The catch 22 Labour faces advocating for renters when the strength of the economy hinges on the strength of the housing market

The catch 22 Labour faces advocating for renters when the strength of the economy hinges on the strength of the housing market

By Jenée Tibshraeny

Labour will be stuck between a rock and a hard place campaigning on housing issues ahead of the election.

On the one hand it has house price growth to thank for the strengthening economy. On the other, it has house price growth to blame for making life more difficult for the most vulnerable in society it pledged to protect.

For every “good news” story published in recent weeks on the uptick in inflation, lower likelihood of an Official Cash Rate (OCR) cut this year, and improved business confidence survey results, there have been “bad news” stories on annual rent increases hitting an 11-year high, Emergency Housing Grants issued by the Government increasing five-fold in two years, and first home buyers in most parts of the country struggling to scrape together a 20% deposit.

Will the Government be able to campaign on the strength of the economy relative to other countries without mentioning the fact this has, to some extent, come at the expense of renters?

Put another way, will it be able to renew its promise to helping renters without cracking the pillar (IE the housing market) holding up the economy?

The thing is, while the public will fixate on KiwiBuild and blame Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford for failing to fix the housing market, the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) is rightly or wrongly the reason for the resurgence in house price growth.

Quite predictably, the 75-basis point OCR cuts made in 2019 have seen cheap money find a home in the housing market.

And in the absence of the Government having the muscle to ramp up housing supply quickly enough to dampen prices in the short-term, the RBNZ will continue to have the greatest influence on the market.

It will again in May review its loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions, first imposed on banks in 2013.

The RBNZ’s decision to require property buyers to have larger deposits was what slowed the housing market at the end of the last National-led Government’s term.

The thinking a few months ago was that the RBNZ could consider further loosening LVR restrictions, following such loosening in early 2018 and again in 2019. However, ANZ economists earlier this month said there could actually be a case for the next change to be a tightening.

Great - this could cool the housing market, benefiting those renters Labour’s vouching for.

But actually, not-so-great… Banks requiring higher mortgage deposits would create another hurdle for thsoe first home buyers Labour’s trying to help.

The RBNZ pulled its OCR lever to strengthen the economy. It could now pull its LVR lever to cool house price growth, leaving the risk-adverse Government to campaign on “improving housing” in an environment it has little control over.

And here’s the thing, until the Government has the guts to change the fundamentals of the New Zealand economy so it doesn’t hinge on the trillion dollar-plus residential property market, it will continue to protect this asset.

National was in a similar position at the 2017 election, but being a centre-right party, didn’t need to pretend it was out to protect renters and those struggling to get in to the housing market.

I look forward to seeing how Labour responds to that catch 22, “Do house prices need to fall?” question ahead of this election, and whether the Green Party and The Opportunities Parties will, like in 2017, be the only ones to say, “Yes”.

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

44
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... if the strength of the economy hinges on the strength of the housing market , then we have got something terribly , horribly wrong ...

The strength of the economy ought to be business , farming , science , education , medical research , manufacturing , technology ....

... but , all this country seems to be obsessed with is the ever rising costs of houses and rentals ...

16
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yep, hearing similar type thinking about the US economy based on the strength of the consumer - ignoring the fact in debt to eyeballs to spend what they aint got.

.....certain little health issue might free up some houses soon huh!

34
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Spot on. We've exported our home ownership, making a subset of the population extremely wealthy and locking out the rest. Meanwhile completely neglecting innovation and real economic development. The longer we leave reform the worse it's going to get. I'll vote for anyone who commits to specific measurable outcomes around housing and health care. Without the three pillars of shelter, health and relationships life is a miserable existence.

11
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Well said

12
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Four pillars: food, shelter, transport, security....

It's far too late, damage is done and NZ has already been sold off to overseas investors tax free. Seem that everyone on this site has already decided to cut and run.

House prices have almost zilch to do with the strength of the economy. The risk to prices (risk to some, benefit to others) is to the strength of the banks. And so we impoverish a generation - unable to afford a home, being utterly scalped by rent, or out on the street - to satisfy the stupidity of bankers and the greed of the few.

Exactly Gummy Bear.... What this and other countries need is a severe sharpe kick in the nuts of the housing market! It really is the only way to kill off the obsession with housing and realise what the consequences are.

26
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My money is on both major parties lining up a story that just kicks the can further down the road.
Perhaps, a working group that would investigate what creative ideas would help relieve the pressure on housing.

I will be gobsmacked if they suggest anything radical enough to the point of admitting some group has to suffer.

I don't think any group has to suffer.
A large govt run affordable housing programme may limit price rises but it shouldn't result in much if any falls.
It should be remembered that KB was supposed to be that, with the current underwriting of private development a transitional.measure.

You might at a stretch be right, we can certainly hope that the last people latching onto the housing-dream-ship are ones who are not dependent upon its eternal (significant) price increases.

Perhaps it will only be the NIMBYs that suffer - government managed affording housing programmes need to be pushed through, in locations and with infrastructure around them that works and makes denser housing palatable.

Who is going to promise that though?
Will Labour promise to do it again knowing they failed so badly last time?
Will National promise to do it after mocking the idea for so long?

National won't do it.
Labour could do it, 'repackaged'.
But they need ducks in a row:
- Urban Development powers
- large prefab plant established

Hi Fritz,

Sorry - but filling our beautiful country with prefabs would be sacrilege.

TTP

The ones that litter our subdivisions are bad enough..

I don't know, we have some pretty awful looking non-prefabs!

Please.

It's not that different to what was done in the 50s to 70s with Lockwood, Keith Hay homes etc.

Prefabricated materials

Hi TTP your meaningful solution/s? - would it be sacrilege more, to fill this country with ever increasing homelessness population?
Most of the RE pro camps tend to aim for the status quo, no CGT etc etc. - oddly? by the time for the super expensive cancer drugs treatment? - almost all of them asked the tax payers funded subsidy, I said almost all.. some few of them, choose to front the painful ends without begging from tax payers to prolong the inevitable.

I doubt Labour will make any promises on housing this election, it will just be mocked. They will try and stay quiet on it.

Considering Labour is keen to run this election on truth campaigning, the party should just write STATUS QUO in big, bold letters under immigration and tax policies for election 2020.

And the election date is September .... I leave the rest to Interest

Thankfully with our housing wealth slated to grow by an additional 100 Billion in the coming year, this will help offset the economic woes of our two largest trading partners, and ensure resilient GDP numbers in the coming quarters.
Barfoots start their auction season this week , a handful more homes on the block than the past two years. Their auction numbers will be a marker of our continued or declining prosperity.

Bear in mind that sales in NZ as a whole fell substantially in 2019 as prices rose (predictably)
So Auckland sales are less than the big deal we all (who live here) fell them to be.
And most of December gain in sales was for stuff over $1.4m. So, not anything to do with mortgage are cuts.
2 drivers of prices we are told, are under-supply and cuts to rates.
Both now out of commission.
Plus virus. Plus falling confidence. Plus election doubt.
So, you can forget ANZ and other banks goosing sentiment with 8% rise forecasts. Pie in sky.

I should have added Mike that I used Westpac housing wealth increasing by 100Billion , with circa 7 percent increase in price. Not mine .Personally I see national sales falling below 4 percent of stock, this year . If auction volumes in Auckland do not accelerate, the impetus that was provided to end 2019 monthly sales will quickly begin to decline. Once national sales fall below 4 percent , the system will become too clogged for the RBNZ to clear.

Ultimately there is very little any govt can control directly in the neoliberal era and I don't see that paradigm changing anytime soon.

"Ultimately there is very little any govt can control directly in the neoliberal era"
You are joking with that throwaway soundbite, right?

Rent Control,Capital Gains Tax are the answer as unpalatable as they are to me.

11
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Land Tax .... say it loud , say it proudly , " Land Tax " ...
... the cheapest , simplest way for a government to raise regular income from the rich ... just a little 0.5 % here or there ... it won't hurt them ... they'll survive ... to pay that 0.5 % again next year ...

Yep - I reckon a larger land tax and lower income tax. Need a transition for a few farmers - why are they so in debt relative to income anyway. Make it 5% higher of overseas owners not paying tax in NZ - just think what the income from all that offshore or overseas tax resident land would be. They can afford it as well.

Add to that a govt backed sold-at-cost new build program. 10% deposit turn key builds, prefabbed or a simple design that can go up in months at scale, medium and high density depending on where the demand is, open to FHBs in the first instance, then 2nd homers and investors afterwards. Set up new public transport links (a couple of bus stops would suffice), invest in drainage, water, sewerage and roading to accommodate the higher populace, priced into the cost of the dwellings. Employ the public works act to seize some land, and we're away.
There's most likely a litany problems with my grand plan, but it seems more sensible to me than any ideas I've heard from any govt thus far.

You're making it up as you write it down. Not the least of the problems will be that the DGM will (try to) talk the market down and KB buyers get cold feet followed by unsold KB properties.... much like what happened in 2019. I think the good ship KB has sailed unfortunately ... I am in favour of families and young couples owning their home.

No it's a great plan basically on the same lines of what I have advocated.
You don't think there would be lots of FHBs taking up built at cost homes in Auckland Houseworks?
I beg to differ.
Built at cost means 3 bedroom townhouses selling for circa 500-550k. That's eminently achievable for middle income households, especially if the deposit is 10%.

10
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..not in a zillion years would that achieve anything like the outcome you desire. How about -
Land or Asset tax
Immigration tightening.
Removing accommodation supplements.
Discouraging un-affordable breeding.

You don't need a massive building program if you don't breed up the population. Simple.

And here’s the thing, until the Government has the guts to change the fundamentals of the New Zealand economy so it doesn’t hinge on the trillion dollar-plus residential property market, it will continue to protect this asset.

Whats the govt's dependence on property market ? is there any stats or data we referring to ? or just contribution from people's increased confidence from house prices ?

Voters

Diffrent governments but the same worsening house affordability not only in ALK but quickly spreading to many other parts of NZ only highlights the fundamental cause of the problem -- the outdated democratic political election system.

13
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Go sling your hook, we'll take our chances with choice if it's all the same

you must be an owner of multiple properties, a EU or Brit passport holder, and do not give a damn about NZ in the next two decades because you will either jump the boat or pass away.

XMW take note, the catchphrase in the caption was not an irrelevant reference. “There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to.” So when you have got yourself a grip on the logic of all of that you will then understand the great enigma of the Western world and the behaviour of most of its politicians and that will surely enhance your ability to comment, very much so!

None of those things, but very much identify with the line from Midnight Oil "Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees". I care about this country a damned sight more than you clearly do.

Bravo! PA

10
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Hilarious.
HK has affordability of 28 times income
China as lots of empty cities
China has millions buying flats as a pension insurance and terrified that prices will be cut to new buyers.
Most massive debt burden in the world and biggest Ponzi and a an authoritarian dictatorship that can build a hospital in 2 weeks.
You are welcome to your model

building 2 hospitals now.
it will be interesting to see how quick they go up.
they reckon 2 weeks

Another PR stunt I'd say. If they do somehow knock it out, it'll be a shanty town setup

My understanding is they are building x1000 pre-fabricated isolation rooms - not a real hospital per se, more like single room barracks.

How is it, xingmowang, that New Zealand's functioning democracy is such a threat to you? Why not tell us plainly why the CCP's totalitarian tyranny is preferable. We know that if you're an official, well-connected or one of the rich in China, you can have an organ transplant on demand (everybody should read this: https://quillette.com/2020/01/03/bloody-harvest-how-everyone-ignored-the...). But nowhere else in the world offers this - thankfully. Are your kidneys failing? Some other organ playing up? Is that it?

go back to your disease-ridden, second world, communist homeland!

How's housing affordability in Shanghai and Shenzen?

In the past (90s and 2000s) I had chinese telling me how wonderful is china... strangely those same people had moved to NZ.

You mean representative democracy. True democracy is one adult one vote for everything. It was tried in ancient Greece and is still common in village life in Melanesia. We could try it again now everyone has internet access. It would work in China too - every decision put to the people.

Will the Government be able to campaign on the strength of the economy relative to other countries without mentioning the fact this has, to some extent, come at the expense of renters?

Put another way, will it be able to renew its promise to helping renters without cracking the pillar (IE the housing market) holding up the economy?

Two thirds of NZ bank lending to one third of households is not for productive purposes that creates jobs or boosts GDP, but instead for assets, causing asset price inflation.

I decided to look at the RBNZ "New Residential mortgage lending" to get some feel for the potential impact. According to the data, over the 12 months from Nov 18 to Nov 19, a total of $73b new mortgages were issued. 17% to FHB, 18% to investors and 63% to owner occupier (in most cases people trading up i suppose). So the group that ultimately drives the NZ house prices is the "upgrader" group.

That is consistent with everything I have come to know about housing problem in NZ: all the construction sector works to accommodate bigger, higher spec houses for people who can pay (hence the crazy level of "upgrades") and higher margins. Being engaged in building "affordable" houses is a mugger game for the construction industry.

Now, if we stop banks from lending to anyone except FHBs buying new houses (as you cannot expect them to be able to buy already occupied houses) then the construction industry has no other option but to build houses that FHBs can afford and banks can safely lend money at lets say 5 times their annual income (something like $400k). Anything other than this will probably fail to force the focus of the construction industry (as it is today) to building affordable house.
But this is so restrictive on people freedom to move (in this lottery you will forever be where you are). It effectively makes houses useless as an asset (as once bought, can never be sold) until the time that the number of FHBs is so low that that the restriction can be lifted. It also means that houses fail to be a collateral for the banks (as what to do with them if people are not paying up, and why should you pay up for something that will lose its value etc). The only way this work, is that all houses are owned collectively! Nationalise all houses and let the bureau decide who lives where! anyone will get what the bureau think they need not what these greedy individuals may want. That surely will solve housing problem

Head down bum up building lots and lots and lots is state houses, and not just for the poorest, do it to completely bust the whole rentier culture t that's built up. Sell them to owner occupiers, long term Lease them, anything it takes to reposition housing as homes not a never losing casino.

The government needs to double public housing numbers (grow it to twice the size of HNZ state housing stock) by giving capital grants to community housing providers so they can construct at least 3000 build-to-rents houses a year. The government should ensure that cheap land close to amenities and public transport is made available through Kainga Ora.

Community housing providers should target providing affordable rentals that cost no more that 30% of income for those who earn between the median and minimum wage. This group lacks the income to buy a home straight away. But if they had affordable rent then they could save to buy their own place.

I don't believe the community housing model works in NZ. It does somewhat in the UK, but I don't think we have the population and scale here.
Is there any reason why the government can't / shouldn't do it directly?

The government could build directly by giving HNZ the capital grants to build affordable rentals for low income workers. NZ did this in the past when state housing stock was built up very quickly. More capital grants would mean HNZ could target higher up the housing continuum than what they currently do with state housing, as currently 90% of tenants are vulnerable beneficiaries.

But there is no political consensus regarding social housing. National when next in government would set up a scheme where higher income tenants buy the houses. State house stocks would decline. This is a repeated pattern in NZs state housing history.

If Community housing providers are independent, not for profit trusts then future governments cannot sell the affordable rentals and a stable long term affordable housing option is created.

It is not a silver bullet. But it would help. Especially if combined with other reforms. Such as Kainga Ora...

Community housing is a neoliberal cop out. The Nats loved community housing, and it hardly made any gains.
I know it's very old fashioned, but the state just needs to gear up and build housing. Lots of it.

Look reasonable people can disagree on whether the government should build state houses which by its nature targets the most vulnerable end of the housing continuum. Or build houses which are sold to owner occupiers. There are a variety of options for this. Kiwibuild, progressive home ownership, shared equity and rent to buy. They are all varieties of middle class welfare because they target the middle of the housing continuum. Demand has proven to be small though for this product. Because of either high KB prices or poor locations i.e. Pegasus 25km from Christchurch for example.
In both the state or KB housing cases low income workers, those on the minimum or working wage miss out on government housing support.
I think a housing initiative that targets low income workers would be helpful.
Community Housing Providers that are non-profit independent trusts with an ethos that housing is a right not an investment could be the tool that successfully targets this section of the housing continuum.
This is not a neoliberal policy. Housing trusts like Peabody and Guiness have been around for 100 to 150 years. So well before neoliberalism.
Government support for the community housing sector could be distorted by neoliberalism though if foreign owned for-profit housing providers were given the capital grants. There is some evidence that is what the Key/English government were trying to do. But that is a fight for another day.

"I think a housing initiative that targets low income workers would be helpful."
Me too. However the govmt gives priority to the do nothings.

With circa 50,000 people coming into the country every year, building new houses just won't keep up I reckon.

Agree

Couldn't agree more.

"Head down Bum up"... this is nz you're talking about. People are already suggesting 4 day working weeks and take the afternoon off fridays. Add that to slowness of work for h and s, staff rights, 4 week hols, mondayising anzac and waitangi etc.

"Strengthening" economy. Pardon?
GDP growth been slipping and revised down recently.
Was forecast to be 3.5% pa for 4 years by Treasury, in 2017.
It is 2.5% and falling.

Auckland sales rose 31.7% in December yes. So, market is going gangbusters now.
On 3m basis sales rose 13%
That relies on comparison to 3m in 2018 which were artificially impacted (lower) by OBB
Sales in turn were higher than normal running up to the ban (July-Sept)
When you compare 2019 sales for that 3m (winter) you see that sales were no higher this year.
Full 12m sales were lower than in 2018 and lower than 2009.
Prices were up 3.5% for full year in Auckland.
inflation is 2%
Nominally therefore, nothing to get too excited about.

The current government forecast GDP growth averaging almost 5% per year for the years 2018-2020, and used that GDP growth estimate as a base for their financial predictions prior to the election that resulted in the CoL. That forecast was farcical although if one questioned the forecast, one was summarily dismissed. Roll forward a few years, and the reality is considerably different.

I am amused about the headlines about a 3% rent increase being the highest in over a decade. This highlights the fact that rent costs have seriously lagged house price increases. If the rent had increased by 35% over the past decade (an average of 3% per year for a full decade) the rent cost increase would not even have gotten close to the capital gain increase for the past decade, at least in some locations. That is, the rent to home price ratio has been decreasing in the past decade. Put another way, the return on investment for a rental has reduced considerably in the past decade. If not for capital gains, rental property investment has considerably lower return than even term deposits when all costs are factored in. I've taken advantage of this as a renter in the past when living in a location that had no capital gains. I appreciate that there were people that were willing to gamble on getting capital gains! :) As I've noted on various posts in the past, I have purchased a home coming up on four years ago (Hawkes Bay) as it was clear that it was the correct time to be an owner as opposed to being a renter. It is not quite yet time to return to being a renter in this market, but it is getting close. It would be the second time I've transitioned from being owner to renter if I made that shift. The first time I became an owner was in the '80s.

Yes that growth projection was ridiculously farcical. Pathetic, even. And not that many called them out over it at the time.

10
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Ahahah so all the millenials Labour went into bat for, who got tired of waiting for Kiwibuild to not happen, and who have had to suck it up and pay record prices for houses so they can get on with their lives, are again going to be crash test dummies when the DTI lever gets pulled...

Actually now that I'm one of these, that's a lot less funny. Still at least I can sit back knowing it's for the greater good while I pay my student loan back, underwrite the first year of tertiary education free for others and....wait why am I even still here?

10
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Housing growth is not away anytime soon.

With NZ having the relative same geographical size as Japan, who has a population of 127 million (and declining), there is plenty more housing to be had.

Get use to more population. If it has arrived already, its heading your soon. We do and can be a little more selective with our choice of immigrants however. More doctors, engineers, information technologists, carpenters and teachers would be at the top of my list; rather than taxi drivers and takeaway workers.

With NZ having the relative same geographical size as Japan, who has a population of 127 million (and declining), there is plenty more housing to be had

Yes, but Japan (like Singapore) had long-term economic goals. Housing supply was a pillar in the plan to achieve those goals.

NZ is not Japan or Singapore.

Overcrowded countries like Japan, Singapore, UK and others rely on small countries like NZ for their food, who the hell do you think would feed NZ if we end up with similar sorts of numbers and how much more of the natural world will need to be put to the sword to do so?

How can anyone argue that the economy is strong based on the housing market? It has rampant inflation in all areas, It provides minimal employment, it produces no exportable goods and therefore generates no foreign earnings, and until recently generated very little tax for the Government, and probably still does. Not a strong economy at all, but rather housing highlights a vulnerability that points to a serious weakness in the economy.

NZ's economic development model under the current democratic political election system will always be
1. importing more people -- temporary visitors or long term settlers
2. selling more low end education training
3. selling more ag, forestry, and fishery products

A rapid change in NZ's economic development path is desperately needed but will be absolutely unattainable under the current political system.

Sigh~~~

NZ is a frog swimming in a pot of boiling water.

And the pot of boiling water is China. It's high time the frog jumped out.

The “current democratic political election system” doesn’t guarantee those outcomes. Things change and change is created by individual voters as it should be.

The Govt. can't allow property prices to fall in spite of all the rhetoric because:

1) the people that vote have most of their wealth tied up in housing.
2) The Govt. are the largest property owner in NZ.
3) The banks security for the house and any cross secured lending on other assets and businesses, is on the house.

So what they are left with is this:
1) Convince you to move into smaller houses so it looks like house prices are falling.
2) Subsidise with your own and other people's money via home grants and third party housing schemes, building to give the illusion housing is cheaper.
3) Inflate their way out of it with income increases.
4) Replace, and then some, Kiwis leaving for greener pastures with immigrants.

None of this works as a long term solution to fixing a dysfunctional system for the obvious reasons, but it works well enough for us to vote them in.

Although if there was a party on the bottom of the ballot paper that called themselves, 'None of the above,' they would win easily.

It would also include accepting that forcing a city into a compact city model without the construction expertise to build compact city housing or immigration discipline just spikes land prices through the roof to the point where 'compact city' living means studio and one bedroom apartments that cost more than standalone houses did ten years ago. Problematic to start, but even more so when your political acolytes have been at the helm of the councils that have sat back and made it all happen.

The system they are using makes any type of housing more expensive than it needs to be, whatever your choice, but more expensive houses does play right into big plan for a compact city.

Make houses more expensive, can't afford the car, let alone an apartment big enough to have a carpark space, so therefore have to use public transport, not because you want to but it's the only option available you can afford, the irony being it is only affordable because its subsidised partly through vehicle levies.

It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

If people truly wanted to live in the CBD, then why shouldn't they be able to do it far more affordably, and/or in an apartment that is more the size they want. And then when it comes to using PT they have more income available to pay closer to the true cost.

Dale why are you so negative. It can all be fixed very easily with taxing rich people like yourself or we can tax overseas investors. Which would you prefer? :)

Dale is not a rich person. He is ordinary kiwi bloke. He has good ideas and is worth listening too. I do not always agree with him. But I do respect his opinion. Play the ball not the man.

CJ - Tax won't work. Rich people can avoid it so it only impacts some of the middle and the bottom groups. Only regulation will work.

10
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It’s so depressing what’s happening to this once great country. I don’t think many people properly realise how big a shift this will create in the stable, safe society we have all grown up with and taken for granted.

The Boomer simply don't care what happens to NZ, their quite happy to pull the ladder up and ignore their kids futures.

Hmmm, not sure about this boomer beat up. I think they were just in the 'right place, right time'.
Despite our allusions to nobler goals, humans are pretty selfish really.we had religion in the past to lift our sights.

I think right place right time too. Most boomers (most people actually) I talk to have no idea of the real house price drivers and how they changed in the 70’s and 80’s. It makes it worse in that they then think it’s purely hard work and that magically house prices always rise.

Boomer generation/behavior reminds me of a self licking ice-cream cone that, when interest rates normalise, has just been left out in the sun.

It will lick itself into oblivion (literally) leaving a sticky mess on the pavement for the kids to clean up.

Totally ridiculous that the strength of our entire economy lies in the strength of our housing market. Can’t we do anything else!

We cannot do anything else as the average boomer is pretty uneducated and therefore need residential investment properties to set up a reasonable superannuation package. You can spot them a mile away when you attempt to understand what they are saying in their comments on this site.

National are in the pocket of China
Labour lied about immigration and housing
Greens peddle toxic woke politics
NZ First did nothing on immigration
New conservatives are happy clappy

There is literally nobody to vote for.

ACT

Open borders Act?

No thanks

ACT isn’t for open borders. It supports skilled immigration to fill gaps in our labour force. And for what it’s worth they would require new citizens to explicitly sign up to NZ values. They also propose to cut back on immigrant entitlements such as pensions after only ten years’ residency. They support free movement area between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, which I think is a great idea.

Why Act?

An overabundance of self-loathing?

Freedom of speech, one law for all regardless of your ethnicity or when your ancestors arrived here, property rights, assisted dying, acceptance that the free market is the only actual solution to the housing crisis, flat income tax rate, capital should never be taxed, free trade, welfare for those in need but entitlements other than for sickness and disability time-limited, social liberalism, do what you want provided it doesn’t adversely affect others. And I’ve got no issue with skilled immigrants provided that they share our values.

I’ll give you a upvote for that DD. Many moan there is no one else to vote for while they arbitrarily dismiss Act based on misconceptions. I wish Act’s touch of nationalism would extend to keeping the FBB though.

For NZ : ROCK STAR ECONOMY = HOUSING ECONOMY /PONZI

Need say more, besides politicians have vested interest for housing ponzi to run for their benefit and also of their family members. So not to expect anything - At best will throw some dole to average kiwi to portray support and sympathy but in reality are and have scre#@& generations to come.

Just like B/Hickey not so long ago posted on the media. Eventually, the young renters generation will need to use their voting rights wisely for their own future, reduce the voting age should be in agenda. In every cost based pricing in life, Someone else have to pay for it. The problem is that cartel behaviour to control/get more margin out of something, means the one/s that have to pay for it will be in more difficult position. 'Think outside the box', to fix it very unlikely. Until another event/s outside everyone control in the world start to happen & in due course affecting NZ as well.

As long as nothing catastrophic happens in the country or the economy, Labour has a good chance of returning to power. It is theirs to lose...

Housing is fast becoming a stale story here. Even if the house prices drop 20% in the next 6 months, many won't be able to afford to buy, with low wages, high living/insurance costs, etc. Any further lowering of interest rates is also not going to help. Only speculators may move in more and that will result in increasing the rent. I don't think there are enough speculators to push Natioanal to victory.
Immigration is the real story, but every party is ignoring it. We would be be better off having a referendum on the annual numerical quotas for various visa types (to be voted only by citizens). That is the real deal.

If the Government doesn't want to cool the housing market, then they should be willing to buy into what they are selling, and offer 3-way ownership for FHB owner-occupiers.

The Government matches whatever the buyer puts in as a deposit, and either takes home a healthy chunk of tax free capital gains when the house is sold, or is eventually bought out by the owner paying for the Governments share in the property.

The only requirement is to be a FHB owner-occupier and have at least 10% deposit. No income caps, no house price caps.

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