%
Gore 201,719 9.7%
Invercargill 236,416 9.8%

QV house price index

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74 Comments

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13

When 50% of demand is from "housing investors", the entire "housing shortage" is greatly exaggerated and fabricated.

Also please stop spreading the false narrative that "it's only temporary", a lot more has changed since the LVR restrictions were increased i.e interest rates are trending up, banks have tightened up lending and won't recognize foreign derived income and there's a possibility of a change in government to one that will actually take action.

February the house prices will rocket upwards regardless of restrictions because of massive immigration. 70,000 people have to live somewhere.

Sydney and Melbourne are still skyrocketing with restrictions and stamp duty.

Rock on Auckland Family home owners!

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13

WE GOT IT TED! Give it a rest now. Lets wait for end Feb to comment, shall we?

Dear Editor - you clamped down on perceived bad language and behavior on this site so surely a "contributor" with multiple account names posting the same comments all over the internet (you, the NBR etc) with no rational comment or discussion intended can be removed for all our sakes?

Just do a quick google on Ted Stanton aka "Mark Stansfield" aka "Paul Cranston" aka "David Sumner" aka "Paul Stevens" aka "John Prentegast"...

It's all the same person

Goodonya Ted !! .......let's see the average Auckland price at 1.5 mill by July and 35% "owner-occupied" ...a true winning combination for the national economy !

I disagree, investors will be paying more for their current properties in terms of interest rate rising. They will not be interested in buying more rentals. I don't see many people coming into nz with a Million in the bank to be able to buy in NZ. Cant see NZ banks giving them such lending so best hope is they get it in their own country;)
But Feb will tell....lets see;)

Rock on Auckland Family home owners!

you are what is wrong with this country. I hope i never have to step foot here again once I leave. You and your precious captial gains wrecking this country, displacing people, causing immense suffering.

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25

I think the author forgot to talk about the impact of Chinese home buyers? Oh my bad! I forgot, we're not allowed to talk about that are we. Doesn't matter that the Chinese are in fact the price setters in Auckland, Vancouver, Sydney, London etc and have been for a long time, or that all the real estate brochures in Auckland are now in mandarin. I get the felling that the government and real estate industry would rather consider ocean currents, or dust patterns on Mars as price contributing factors.

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14

I reckon foreign buyers, and not just Chinese, some come from a different part of globe and are in a different part of the market, are the number causation of ludicrous house prices. Take them out and put some serious anti-investment in the existing market measures in place and house prices would reflect what CAN be paid by NZ citizens.

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13

I don't care where anyone is from, the fact is NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUY UNLESS THEY ARE A PERMANENT RESIDENT.

On another note: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/88266505/why-chinese-familie...

WHo are you to deny this poor old lady free healthcare and super when she paid exactly $0 in taxes?

That is an interesting article and the comments especially. The readers are generally quite gushing. There exists in the Kiwi psych quite a bit of self hatred and contempt for their own. Compare this story in stuff and how different the comments are, except the first comment which is excellent. I know she is Australian but same thing really.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/87460843/bindi-irwin-fa...

Fun anecdote: When I go on my regular jogs around the neighbourhood I incorporate picking up litter in my routine. I'm hoping this will catch on as bending down is good exercise and keeping the street tidy improves property values. Anyway I find a surprising number of discarded Chinese brand cigarette packets. I have been given the thumbs up by several elderly Chinese gentlemen for my eccentric activity however.

Fun fact: More people in Dublin speak Mandarin than Irish.

More also speak Polish, Slovak, and Czech, than Irish (Celtic)

Of course it is a bit different if you head further south.

Umm.. Zachary obviously doesn't understand Irish sense of humor!

Chinese new year! Happy days are arriving with cashed up Chinese buying up large in Auckland away from the smog of Bejing.

By March Auckland home owners who are hard working families paying mortgages will celebrate a continuing capital gain.

While home owners might "celebrate" a capital gain, what about their children who head overseas because no matter how hard-working they are, no matter how high a percentage of their income they save, no matter the sacrifices they make to buy a reasonable place to call home, the best they can hope for is a run down property that has had nothing spent on maintenance since it was built and which will require a good chunk of cash (that they very likely don't have) just to take it up to the standard that it was when it was built, notwithstanding that that in all likelihood means it will be a cold, perhaps even damp house.

While some smug home owners are revelling in the capital gain they are making from the good fortune of having been able to buy at a time when prices were reasonable, those of us of a different generation (who DO work very hard and who save a very high percentage of our income) are struggling to buy even a reasonable place to call our own home. I hope you enjoy reveling in your fellow countrymen's misfortune and the immense headaches and heartache it is causing MANY of us.

PaulO - and capital gains that many of them will take to their graves and what might one day benefit their overseas based children at some point, probably when they no longer need it. Personally, I don't celebrate the capital gains on my house - I never intend to downsize as that would be a sign of having mismanaged my lifestyle, so where's the upside in the capital gain ? - yet I feel for my children as FHBs who have some very vunerable equity in their houses I suspect.

Leverage into high yielding business endeavors. Borrowing at 5% against equity is a no brainer for funding business activity, whether that be buying proper rentals that yield 7% plus, or any other business activity that provides a valuable good or service for which people are willing to pay for.

It's not just misfortune and heartache. It's inducing severe anxiety and major depression in some of us. I don't pop in that much anymore, I don't do much anymore really. I'm very sick and need to get better. It's more than a financial thing if people really look at it, I feel like a failure and that sort of thinking circle leads to nowhere good. I wear my heart on my sleeve so I apologise if this comment makes people mad - I'm trying to pull the bootstraps up, I am.

They dont care. They dont care if people are strugglying, they won lotto literally and dont care what the consequences are for anyone else.

March?

Thought it was February Ted.

Next it'll be April....

Ted: So what evidence do you have that there buyers are arriving?

Do you know that China has enforced Capital Flight and has banned Chinese Investors from buying overseas property!

we know with falling home ownership now 63% rates the advantages investors have over FHB could be wound back with a change of government.
same with rental regulations, more will come in tilted towards the tenant
politicians will go where the votes are and that is a big block of votes,
add in OO that are not investors whose children or grandchildren can now not afford the first home and have to rent and you have well over 50% of the country

Ownership rates in AKL are ~50%

People are stupid, and will vote against their own interests.

Jenee could we also have the past three month's results as well?

Sure. Here it is: 

Territorial authority Average current value 12 month change% 3 month change % Since 2007 market peak change %
Auckland Region 1,047,179 12.2% 1.5% 91.6%
Wellington Region 574,410 20.5% 3.9% 26.1%
Main Urban Areas 751,460 12.3% 1.1% 63.6%
Total New Zealand 627,905 12.5% 1.3% 51.5%

Here's a link with the full data set that includes 3-month changes for all the regions. I have added this link to the story too. 

Here's also a link to the story we did on the November 2016 results, you can have a look at for comparison purposes. 

You can still draw a straight line through that house price growth and the only way is up. Fact is even if it leveled off now and held for 10 years, the wages in this country are so bad the home ownership would only increase a few percent over those years. Don't see much change in our prices if you look whats happening in world, the air pollution in China is killing you no matter how rich you are, no wonder they want to get out. It's National back in in the next election, even if its not its situation normal with house prices as ultimately its the home owners who control the pricing, not the government.

in the topic of immigration, it needs to be stressed that there are many different background, situations and stories. For my Indian colleague to buy a 800000 house in Mangere is a dream of a lifetime and it's worth having to skimp on holidays and everything else (never been out of AKL in 7 years). He comes from a 3rd world country and this is is opportunity. He of course brought in his parents and his brother's family to take care of the offspring.
For me to buy a piece of damp cardboard in Mangere would be a massive step backwards from how I grew up in Italy in a solid house with central eating, triple insulated glass and century old cherry and oak furniture lol.
My parents would never leave the place they lived in for 50 years where they have all their friends and things.
So yeah not all immigrants are playing the houses game and leaving off NZSuper

When I was in the UK recently I was very impressed by many of the houses with their double brick construction and double insulated glass windows. This makes the houses efficient to heat and very quiet. Places south of London are still quite reasonably priced compared to Auckland. We are seriously contemplating retiring to this locality. The locals tell me that the weather can be tiresome though.

The New Zealand weather is a major advantage and I think we have an edge over Australia in this regard. Not too hot and not too cold. Combine that with a society that has very little corruption, a culture of equality and freedom and British institutional foundations and we have a definite winner. Sounding like Ted now but the fact remains we are pretty awesome.

I have spoken to an Italian builder here in Auckland about the poor quality of houses and he put it down squarely on cost of materials compared to Italy and something about salt in the sand used for concrete that eats out the rebar

Salt alone won't eat metal

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11

Residential property investment, as a business activity, deserves a harder look. It is unlike almost any other business I can think of. And the difference is less to do with any tax advantage than it is ethical.

I can think of few other businesses so actively, and apparently blindly, engaged in further impoverishing those less fortunate, and destroying opportunities for the next generation. Every gain in an investor’s house price values diminishes the lives of others around them and those to come, by leaching valuable and hard-to-replace independence and security from other individuals and families, and thus from society.

The independence and security of an enlarging middle class has been one of the foundations of functioning democracy. When this independence and security is lost, and society divides (or re-divides) between property owners and their dependent tenants, our inherited social fabric is torn in two.

How many residential property investors weigh the ethical and social implications of their activities? But I recognise too that individual investors are merely the nozzle on the hose that runs back to the banking system.

I don't have time to properly respond.... but I think u have this completely wrong Workingman.The death of the middle class has far more to do with other forces...in my view.
debasement of Fiat monetary system plus the deflationary forces of Globalization in terms of wages and the Global inflationary forces of asset prices are the 2 biggest forces .

Land prices is just a manifestation of that ... in my view

Roelof - I thoroughly agree. Too many look at the "noise" and miss the much bigger picture. The position for the likes of NZ and Australian property is more severe as we never had the big GFC inspired falls in house prices like europe and the US, but we still suffer from the overhang of the issues you mention and thus making position even more vunerable than many others countries - fortunately we don't have an over supply like they did in 2007, but even then its only record low interest rates that has keep the affordability bearable for some - when that changes I worry ?

...he's got it pretty right. So where does he blame housing for the death of the middleclass?

The prostitute does the work, the pimp makes the money.

But in news that is way more significant than house prices...ANZ have sold UDC to a major Chinese company.

http://www.interest.co.nz/news/85451/anz-agrees-sell-udc-major-asset-finance-and-leasing-company-hna-group-660-million-udc

gee i have been saying this for awhile now see others agree with me
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1178...

Once John Key stopped denying the housing crisis NZH felt they could publish opinions in relation to it.

One thing that happened in 2014 was the change in LVRs at 80%+ that banks were allowed to hold on their mortgage book. That effectively forced me to buy with a 20% deposit. So the restrictions were effective at making things very difficult for FHB.

I am quite concerned for my friends that are a lot younger and who are only just starting to earn or otherwise leave education. They are going to struggle a lot.

welcome home loan! (kiwi bank and tsb) For those lucky fhb's outside of auckland

Yes and rents are rising: Brace yourself: Auckland rents are rising
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1177...

Our rent for our 2bdr duplex unit went up $10 per week...nothing to see here, move on

Just wait and see what rises are really like if the interest rates rise. Don't think for a second your landlord cannot pass it on to tenants because they will, you can always push the rent towards what the mortgage cost is on it is per week. Some people are squealing that 25% of their pay goes on the Mortgage, that is a joke try paying 75% of your pay on a Mortgage if you want something a whole lot less that 30 years. Plenty of room to suck tenants dry that end up with nothing to show for it yet.

thats just the way of the world, if wages don't go up then people will just have to spend less elsewhere, get where I'm going. interest rates up rents up but that interest is not being spent locally.

that is the consequence of less OO and high house prices, if more and more funds are spent in the direction of housing then less gets spent in the consumer economy that creates the jobs, not to count the balance of payments as all that money flows offshore,
the only sure bet here is he who holds the debt is the winner

On fixed term tenancy so we will have to wait and see what happens in 12-months time. We are lucky our landlords are awesome and reasonable. Yes they could hike the rent next year but hey that is in the future and we can't be worried about what may or may not happen.

they can increase it every 6 months even if the lease is for 12 months. Thank you

Not in our agreement they can't. I'm sure more unreasonable landlords would pull all sorts of tricks to get the rent up.

25% is a sensible target figure. Targeting 15-20 years doesn't take that much more in payments and it shouldn't be chewing up 75% of net income (unless your mortgage is very large).

" Plenty of room to suck tenants dry that end up with nothing to show for it yet."...that's some statement

Stay Classy....

This place changes headlines, first it was "auckland continues to decline" then they changed it to some mumbo jumbo. Now its "increases soften", so if increases are slowlng, why did auckland prices drop.

Sleepydog, I think you're getting confused between this story on QV data (which is national) and Monday's story on Barfoot's data (which just focuses on Auckland).

In either case - across the country, house prices are increasing, but at a slower rate. In Auckland, they have fallen in the month to December.

Did they only fall in Dec?

According to QV, they only fell in Dec in Auckland. According to Barfoot's, they fell in Nov and Dec in Auckland. Both firms use slightly different methods to collect their data.

And it was in November when it started to surface in the media that China had reinforced it's Capital Flight controls due to Trump getting in to power.

Is everyone on the same page now? I can give you more details if you like.

Please do.

QV is a bit behind?

and then surely it becomes a balancing act for landlords; How much can they increase Vs the loss of a good tenant - which means potential void periods, and the chance of getting a not-so-good tenant in next time. We left our last rental when the landlord wanted to put the rent up and got a better deal for doing so, the landlord in the meantime lost rental payments which far exceeded their desired increase. Rents are determined by the ability of tenants to pay them, not by the size of your mortgage.

Landlords aren't the sharpest tools in the shed even though they think they are because they were able to buy property before foreigners bought it all up making prices surge up.

Christchurch on the brink of going negative I see.

You cant get more rent because you nortgage payments go up. I found I always could put the rent up and get tenants. Or just tell the existing rent was going up.
But but but. New tenants would turn out to be non payers, existing tenants would soon leave.
Market determines the rent you can get -not your cozts - not your wishlist.

Yes, good tenants are precious and need to be looked after. I am always battling the agents to stop them from raising rents.

I think im done with NZ. now. this country has literally gone down the drain. So many greedy people and i dont want to be around when it crashes or becomes a waste land of homeless and those that have.

New Zealand is only getting better. New Zealand had a positive net-migration gain from Australia for the first time since 1991.

More expat Kiwis are moving back to New Zealand from overseas.

how much of that is due to the howard / clark changes and are forced to move back to gain services.
not saying it is wrong, but many work in aussie to get ahead then move back later in life, where before they may have stayed

We are so generous in NZ that we let ANYONE come here and they can bring their elderly parents to get the pension and free healthcare meanwhile we have 40,000 NZers homeless. I know of a 70 year old who lost his house and is now living in a fricken caravan. It's disgusting.

No one is moving back from Aus to NZ to get ahead. You are simply worse off here, in terms of wages and house prices/CoL...Sydney might be the only exception.

The people moving back might be due to other personal reasons.

And if we are having such record numbers of NZers returning, then why the hell are we letting in anyone from any other country move over here?

#NATEXIT needs to happen.

The answer to your question might be found here in this article by CroakingCassandra
https://croakingcassandra.com/category/immigration/

Michael Reddell, a native kiwi, is in the "small targetted migration" camp while the powerful megaphonic NZ Initiative are imported blow-ins who are in the "unlimited let-em-all-in" camp

This is going to be an interesting contest - who will win?

No one to blame but ourselves for voting National 3 times (well I didn't)

I think Labour would have let it run its course as well. Key was campaigning to lower house prices before he came to power, and what did he do?

Prices started going mental when Nanny Helen was in power, I know cause we were paying off student debt and could not afford to buy, next time we looked they had just about doubled.

0

Herald editorialising about risky house prices - turnaround of the year so far. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/editorial/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503843&object...

If an investor tries to buy a home as residential property but then lets family rent it out, does that violate their loan terms with a bank?