Key says expects RBNZ to take extra measures to limit lending to rental property investors in Auckland and other high growth areas; RBNZ to speak on Thursday on housing market and Macro-Prudential policy

Key says expects RBNZ to take extra measures to limit lending to rental property investors in Auckland and other high growth areas; RBNZ to speak on Thursday on housing market and Macro-Prudential policy
Prime Minister John Key talking to reporters on April 12, 2016 in Parliament. Photo by Lynn Grieveson for Hive News.

By Bernard Hickey

Prime Minister John Key has given the strongest signal yet that he expects the Reserve Bank to announce new measures to limit lending to rental property investors as the Government grapples with double-digit housing inflation and the Reserve Bank faces having to cut interest rates again.

Key told reporters before Question Time in Parliament he expected the Reserve Bank to take action sooner rather than later as he responded to questions about figures from Barfoot and Thompson and QV showing rental property investors jumping in and house prices accelerating ahead of an expected third round of Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) controls.

He was asked about what the Reserve Bank was considering, given it announced earlier on Tuesday that Deputy Governor Grant Spencer would deliver a speech on Thursday evening that covered the areas of macro-prudential policy and the housing market.

Spencer and Governor Graeme Wheeler signaled on June 9 they were considering the potential for a third round of LVR controls before the end of the year "or before that." See our article on that here.

Speculation has intensified in recent weeks that the Reserve Bank could either lower the current 70% LVR threshold for rental property investors in Auckland, and/or extend it to the rest of the country.

Key said he did not know what Spencer would say in the speech, but that the Government had been having regular discussions with the Reserve Bank about the issue.

'They should get on with it'

Asked about Spencer's planned speech and whether the Reserve Bank needed to introduce a third round of controls on investors, he said: "Yeah, I think there is a responsibility for the Reserve Bank to have a look at the question around investors. We've had those discussions with the Reserve Bank."

"They can control that part of the market and I don't know exactly what he'll say on Thursday, but certainly the government's perspective I think has been that having a look at that might make some sense," he said.

Asked if the Reserve Bank could extend the Auckland investor restrictions across the country and/or further lower the threshold in Auckland, Key said: "My own view is that he should make some movements in that area, yes."

Asked if he was optimistic about the Reserve Bank further tightening those restrictions, he said: "Not on Thursday, but over time, potentially."

Key said he had had broad ranging discussions with the Reserve Bank.

"It's a double edged sword, of course. You need investors in the market to make sure there is rental property, but my sense is that potentially one of the risks is that you have got people buying properties at the moment, borrowing more money, but fearful that the Reserve Bank is going to move," he said.

"So if they are going to make changes, probably better they should get on with it."

Key was then asked if it was an issue all over the country or just in Auckland.

"It depends a little bit. It's in those high growth areas. Actually if you look at the QV data, Auckland did go up, obviously, rapidly, but places like Tauranga and Hamilton were faster."

Asked if he preferred the Reserve Bank should focus on Auckland or all of the country, he said: "They should look at those high growth areas."

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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watch out landlords, next will be more renter friendly policies, i have been saying this for ages, once the voter block shifts from owners to renters that is who the main parties will look after

That is still a million miles away from happening.

Not in auckland there are more renters than home owners, and that is the biggest voting block of NZ

How did you come to that conclusion?

check the stats we will know for sure in this years census if we are past the tipping point
Census year Percentage of households who owned their home (
Auckland New Zealand
1986 73.9 73.7
1991 72.7 73.8
1996 69.2 70.7
2001 64.4 67.8
2006 63.8 66.9
2013 61.5 64.8

What the statistics don't tell you is how many renters are living in homes owned by a Trust. If the housing assets sits in a Trust then the Trust owns the property not the person living in it even if it is their Trust.....

Or what if the house is owned through a Company structure or a Company structure collects the rent.....for some reason people look at home ownership as only being in an individuals or couples name and never consider that many houses are actually owned by legal structures.

Unfortunately renters are less likely to vote


Now, if only we can get the horse back in the stable..

Too late.The door's been locked from the inside.


Its too late now, unless the AKL house prices fall they are out of the reach of most FTHB in AKL.

JK getting nailed at question time right now, given he himself grew up in a state house.


Sounds like JK has hit the panic button at last. The horse has certainly bolted and it will take serious measures or some kind of economic event to slow housing inflation down. Why did he not talk like this earlier. Talk about dropping the ball.


He's barely clapped eyes on it, let alone dropped it, he is not even that sure he even knows what it is.

Bubble is getting out of control and country is fed up of their lies and next year is election year, also will be looking in other parts of the world, like Britain, USA and near us Australia and will be worried that now cannot take people for granted and hopefully should realize that they now stand exposed and isolated.

Can Read comments not only in this website but in other social media, which is staring to pik up and will build up by election.

Unless Labour Leader Mr Andrew Little too chicken out and does not call spade a spade. This is the best opportunity for him to gain trust of the people as national has lost trust and the way they are continuing with denial and lie, chances of winning back are dim.


Well things where going swimmingly just before the GFC as well....

European banks are in crisis, China is having a Minsky Moment, and the US / FED is in no position to come to rescue anyone this time.... Cant see QE causing anything but market panic if tried again.

Yeap, in fact everything and everyone that supposably mattered was at triple AAA ratings! then......boom. Reality


Some meaningful steps are long overdue - and could have been done without John Key giving approval. The RBNZ has the responsibility for overall financial stability and curbing an investor-driven housing bubble is a key component of that.

As one of the headlines above says: 'They should get on with it'. They do not need to give investors yet another nudge-nudge and wink warning of action to be analysed and perhaps implemented next year. It should just be implemented.

Yeah correct. No talk but only action

the reserve bank could have whacked a massive interest premium onto investment property to curb demand. This could have been implemented via the asset risk weightings. They have this mechanism at their disposal NOW. Why the posturing? What a plucking waste of space Wheeler has become. They keep tinkering around the edges - too little too late guv!

Why punish NZers kane2? The foreign money caused the problem and will carry on. The NZ investors are just a side show that will stabilize when the foreign money is removed from the market. If you punish the NZ investor the foreign money will have no competition and just carry on.

its not punishing nz'ers - its trying to contain a risk. interest rates are a mechanism for pricing risk. at the moment we have historically low interest rates coupled with high levels of risk in respect of housing stock. once imbalances are removed, rates will return to normal.

In terms of interest rate premiums these would be passed on only to property investors. the investor has the option to either pass that cost on to tenants, or absorb it. Many tenants can only pay so much for rent so that would leave landlords carrying the can.

All of a sudden owning a large investment portfolio of dead assets isn't so appealing.


All very well but what does this do for all the overseas buyers who do not use our banks. Just makes it easier for them so the job is only half done. Nothing will change until the last hole is plugged.


Don't worry they'll be scratching their heads in another few more months wondering why house prices haven't really gone down, even through they're now gradually locking out Kiwi property investors.

Wouldn't want to restrict the Non-resident Investors now would we.... ? Time to tweak those stas again!

This all beginning to look like Muldoon madness one new rule after another. The reality many years in the making and many years to resolve.


More BS from Key .....nothing concrete or factual and as an ex money trader he should know better. Where is the "munny" coming from ? The problem is overseas money !!! ...nothing to do with the locals at all !!!

Here's one for the National Party - survey all purchases of Auckland residential real estate in the last 12 months and "follow the munny" !! .....they wouldn't do that, as it would reveal "the truth"

All these plans to now target landlords are just "pie in the sky" and not directed at the "real issue" of funds flooding the country, pumped into the housing market.

And Key thinks the public are so dumb, as in reality it's NZ's version of QE !! .....and he always thought he was way better than that !!


Yet again another poor long term directive. RBNZ scapegoat plan, round 42.
Given, though, I suppose if you or your cronies don't ever believe that Stats NZ figures or peer reviewed research is correct intelligence cannot be expected.

I'm convinced that every Monday they just sit down in a room and get Bill English and Nick Smith to spin the policy wheel of fortune to find out what bs they will spin for the week.

It’ll make no difference, an increase in supply is the only way. Some investors will get burnt at some point and the market will correct. However try buying a property in Singapore, you would be lucky to get a garage for $1MIL. The media have been talking young people out of buying for the past few years by saying ‘it is unaffordable’. What rubbish! I met a young couple in Wellington last year, they moaned about property prices and that they were unaffordable. I tried telling them that prices had been flat in Wellington for 8 years and were currently a bargain, they still are. Both earned 80k per annum. How is a 600k house in Wellington unaffordable with a combined income of 160k? The media has a lot to answer for!

Nonsense. You can easily find a place in S'pore for NZD1,000,000. Also, prices have been falling for 9 quarters in a row.

Rubbish, there is barely a single free standing house with a section you can buy in Singapore for under $1M. Auckland is a global city now, if you don’t like it then move. I can’t stand the sense of entitlement of some people. They are entitled to nothing in this life, only what they work their guts out for.

Misleading!!! 80% or more of Singaporeans live in state-subsidised public housing tower blocks. Prices for these range from $200,000 to normally about $800,000 depending on size. Govt gives you a $40,000 grant if you buy a flat near your parents, and you can make mortgage payments from the govt pension scheme, the Central Provident Fund. Effectively this means people do not really notice the payments as they are taken out before wages paid. Also about 70% pay no income tax! So the 20% who aspire to landed property are the very rich, hence houses on land are expected to be pricey. But for the ordinary person, good housing in govt flats is very affordable. These tower block flats are cleaned twice a day by an army of cleaners, the internal fitouts are modern and trendy, and you can choose from a variety of designs. Govt has also poured money into creating neighbourhood parks, bike connectors, jogging lanes along waterways.

Similar apartments in the Auckland CBD go for the same price as the HDB flats you you talking about. So where is the crisis if as you say everything is hunky dory in Singapore as long as you live in a flat? You cant own both sides of an argument...

Tend to agree with the bit regarding people outside auckland who can buy but haven't over last 8 years or so.

It's another form of greed. Or more aptly described as entitlement. Why should everyone be able to buy a house that takes up enormous resources both the create and in the land it permanently occupies FOREVER for cheap?

I agree auckland prices are now beyond a joke and will be exposed as new builds (300k actual cost plus land) come online and ate plentiful enough to meet the relatively mild fhb demand with investors being removed by the lvr measures.


How do you trust PM, who says that it is in the interest of the country that house price keep moving up and this was said not on distant past but yesterday.

Why are they fumbling. This is what happens when you are forced to take some action against your lie.

Still no mention of Overseas buyer. It is overseas buyer who are responsible for multiple rise is house price - to bid 10% or may be 20$ or 30% higher than the vendors expectation as long as they are able to get the money out of their home country and park in safe asset in NZ then it does not matter if paying 20 or 30% extra but the effect of it is disastrous in local NZ housing market.


No mention of overseas buyers as the TPP has removed any tools we may have had to do anything about them. JKEXIT


There are many tools available to deal with the Auckland situation but the Reserve Bank only has a few of them. Most of the responses available are the governments (Dealing to the demand side. Ownership rules etc). John Key is being very tricky when he tries to put the spotlight on the Reserve Bank, and refuses to do the other things he can and should do. Dereliction of duty.

The important thing for me is whether they apply some more onerous limits on just new lending or whether it will have impact upon existing investors as well.
However, even if they do not target existing investors, the existing ones may end up having a rather uncomfortable discussion with their bank when house prices start dropping.

House prices won't drop when you have high immigration and foreign investment.


Whatever national does is just a cover up and will be half baked measure. Intention is missing for if govt wants the market can be controlled to avoid major disastor.

KH is correct RBNZ can do only little but national party can do much. Do not know why are they so afraid or under pressure from their asian friends that keep mum despite entire nation shouting. Definitely have something to fear to be blind and deaf to truth that is known by one and all.

nzakl is also right, may be labour party will announce something on overseas buyer.

RBNZ will do its part but will national party do something and prove everyone wrong.

We desperatly need to remove foreign buyers from the market so that NZ-based investors can snap them up. I'm waiting with cash in hand!

It's two late for that. Unless here is a crash, which may cause a bank collapse, house prices are going to stay static for many many years at around the million mark. Who can afford to pay a million for a pretty standard house? You end up over the mortgage term of also giving the bank a million on top of that with interest.

Very left-wing concepts Johnny shouldn't schmooze across the centre line!!

why invest in anything else when your investment goes up $3000 a week?

It's easy to see which asset class has just performed well, more difficult to identify what class will perform well next. Quite often yesterday's winners are tomorrow's losers.

The reality is, a lot of businesses have ridden along on the coat tails of this. Their net worth is also moving at a similar percentage.
The difference is, the home owners are borrowing the increase in net worth, and giving it to businesses. I know which end of that stick I want to be on when the rubber hits the road.

A few more tinkers around the edges. Unless the PM wants house prices to fall (crazy!) then it is all talk.


Still no restriction on foreign, foreign-related buyers, many if whom are cash buyers or offshore financed.
Maybe the aim is to force kiwi small landlords out, to be replaced by large corporate/bank landlords.
Just yesterday or recently the PM said that high house prices were a good thing for NZ.

"Just yesterday or recently the PM said that high house prices were a good thing for NZ." I wonder if he actually believes that?

There is only one way to put the brakes on investors - regulate to put a cap on rents at a max of $200 per week for a whole house.Then watch them run. There will almost immediately be a surplus of houses

That would be a great idea. But even now rents aren't covering the return they would get if the same money was in the bank.Investors are buying for capital gain over income in many situtions. That is why so many are left empty, because having people rent them is hard work, and risk it being contaminated with P.

by them you mean me, and hundreds of thousands of kiwi's...Murray, your idea of rent control is just nonsense...

Not at all. This is about balanced Government regulation putting the brakes on greed. Why should a property investor be able to demand a return beyond what the market can afford to pay which is the current situation?There are other tools that will need to be applied too, but the Government is supposed to represent the people and many of those are ending up on the streets as they cannot afford a home. Investors buying home to rent out are making a business decision, backed up by a bank. Since when does private business have a right to expect the taxpayer to bankroll their risk? Cap the rents and watch most investors get out. then clean up the rest of the housing market by dealing with the land/house bankers foreign buyers and voila all sorted. Tinkering on the edges by fiddling with lending criteria hits first home buyers before investors and is a betrayal of the public.

You don't seem to understand what a "market price" is. If the rent charged by landlords is being accepted by tenants then that is the market.

Putting in price caps is not a free market tool e.g.. I don't like having to pay a $1,000 for an i-phone that costs less than $500 to make. You don't see me crying to the Government to put a $500 cap on the price of i-phones.

Free Market is free of regulation, not free from manipulation. In this case the market is heavily manipulated by investors. If the I phone wasn't selling at $1000 what do you think the price would do? Besides people need somewhere to sleep, but don't need a phone. I believe that balanced regulation is required. A cap on rents puts the brake on investor greed. It will make them think twice about paying stupid prices for a house as an investment. Take away the demand and house prices will fall, making them more affordable for Kiwis. Why should investors expect a free ride on their return, subsidised by the taxpayer? That is what is really very offensive.

It is the regulation that is causing the manipulation.........investors are only taking advantage of the regulation manipulation that is ensuring prices will keep moving until you have oversupply and do you think those investor are going to be hanging around when prices start going sideways or downwards?

At the end of the day people will find ways for their housing issues.....some will shift regions, some will choose to live in other types of accommodation like on boats, caravans etc. Little houses (legal movable on wheels types) are popping up all over the place and people will start squatting on bare sections so expect to see the tents, caravans, house buses etc make a big return.......this is what people did last time the bureaucracy made life a regulated over-priced haven for themselves......

Don't disagree there. It goes to prove that regulation must be targeted and specific. Most commentators on this site have been easily able to identify the obvious flaws in the Government's clumsy fumbles here as they try to protect the money while appearing the great unwashed to be doing something. They spent so long denying the issue, they lost sight of what was causing it for so long that other factors such as foreign investors and land supply complicated the issue so much that it has gone beyond a mess to chaos that cannot be easily fixed. Part of the problem is that they are too invested in the market themselves and any real fix will shoot themselves in the wallet.

As to your other solutions the problem is moving to regions usually means reduced job opportunities for your self and your family, separation from families, commuting costs that negate any benefit and so on. Better to fix the problem at the root.

I think aspects such as the accommodation supplement are adding the challenge. the accommodation supplement pays $100 per week more for a $500 pw rental in Auckland than a $500 pw rental in the Manawatu.

Make it harder for investors and rents will go up, starting with mine. Is a media beat up and where's that 5th flag option?

If there's no capital gains to be made we'll have to actually try and see a profit from the rent! Expenses aren't going down so we'll have to increase revenue.

If there's no capital gains to be had, do you think rents are going to double or house prices halve to restore some kind of reasonable yield in Auckland? The main expense of a landlord is buying the house, if prices fall there'll be plenty to step up and take over from the over-leveraged who bought for too much.

MFD - I don't quite get how you think there will be plenty of people to step up and buy if house prices fall. Prices will fall if there are downward pressures.......I can tell you right now if there is any kind of sudden decline in house prices then we will be suffering from a recession and that will lead to people not having jobs and not having jobs will lead to not being able to afford to buy a house or service a mortgage.

This housing supply issue shortage has created very difficult conditions that could have been avoided but Councils have lacked skills in understanding supply and demand issues.

Yes, there's a good chance some people would be losing their jobs. But there are others with cash in hand who would be happy to buy investment properties if the yield were reasonable. If that's not enough to level off prices, then maybe first house buyers would be able to get into the market. Even a terrible recession would be unlikely to destroy more than 5% of jobs, that still leaves a lot of people working.

So what your saying is the investors in waiting want a recession so they can pick up these assets at a discounted price and then be the new landllord.......and the cycle starts again.........Geez I must learn to be really greedy>

I think you're stretching what I said a little there. My original point was, if house prices fall existing landlords can't expect to just be able to raise rents to cover their costs, as newer landlords will undercut them due to spending less on the house in the first place. I don't know anyone who wants a recession, but if assets become cheap, someone will step in and buy eventually.


Mr Key when will you target overseas funded buyer.

We know that it is a tough call for you but in the interest of the countrymen rise beyond fear of them and vested interest and act to gain back the trust of the nation.

Free up any of your savings people if you feel you need too. Get it out of TD's etc and ready to withdraw at a moments notice. Just be prepared. This next year leading up to election is going to be very volatile, anything can happen. Be liquid my friends

And mind the hooks with large cash withdrawals, Reel it in slowly...

Transfer increments into your Australian bank account.
It's covered up to $250k by Aus Govt Guarantee. ( unlike NZ bank accounts)
and NZD is over 95c atm

MB I thought one had to be a resident to get that guarantee?


I got heavily depressed on the drive back to Auckland today, listening to John Campbell's show...

Mad house prices and rents
Homeless people
People being shunted into motels
Children walking to school getting bikes etc ripped from them

this is the wonderful world NZ has is a f$$$#king disgrace.
Enough, is enough

There's a serious kick back building Fritz. Fear not, watch it grow.

I agree. It has become such a selfish country with lots of greedy people ripping off others with overpriced houses.

Must be time for a protest march???

They put protest marches, referenda, and thrown dildos in the same laughable category. They won't stop until it reaches the pitchfork realm.

No opposition, no strong media and no public protest is the reason that govt can talk and do nonsense and get away .

Not even worried about telling lie as know that will get away with. Any other country media will hound them for a lie so they think 10 times before lying or even denying

As long as prices keep rising the baby boomer voting block will continue to profit, hence keeping votes with the party that intervenes the least. It’s time you looked at yourself in the mirror.

Baby boomers are actually a minority group and wealthy baby boomers are a minority within a minority.
But yes they have been on the planet longer than most other people, so have worked more and therefor do tend to be wealthier. Don't begrudge them their day in the sun, they built this country. Bridges, roads, public buildings and hydro dams etc aren't the natural landscape, they have mostly been built by the WW2 generation and the baby boomers.
When i drive to Auckland the new infrastructure being the Orewa tunnels I have to pay a toll to drive through. What a shame the baby boomers didn't build the tunnels, they would be free. Thankyou baby boomers for all this countries wonderful infrastructure that is currently being given away and sold off.

Still think that the best protest would be for the homeless to park their cars and spend the night outside Keys Mansion at, I think, 107 St Stephens Ave Parnell (with a film crew). They have to park on a street somewhere, so why not there?

John Key would likely taser them from his bedroom window


John Key and his pack, Collins, Joyce, English and Smith need to resign. Have to rate as the worst group of pollies we have ever had - complete failure to achieve anything of note. Surely Key cannot continue to rate highly as most preferred PM - who the hell do they survey?

What did you want them to achieve?


I wanted them to achieve a semi-functional housing market rather than the mess we are in.
I was in touch with Mr Key before he was elected and he said that this was a priority for him....
They have failed miserably, being just as ideologically driven as their Labour predecessors

To start with PM should be honest straight forward as no one like lie and denial of the facts that is known to each and every kiwi.

This is possible when he is interested in the welfare of newzealanders than of non non residence. Also expect your PM to listen to voice of the nation and not be arrogent.

He should come out clean as why are they so afraid and obliged to overseas buyer and plesse not to hide behind faulty data that was announced earlier. We kiwis do not need data to prove as we know- check with any estate agent, if do not believe and check their office data.

Denials and lie is comming to haunt them and will not go away. Best is be to stand up and act as PM of NZ and not of other country like.......everyone knows.


Correct bigblue, no PM has genearated such a negative feeling as the current PM and are so much away from reality that dont even realise that they are totaly exposed and isolated.

Muldoon was divisive as well, he was loved and hated by many and in my mind did terrible things to NZ before he was ousted


When was the last time anyone from the beehive resigned or was fired? That's one thing I liked about the 70's-80's, cause it use to happen regularly when they were found incompetent.


Yep just cover up, shuffle around, keep the cronyism going for a bit longer

you forgot - change the subject.

I think if you officially banned New Zealand from buying houses in Auckland it still wouldn't affect the price inflation.

Truth or Dare ?

Believe it when it actually happens. Otherwise rounds on target fire for effect.

What Auckland needs is a huge investment in infrastructure in order to open up the land which has been earmarked for development. $1 Billion is a joke. Should be about $10 Billion financed at the most competitive interest rates we have ever had. The lands there. Just needs the infrastructure to make it happen. What we are seeing from this government is reactionary policies rather than long term planning. Trying to curb demand is stupid.

NZ are great at Sprawl. But why not instead create a new city. Auckland needs medium density development, not more urban sprawl.

Who should pay for this infrastructure JT? can we bill the immigrants?

We're all paying for Auckland's crap infrastructure already through waste. Half a million people sitting in their cars for a good portion of the day burning fuel is incredibly wasteful. Spending a huge portion of our collective income paying interest to banks for hyper-inflated property is waste.

Imagine we all had a bit more time and spent a lot less on interest. What could we achieve with the liberated money?


See nothing do nothing government

Exactly what is the government going to do ? Very good blaming the reserve bank however it's about time the tax policies were also changed for investors.

Where is the stamp duty on investors that both Australia and the UK have recently introduced. Donkey declared a crisis is 2007 when auckland prices were 500k lower.

Stop talking start acting

But investors are also voters.
Now whats left?
When voters are also property investors, encouraged to making a quick buck, it's game over.

theres two bloody issues. 1) supply 2) replacement cost (salvage)

for christ sake sort out number two - reserve bank, akl council and JK and the rest will sort itself

talk about the blind leading the blind


They no longer have to be interviewed at 7pm on TV, to answer the hard questions, as TV has become dumbed down . PM, is there a housing crisis now?

I think some people are forgetting what a mess the rest of the world is in. The govt, housing supply apart have done a good job on the economy. Almost all western governments have a budget deficit that they will never be able to fix. We have a budget surplus and debt to GDP that others dream of.

You could argue they should spend more money but history tell us that money tends to be very inefficiency spent.

I think some people are in la la land on what they want. The grass definitely isn't any greener elsewhere in the world right now.

Penguin - With this in mind, at what point do we accept that we are collectively (all nations) living beyond our means? And how do we stop this 'bad habit'?


No we haven't forgotten about the mess in the rest of the world. But for some reason Jong key wants to import the mess here. Homelessness, suicide rates, pollution, overstretched infrastructure, overcrowded public services, corrupt politicians, tax fraud, welfare fraud, foreign trust fraud....all on the up up up. And in return we get more and more $2 shops, taxi drivers, courier drivers, meth importers and takeaway chefs.

Penguin lets not forget NZ Government Debt is now 110billion , 46% of GDP. The Govt debt was 32bn in 2008 at 18% of GDP when key took over. So John Key has increased the Govt Debt by 80bn in roughly 8 years of power. Who cares about the surplus when the govt debt has grown by 340%

Also this article is in regards to Housing and as reported household debt is exploding. A large part of this is due to the fact that the government has done little to curb credit growth driven primarily by investors snapping up 46% of existing properties in Auckland. Adding hardly any value and just changing the ownership type of the property from owner occupier to buy to let. Government will bail out the banks if this goes tits up and the tax payer will be stuck with the bill. Short term Banker mentality pushing out the pain for another government to deal with.

"The ratio of household debt to income has hit a fresh record high and the debt mountain doesn't look like reducing any time soon.

New key household financial statistics from the Reserve Bank for the three months to the end of March show that household debt is now at a record high of 163% of disposable income, up from 162% as of December.

For the year to the end of March household disposable income was $151.155 billion, versus $246.246 billion of financial liabilities."

A 'rockstar' fueled by debt - sounds like a musician on heroin. And that always works out well....

Keith Richards ? Sometimes they keep on breathing.

But the Tories are better at managing the economy - not. They're just legalized looters who socialize the costs and privatize the profits. We are being had.

I see the latest Tory Goonery has MSD bankrupting beneficiaries - next they'll be locking them up in their private prisons.

Great comments Joe Public. How can this be good for the economy? It is like a slow acting poison to pile on debt like this

Clever how Key switches the debate away from the $1b infrastructure fund. The newly formed, Chinea-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) had its first annual meeting on June 25-26. One discussion was on Private-Public Partnerships (PPS) in infrastructure. (Join dots..) . Also the bank talked about potential problems, cited involuntary resettlement where individual interest possibly overrides public interest by demanding " irrationally" high compensation. A firm suggestion was mooted.(join dots).

When standing at the door of defeat - Australian PM has become humble and will help our PM if he listen to what Australian PM is saying to Australia and follow now instead of waiting for next year election result

No point in repenting afterwards when you can rectify your arrogance and listen to the voice of the people and act now, for election time no overseas friend will be able to help.


Wow , Fran O'Sullivan just ripped into John Key.... I truly think John Keys wealth has blinkered him to the plight of young people.

fran has echoed a lot of comments here, nice to see MSM finally seeing what we can see a do nothing government
Key again duck-shoved the issue, suggesting it was the Reserve Bank's responsibility to "have a look at the question around investors".

What's notable is his Government will not slap investors with an effective capital gains tax, preferring a "bright line" test which is easily avoided by holding a housing investment for more than two years; refuses to introduce specific taxes to punish land bankers; and will not introduce rules to preserve the acquisition of existing residential housing for citizens or curb migration.
Key could pass special legislation to do this.
The question is why won't he

I reckon she pulled punches all through that, in fact it was pretty mild, someone needs to be yelling straight into his face. An does anyone here know how come the Herald has severely curbed comments from readers. A month or so back, most of the opinions articles would have had comments enabled, now there is barely any that are. Anyone?

Yep Ive noticed the same - perhaps too many negative comments re the National government for the Heralds' liking .
Conversely the comments section below Trevetts' habitual criticism of those not in power, remains open.

My first thoughts too, then I thought, surely not, not that obvious. Oh well, maybe that obvious.

Comments Disabled



Get rid of National and JK, sick of the BS and no solutions only excuses and denials

Good news for provincial city house owners.
Once a 40% LVR is slapped on Auckland investors, watch prices elsewhere rise even faster.

Fran O`sullivan is not even a third rate journalist. What an appalling attempt at critiquing what is happening. So much of the reason we find ourselves in this situation is due to an uninformed public and the media must take some responsibilty for this.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw how appalling and lame her article was.

I have an inkling we disliked it for different reasons though. Mine being she was far too soft on him and his party.

I thought it was a good article. Done softly with velvet gloves. Could have been more blunt.

She has put a marker down and marked out her territory. Watch future instalments

I worked for a major daily newspaper for 10 years. In my view she's not a bad columnist

I lived in Aus for 5 years and whilst their journalism is average ours is garbage. Her article reads as if she typed it up in 5 minutes. And where was she and other herald hacks 3-4 years ago when it was obvious the issue was brewing? We can thank Mr Hickey for being the only journalist taking this issue seriously over many years


Money minded politicians in self vested interest forget that have been elected for the welfare for all but this government is for the rich only.

Leadership missing in NZ

Great article by Fran ! 100% on the money.

Politicians have vested interests and act in their best interests not the nations. The PM earns 450k a year you would think that would be enough a d they wouldn't need to profit off btl investmeets.

. Crazy amount considering the US president gets 550k NZD a year.

A human being was just crushed to death sleeping rough in a dumpster, trying to keep warm.
Thanks Key your a champ looking after your elite mates :)

It is a low blow to use the tragic death of someone so you can point your finger at the PM. When since has it ever been the PM's role to supervise every person in the country? Do you expect JK to have eyes in the back of his head and 24hr surveillance on each and everyone of us?

The PM and parliament are meant to uphold the constitutional rights of the country which provisions for freedom.......I would hold the PM responsible for not ensuring the freedom to build houses was without restriction by Councils but Councils are also required to abide by the constitutional framework of how about attacking those local Councils and their staff for the restrictions they have imposed?

One wonders who's worse of the homeless or the PM?

It certainly is a double edged sword. I only ever invested in property because I saw a shortage coming 10 years ago (I work in planning and could see the rules tightening and Council making it increasingly hard to build anything). As I still work in planning now I see developers thinking that if typically half their sales are to investors and half to owner occupiers they might be about to lose half their sales - so better off land banking rather than developing. So supply of dwellings will go down for investors, owner-occupiers and renters.

If you want to stop investors the only solution is to overbuild like they did in the US

I agree NZ has to build and build and build and needs to start the process now........and it will take an overbuild to drive prices lower.

For quite a long time I have been going on about the investors who are on the inside working in the bureaucracies who are privy to market information that has been gathered.........the opportunity for report generation that can keep the system favourable for your investment needs is a stacked decked. It is such a shame the twerking ballerinas within our media cannot grasp this simple con-cept as it would expose some of the price rigging practices that have been occurring as the inside hatchet job strangles the future economy and financial stability!!

I am very pro investing and business but can never accept market interference as it disturbs the natural state of the market mechanisms that self-regulates pricing, supply and demand etc.

You don't need to be on the 'inside' - just need to go to Stats NZ and compare the rate of households being built with the rate of houses being built - from early 2000's household numbers started growing much faster than houses built. I guess it does help working in construction as you see on a daily basis how Council make it harder (or occasionally easier) to get consents.

Come on Bob I have seen many of those internally generated reports.......the ones that encourage strict boundaries and rules to keep a lid on development......the recommendations to other Government Agencies advocating more rules and more ways for councils to clip the ticket.....the whinge fest Councils have taken to the Government level is astounding........and what say does Jo Bloggs ever get in the process???

Being a planner in a Council have you ever taken into consideration that their is a 1688 Bill of Rights? And what would this 1688 Bill of Rights actually mean to all the legislation that you are processing? Have you ever brought the issues before the Council? If not why not?

I haven't seen them - I'm not a planner nor ever worked at a Council. I work for developers.

Apologies my mistake......

Councils peeve me off with their nonsense and limitations.......and unless NZ can get past them then we will always have this shortfall issue which is stripping spending money away from other business types and into the bank shareholder hands.

RBNZ will take measure but what about the government. How come everyone is responsible for the housing crisis but not the government only because they do not want to do anything and disturb foreign friends and the circle that they move in.

Need Leader with a vision working for the benefit of the country and for rich and overseas. Social Justice and welfare, current government is Zero and is not my saying but is evident from what you see and hear in news day in and day out.

Any bubble is bad and can check back past history. So how come this will be different. Can government who says interested in house price rise guarantee that the bubble will not burst for however hard the government may try to push but it needs one tick from within or globally and will burst. Can argue the velocity of the burst but not that will it happen.

Surely property investors are providing more rental accommodation and the more of that the cheaper it is? Even if they buy a existing house that person can go and buy a new house. Am I missing something?

Is the problem not still a supply one? Tons of land around Auckland - just too much regulation of the whole land and buildings is the issue.

yes as investors and FHB generally compete for the same properties, so if an investor buys and forces FHB not to buy then they become renters, how is that good for society in the long run?
that is why we are heading to more and more inequality in NZ society between the haves and have nots.
and me being on the side of haves i do not want to live in a place with high security etc to keep the have nots out


It is all very well to try and palm the problem off on the Reserve Bank and their limited range of tools, but when is the government going to take responsibility? That is where it really belongs.

Taking responsibility is the act of adults. Admitting responsibility is entertaining the notion actual 'accountability'.

Again. only real adults do this. What we have....running our country are snot nosed useless children with not an ounce of morality or empathy. You see it in every ministerial head. From finance to social development. Arrogance breeds ignorance. What we have in government at this very moment is quite frankly a clandestine enemy. They must be gotten rid of.

We need a written Constitution with impeachment provisions.

We all know what the problem is and the person who is suppose to solve the problem for NZ is not interested in solving and the worst part is that people have to wait 3 years. So for 3 years no accountability atleast in the first 2 years.

Anyone else feel the tension rising? You could almost cut it with a knife...

Yes, something has changed. The MSM is slowly turning against the PM/National. Are they reading Brexit/Aussie polls/Trump correctly and expecting a change is imminent in NZ also ? Time.

Yes. It's changing but I would be reluctant to call it enough to change the National Government just yet. New Zealanders strongly prefer and vote for the party which has strong political management. While I now think it's the wrong message the Nats are just great at staying on message. Their political management skills will carry them for quite a while yet.

Isn't it a one man show though ?

I will vote NZ First

Winnie will side with the winners and its not going to be Labour. Even if Winnies only success is to turn off the immigration tap and stop the funny money then he will have been successful and then he can retire from politics on a legacy like that.

PM announcing though is not much but will now notice how rich property owners/landlords and experts specially from bank ( as interest of bank also as more business) will come out against and justifying that high house price is just and not high. Keep eye on media.

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