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University of Auckland postgraduate student Connor Sharp explains why he has launched a petition calling on Parliament to implement a capital gains tax on residential property

University of Auckland postgraduate student Connor Sharp explains why he has launched a petition calling on Parliament to implement a capital gains tax on residential property

By Connor Sharp*

Housing affordability is by no surprise a hot topic at the moment, with soaring prices having brought it back into the limelight after a pandemic that dominated headlines.

It’s something I have been thinking about over the last few years, how do I achieve affordable housing in this current environment?

I, by most means am privileged in this regard, fortunate enough to have access to “the bank of mum and dad." In my case it is even lacking many of the strings that can occur with this type of help. I’m also educated, and have paths to well paying jobs. Yet even I have to pause and think “How do I get on the ladder?” 

So if this is currently the reality for young people in extremely privileged positions, what on earth does it say about the situation for those with less privilege?

Housing affordability has been a growing problem for years. I remember in 2017, my first election, deciding on who I wanted to govern New Zealand. Around that time, a shift occurred in the Labour Party with a fresh approach and a promise of change. Bold promises were made; 100,000 affordable houses to be built, and a CGT(capital gains tax) to bring equity into our taxation system. But above all a change from the National government which had done its best to ignore the housing issues in this country.

These were lofty goals that needed to happen in order to fix the mess that is housing. Yet Kiwibuild fell flat at the starting line, and the CGT was quashed by NZ First. That was not what put me off Labour though, it was after this when that party that once promised transformation began ruling out change after change. It began with the CGT, then the wealth tax until it culminated into ruling out everything bar the marginal increase in the upper tax bracket, which in the grand scheme does nothing to help any of these issues.

All I’ve seen is backtracking on the bold promises that were made, the changes we need to fix this situation, both on the demand and supply sides of housing. However when we needed extreme measures for our nation’s Covid-19 response our government sold them to us. Yet housing has been a problem for decades now. It’s on such a scale that the United Nations is calling it a human rights crisis. All we see now are minimal efforts that maybe scrape at the surface of the problem.

So why did I launch this petition, one that calls for a CGT on property, for a government to implement something they have ruled out?

I did it because we need to shift our culture and society away from the attitude of treating housing like an investment opportunity and instead move those investments towards productive parts of the economy. I understand there are problems that people have surrounding a CGT, but the idea is to coalesce the support for change around something.

People know what a CGT is, and while it most certainly will not fix housing by itself, it is an important first step in creating equity in our tax system by treating the capital gains in housing as we would any other income.

A CGT is no silver bullet however. There are other solutions to the crisis that need to be implemented; intensification, infrastructure investments, downsized/affordable housing, change in planning, professionalising landlords, and even long term rental agreements are important in addressing this crisis.

Every year without that change our system becomes more and more entrenched. Thousands more will experience instability and the consequences to society will ripple out for generations. Eventually it will break. Those who are cut out of the ladder will eventually outnumber those who remain.

The PM recently came out and said that the public bears some responsibility for the housing crisis around their failures for implementing taxation change. While this is blatant political deflection, it is true in the sense that we the public need to force our politicians to actually implement the policy recommendations they receive. The most important thing you can do in a democracy is to vote. The second is to speak out. While our chance to vote has just passed, we still have an opportunity to push for change that will reduce the inequalities in our taxation system. It just requires us to speak up.

Here's a link to Connor Sharp's Petition calling for the implementation of a capital gains tax on residential property.

*Connor Sharp is a masters student in geography at The University of Auckland, and is passionate about planning, politics, and creating affordable and livable cities.

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When the gains have been made is whn there are the calls. Bit late. Does Con realize that its his generation that will pick up the tab

Couldn't it apply now?

e.g. sell house tomorrow for $1m that you paid $150k for 10 years ago. Pay tax on $850k gain.

Lol i thought you're much brighter than that question suggests HG

That would be retrospective ... so no.

Any CGT won't be much different to the BL apart from broader and still not include family home. Trouble with BL is IRD do not police. Duh

Parliament can do whatever the hell it likes. Parliament is supreme in NZ.

Do you think ardern would do that... she already blames the public for her earlier non decision. She is the populist of populists... do you think they will extend the BL or more like hot air. GR is on record pre election saying they will not.

Off topic. You asserted that Parliament could not do it when in fact it can. Whether Parliament i.e. Labour would choose to do it is an entirely different question.

Where did I say could not,? more like would not. Get it right you know what I mean when I say retrospective mate

"That would be retrospective ... so no."

Clearly the statement is ambiguous.

You chose to read it as "so no [they can't]" when the Flying high meant "so no [they won't]".

Flying high should have been clearer, but arguing that Flying high said "so no they can't" when they in fact only said "so no" is stupid.

Asserting a phrase is ambiguous and then stating its meaning is obvious is stupid. Oh the irony.

I agree that would be stupid. Thankfully, that is not what I did. Read my comment again if you didn't understand it - note the distinct lack of the word "obvious" appearing anywhere in my comment.

You need to read the posts.

My question (10:22am): Couldn't it apply now?
Flying High (10:25am): That would be retrospective ... so no.

I interpret this as a CGT COULD NOT be applied as I suggested as it would be retrospective. You now say I should have interpreted the response to my question "couldn't it apply now" as "yes, but given the current political and economic climate it is unlikely Labour "would" impose a retrospective CGT". All this from "so no"... impressive.

Thanks hevyg for pointing that out. Although I do think you were aware all along it won't happen retrospectively :) cheers

It's not going to happen at all. But that wasn't the point.

Which leaves a wide open door for significant general strikes, unlike in China - the social media is the citizens most powerful coordination tools.

What would you do, as a rational seller in a market with chronic supply issues and cheap credit, who now suddenly has a massive chunk of their expected proceeds removed?

You tell me?

Not sell of course.

This is going to make it worse.

Look at Australia. They have CGT and they have problems.

We had the lockdown now get ready for the lock-in.

They do but not as a result of their CGT, likely they would be worse if they would not have one.

Nobody knows if CGT made any difference what so every saying it would be worse or better is complete speculation. All we know is the have CGT and they have a problem.

People still sell houses in Australia. Retiring, deceased estates, lose job, moving etc.....

It's like saying no one will ever work as they have to pay income tax.

I'm suggesting people will still sell but just at a higher price to recover whatever they'd lose to a CGT.

It's not like the market can rustle up adequate supply at competitive prices.

If they can sell for a 3rd more then why aren't they now?

Because risk goes both ways - and pricing yourself well ahead of a market causes rational people to look at other options. What happens when you move the expectations of sellers en masse? I fully get the lock-in effect is not real from a purely academic perspective, but I don't know if that evidence applies in a market with such a frustrating combination of drivers as ours.

There is no better way to make a market move en mass than a government issued mandate to raise prices.

Here's the thing some countries are willing to front up the harsh reality of austerity, correction, willing to address serious illness problem. Indeed they will face problem by doing so. How about NZ nothing to front up here, everything have been sugar coated, so sure agreed we should never have this CGT, DTI, LVR etc. we must make an effort more into negative OCR, FLPs into housing 'supply', permanent flexi-wage subsidy, big corporation subsidies via more of those QEs, NZ is still far away from USA level - so we still got more room to raise the current stimulus for sure.

Here our general rule is subsidising wealth for the oldies, off the austerity we'll give the young and next generations.

We enjoy a universal pension, a gold card, winter payments, free education in our time, subsidised affordable housing when we're young we convert to subsidised investment portfolios as we're old etc. We spare a thought for the young when we rant on talkback that they're lazy and spendthrift and we had it hard in our day!

Price the new extra cost into sale price of my product? Assuming scarcity means that there will still be demand for my product or at least that other vendors do the same because the change was signalled by the government and applies market wide leaving buyers little choice but to pay the revised cost?

This is my guess - no reason to think vendors would treat it like any other cost they incur and price a certain amount of recovery into whatever they ask. Owner occupiers buying and selling in the same market have an incentive to go along for the ride, so increasing prices would always find some degree of natural support.

Contingent of course on the government sending market wide pricing signals.

Imagine the tanties that would be thrown.

They (millennials and younger) won't need to pick up the tab.

They just need to wait 20 years until they run parliament, then implement a death tax. Baby boomers start dying off, money gets paid back!

Tax their own inheritances? Hmm, i think self interest will kick in first.

For many, those inheritances are the one shot most have at realistically paying off a mortgage before retirement. So I think it is unlikely.

They (millennials and younger) won't need to pick up the tab.

They just need to wait 20 years until they run parliament, then implement a death tax. Baby boomers start dying off, money gets paid back!

Just signed it.

CGT on housing is only a partial solution, though. We also need to immediately extend the bright-line test to 10 years minimum. On top of this, a one-off wealth tax on speculative housing would be beneficial - speculators have sucked too much from the productive section of the NZ economy, and it would be high time to re-balance things. All the resulting income could be directed towards supporting real businesses and the real economy, especially in areas such as export-oriented enterprises and the high-tech sector, which has a big untapped potential in NZ. This is how we produce wealth , not by selling houses to each other.

I don't think that's going far enough. We need to ban loan to investors for 10 years minimum with mortgage rate fixed to 0.1% for 30 years for FHBs. Anyone with more than 3 houses gets their houses confiscated if not sold within the next 3 years. The confiscated houses gets rented out for free to anyone that doesn't own a property. Also need an emergency clause where any empty houses can be occupied by anyone that doesn't own a property. Taking control of what others own and dictating what they can/cannot do is for the good of the country because I know what's best for all of us.

wouldn't it just be quicker to shoot all multiple property owners, that way you free up their own home too.. and they can't start a pesky lawsuit or nuffing either.

Or you could just round them all up, send them off to a camp somewhere for "re-education" (maybe some will come back, maybe they wont) meanwhile you take their houses, their art, their jewellery, their gold, and anything else you want, and you "redistribute" it to your comrades in arms. Funny, but my suggestion sounds vaguely familiar....

With all other conditions remaining, a CGT will push house price up even further and quicker.

Not true. This is a typical argument investors use but there has been no demonstrated causality relationship between both factors.

Respectfully disagree again.

Don't think normal causality applies at the moment.

Look at what we've got... massive boom in the world's worst pandemic.

People flee to bricks and mortar when things get scary.

Still logic and thermodynamic rules apply in 2020.

Blatantly incorrect. CGT reduces attractiveness as an investment asset because E[profit from cap gains on sale] has decreased while the riskiness of the asset has stayed the same. Thus the maximum price that an investor is willing to pay today decreases.

Further, any anticipated shortages into the future (and thus capital gains) would result in a smaller increase in house prices today as chasing future capital gains is again, less attractive due to the tax on sale.

Respectfully disagree.

Look at Australia.

Look at where else you can have a tangible asset returning more than 1%.

That logic only works if you can not make the buyer pay the tax. When there is a shortage of supply the cost gets pushed to the buyer (as opposed to the vendor) driving the price up in the short term.

Sure, but the tax has to be large enough to force investors to seek alternatives for better returns

Agreed with you. That's one of purposes to tax, to discourage speculations in certain industries. CGT is effective to restructure our economy and discourage investing in existing houses but encourage investing in productive sectors. CGT is a tool to correct investors' behaviors.

Why do you want to discourage house building?

If you read my comment, it says "discourage investing in existing houses".

... why do we need "a tool to correct investors behaviours " when we could simply solve the problem by directly addressing the constraints on house building , the lack of competition in building supplies , and the onerous price of sections ...

A CGT is necessary within a normal context so just signed this. At this stage we already went too far and we should be thinking about banning investment in residential properties altogether.

What is Connor's field of study & who does he have as academic supervisor.

My pick, chances its not STEM, could be wrong though.


This is a textbook case of ad hominem argument. Even if the petition was initiated by the Pink Panther the CGT would still be necessary.

B21, yesterday we debunked the theory that cgt would disallow the property bubble.

Unless by neccessay, you wish to address some other issue.

Not related to my comment, it is necessary even if it would not pop the bubble, to which I would disagree regardless of how much debunking you did yesterday.

What is Connor's field of study & who does he have as academic supervisor. My pick, chances its not STEM, could be wrong though.

He states that he is studying geography. Did you read the article or is your reading comprehension not up to par? If you couldn't decipher his field of study, I don't think you should be speculating on whether or not his study is related to STEM.

thanks, I was reading the text, not the footnote.

Topic of study goes to how students are taught to think and compare things.

I see. So how does he stack up in your assessment? Do you know the extent to which they do A/B testing in the field of geography? Chances are that he doesn't read much about System 1 and System 2 thinking. But STEM students don't necessarily read Kahneman either.

So what was the point you were trying to make? That geography students shouldn't instigate petitions?

I doubt there's any rationale behind it. He's just gatekeeping.

QD: Absolutely reject that.

So we are all nothing more than a product of our teachers and nothing else?

If you've only had academic learning and no practical experience of applying said learning then maybe yes?

CGT - We will get one sometime but the reality of taxing anything to make it cheaper is deeply floored. In 1985 Aussy got theirs and clearly did not fix their market. A study of their experience is that was the birth of the super expensive suburbs where wealthy piled much more into their own homes to avoid it. A long with that a significant % of the market was permanent removed from the market because selling investment property is taxable borrowing against it is not. I'm not against a CGT but lets not be fooled it is the cure. For me a CGT should be applied to every appreciating asset including the family home, thats inclusive of profits made on selling a business ( remember trademe $600mil+ ) cars, art everything. If this was applied we would all be in the same boat and not create another divide in society. Studies I have read of an inclusive CGT suggest a tax rate of between 5-7 % would raise and eye watering tax take. Perhaps this could be re-invested into our infrastructure, child poverty, our housing etc seems a good idea over all that most people would buy into.

Prices for assets would have to keep rising in line with inflated government costs in order to pay for stuff under a CGT. Do we want asset price inflation or don't we?

It's not about making it cheaper, it's about correcting investors behavior as the current market is too hot.

And yet I was just looking at this graphic on reddit, that shows in the last decade Sydney house prices increased by 60.2%, Melbourne 38.1% and Auckland 112.2%.

Australia is an over-taxed desert with slivers of green on the edge + Tasmania. If the climate science is correct, it will be a bushfire ridden dust bowl in our lifetime. So I'd be selling Sydney/Melb and buying NZ as well. Tasmanian prices are up a lot, coincidence?

My house is also deeply floored.

However, your argument falls at the first hurdle when you look at NZ history and the use of Land Tax to get more and smaller parcels of land into more Kiwi hands and freed up from land banks.

Moreover, John Key was right about CGT on these current unearned incomes from property: "It's fair that if you make $100k from work and you pay tax on it you should pay tax on $100k you make from property investment."

I'll sign your petition Connor but you're a dreamer if you think Labour will take any risk controlling a majority in parliament. G'luck kid!

What happens when you are borrowing against one house to buy another and a CGT is introduced? Suddenly you have less equity, will banks take this into account?

hello andrew

you haven't posted for the last few days....rain been keeping you busy? here too....lots of blowflies and crying lambs

a few weeks back you posted on a book on modern revolution/social media or similar...what was the book?I couldn't find it or your post

I'm not sure but will think on it,I'm in kaikoura following my daughter on her bike.

it had a yellow cover

Yep,two blond chicks

I recall this being posted... although if it was Andrew or not; that I can't recall :-)

It does have a yellow cover, but alas just Times Roman font, no blond lassies.

aj, can you bring back Open Country.
You do a podcast 1pm every Sunday.
It would great!

Hoping to check on a farm in Cheviot this afternoon, girls back home are meant to be weighing bulls for market. We had even more rain, daughter biked into strong southerly yesterday.

Mate in UK got £2.80 a kg for his lambs yesterday, best price ever, whatever is going wrong with our sheep market it's not coming from the UK. Up £20 on last year's, beef £2.20 a kg live weight. He thinks covid has pushed people back to local butchers.

It's a shame that the supermarkets have nearly exterminated local butchers from NZ. Kiwis would also get a better deal on meat.

No, they are a secured creditor, the IRD is not.

Less equity would be great. The power of equity is one of the causes of the problem. I’d rather sign a petition banning the use of equity for investment property — that would make a much bigger difference than a CGT.

About blimming time that someone is speaking up about that elephant!


Your letter is three years too early...GR and JA will not go there..maybe extend BL test, although IRD don't really chase this, so there will be nothing happen in the next three years.

I am surprised a little in that this comes from someone who claims to be educated, and the usual stream of comments that are extremely superficial. In all the debates I have observed some crucial factors are never debated; a precise definition of a Capital Gain (it is clear there are many assumptions being made), how it is determined and when any tax would be applied.

The most superficial discussion that is apparent is that a tax would be applied based on some theoretical "value" determined by someone, somewhere. No one seems to acknowledge that once the door is open to the Government being able to apply a tax on any assets theoretical "Value", then there are almost no limits on where that can be applied. In it's crudest form a CGT could actually deepen any inequities and impoverish occupier owners.

It is my view that there are more effective means to regulate the housing market, which no Government in the last 20 years has been prepared to do.

STOMP on bank lending being the most effective.

interest only especially

Yes Murray, you only need look at the size of the Australian Tax Acts and the Volumes dedicated to Capital Gains Taxation.
Indexing aside, the term pre-cgt would have very special meaning also.

You are right about the culture of housing as a investment. Despite your dislike you still use the term get on the ladder.

ladders can be used to get onto a roof...or down to the basement

Prices are not going up due to not having a CGT.
They are primarily going up (in Auckland) because too few are being built and the places they are being built is restricted by land boundary law, increasing land price.
Demand has been stoked by lowering rates and removing LVR. rates have been cut more and more since 2013, to maintain semblance of "affordability" in pcm payments, but not total debt to be repaid.
Supply was not prepared for this stoking of demand.
Bit like importing 100s of thousands without the infrastructure.

We have a speculative culture, boom and bust baked in. Everything from land way back when, to ostrich and dairy investment, we borrow as much as banks will lend any vehicle will do. We go till it burns down and then scream with shock and surprise, housing is following the classic course, although possibly the biggest bubble ever.

Describing housing as a ladder paints it as some sort of pyramid scheme, or like you're all crabs in a bucket trying to climb over each other.

It is waste of time extending bright line test or putting on a CGT as if i was a serious invester i would just sell the house pay the tax and move on to the next one.

Or you could choose another type of investment which has better return?

Question: We currently have a CGT with a bright line test of 5 years. What is the difference between this and a new CGT? Does the bright line test not apply to owner-occupied?
My view: If we don't want housing to be seen as an investment, then surely introducing tax on selling your house is the wrong way to go about that. That forces people to view their house as an investment, especially if you want to move one day. Imagine trying to sell your house in Auckland and buy again in the same market.

BL applies if you say your purpose is to buy the house and sell for CG. So if you buy the house for the family to live in, and it is for that purpose and you happen to sell within 5 years (for number of reasons) it will not apply. think issue is I heard IRD dont really have a mechanism in place to chase/monitor that it is currently only if you ring and say you brought for the purpose of making CG, so doubt many people would make that call.

However, still doesn't make sense to me. The purpose of the bright line test was to make a clear distinction between an investment property for the purpose of long-term rental (in which case only the rent is taxed), and for the purpose of trading (in which case capital gains are taxed because that is the source of income).
So I think the only difference a new CGT would bring is to have the tax apply to owner-occupiers (and of course extending the bright line indefinitely).
I don't see how that is fulfilling the purpose of not treating housing like an investment. Seems to do the opposite.

I supported the introduction of the bright line test because it was designed to make it easier for IRD to tax property traders. If taxing property traders is not making a difference, why do we think taxing people's desire to move house will help?

Not going to happen - stick to geography young fella.

Better go for something more realistic and something that might have teeth - eg stamp duty on investment properties. But that would still be a 'new tax' and so won't be happening this term either.

You'll get an extended bright line test and that's all ! Which will actually help hold prices up and prevent falls as investors are locked into holding instead of selling

What professional qualifications might you have, so that we know what you should be sticking to? Or would you find that logic rather ridiculous when applied to yourself?

Bachelor of Talkback Radio, perhaps.

It's crazy to ask the Man to increase taxes.

How about petitioning to make mortgages tax deductible for first home buyers?

No reason why current and future taxpayers bear the burden of decisions made by stupid FHBs who think a house is suddenly worth a lot more right in the middle of an economy-crushing pandemic.

Connor...think about it. And I've posted this before.
Say I paid $500k for my home and sell it 3 years later for $800k because I'm moving for my job
If taxed, the govt takes say $90k.
I go to the new town and my house still costs $800k.
I cannot afford it and must be something for $90 k less.
You think this is a good idea...paying tax just because of inflation?
Inflation is tax by stealth. Govt just stole $90k.

Owner occupier homes would have to be exempt if it were ever to be palatable

In which case do we not already have a CGT?

yes, but the loophole is so big that you can walk a elephant through it!

Great - this is the info I'm after. Do you know exactly what you mean by that so that we can see the difference a new CGT would have? And why then wouldn't we propose just closing this loophole in the current law?

Know of flippers who get their children to buy properties to 'live in', renovate the property and flick it off for huge profit a couple months later... nil tax paid.

An old workmate bought 4 properties in the last 2 years. He sold them all recently and paid no CGT.. His reason was "I didn't intend to sell when I bought them but I lost my job"..
But he was a self employed contractor and all his work has always been short term tenure!

There was a restructure in IRD a few years ago, following which several call centre and other admin workers were moved into investigations.

"You can answer the phone? You'll be fantastic at identifying speculative behaviour out of a large pile of complex asset transactions carefully structured by brilliant tax accountants."

Thanks. So the bright line test applies regardless of intention (you may have read it wrong?). However there are 4 exemptions, including whether it is your main home.
Not sure a CGT that does not apply to your main home will change anything - seems we already have it in place! So that's good news for the writer isn't it? Petition not needed?

CM, that's blatant tax evasion. He won't be so "cock 'o the hoop" when IRD catch up with him. I'd also speculate his accountant (if he has one) will be running a mile.

99.9 percent of sales go through lawyers for conveyancing at which the lawyer makes a tax declaration. That is already happening. Go the extra step and deduct withholding tax from the proceeds after mortgage is repaid. Lawyers will hate being a tax collector but they will charge client for it. I believe non residents already pay w/t

It could get tricky if the contractor is actually a registered company and it's the company buying the properties via a "Nominee" arrangement in which case the sales profit could be blurred in EoY books - still pretty keen doing that imo

Seems we have a bit of a problem with a culture of tax evasion in property.

I recall seeing one investor on here say to another: "Be careful about saying openly that you bought for capital gains... If you acknowledge that on a public forum you could be up for tax."

I'm no expert Nifty1 but I think someone is winding you up. No conveyancing lawyer would transact a sale to a child younger than at least 16 - in which case the "child" would be liable for the tax. If they don't pay it - it's tax evasion.
A good link that lays it out fairly clearly

I will check with my lawyer whether he has noticed this happening. Could be next to impossible based on the identification requirements nowadays.

FH, I was trying to avoid telling Nifty1 his mate was a straight BS artist. There's NO way it would happen.

Yeah their children - 20 years old or so - full time workers. Don't know why you'd assume 16 or under? The parents are full time renovators/builders/house flippers. To avoid tax they get their children to purchase the home as 'a flat' with 'boarders'. Months later the house is renovated and sold. The children never really resided there. The children get a clip of the profit, the parents make their money - they're away laughing.

I assumed they were under 16 because you said "children" not adult children - so my mistake. Either way what you're describing sounds very murky taxwise. They may not be laughing for too much longer. If they're successful then good luck to them - if they're not?? no sympathy

Yes, that word intent. It's great if people deliberately remain so ignorant about what they might do next that their future is just a random reaction to events totally out of their control.

NZ must have some of the luckiest financial wealthy 'homeowners' in the world.

What's an owner occupied home?
The rules will be written and then it will be a matter of structuring around them. lawyers and accountant will love it - more and more non productive activity introduced in NZ inc. Just wat we don't need.

Just give us an asset tax. Simple and loop holes

They would have looked at the model used by ATO in Australia. family home would be exempted if owned for than 12 months.. No other exception!

Any sane housing CGT would exclude the primary residence.

If it's owner occupied, then you shouldn't need to pay CGT. CGT should be designed for investors.

I'm not a housing investor, but I'd be OK with paying CGT on my home if there were no exemptions for anyone. I don't however think CGT will make a jot of difference to rising house prices. It hasn't anywhere else that already has CGT, so why would it here?
I am however concerned about how the gain would be calculated. The standard "bought it for $500k, sold it 10 years later for $850k = pay tax on $350k" doesn't stack up. What about the mortgage interest payments and cost of maintenance, improvements and insurance etc. - how do these get accounted for? Too many uncertainties for me to want to sign up.

We have a banking system problem not a tax problem.
The last 12 months of record lending meant record house price.
Credit Growth = House Price Growth, has done so for the last 40 years.
CGT has worked in other countries why would it work here?

Define "worked".

If someone makes $100k from work and another makes $100k from selling an investment property, they're both receiving $100k and should pay their taxes. As John Key described it, that's fair enough.

We need to stop this entitlement driven avoidance of a CGT.

Exactly. Imagine doing renovations to your home and having to file accounts with IRD as if your home was a business. What a dumb way to avoid people seeing their house as an investment.

Too late. The year 2000 was the time to introduce a capital gains tax. The sensible course now is an annual land tax.

Why on earth would you petition the govt to impose more taxes? Even if you think other people will pay this tax and you will benefit, it's unlikely to turn out that way. How about we petition them to remove or reduce taxes that discourage investment in productive areas instead?

Yes, let's give people a reason to hold onto their houses and not sell. That'll fix the supply problem! If anything, putting on a CGT will make things worse.

Now if this bloke had started a petition to really fix housing by asking the govt to immediately pass law to force all Council to release all surrounding land for development, and the Govt to fund $10 billion of infrastructure costs through loans to Council for all this infrastructure (the cost of which they would claw back from developers and then repay Govt, then I would sign it.
The petition above for a CGT is just virtue signalling.

No politicans will ever act on CGT and most experts / media will criticize as have vested biased interest.


Nicely written, Connor. I'm sure you have a great future in front of you. I have two sons who I assume are in your age group. I am also Chairman of a Bank of Mum and Dad.

I've been investing in property among other things since 1990. Since before property investing became trendy. I'm a former banker. Haven't purchased any additional property in years.

You are right that the present residential conundrum requires multiple strategies to get it back to where it's commonly believed it used to be. Many things have changed over recent times, I don't think it's really possible
to turn back the clock on much of it. A CGT in my view, depending on how it's implemented, could easily become a victim of the law of unintended consequences. Where it would see rents increase, property prices surge further to cover the expense. And less properties being put up for sale, choking supply even more.
The property class would potentially hold off building and maintaining the existing stock. Which provides domestic employment and commercial activity, at a time when offshore options are limited. In my view the key to changing things in a meaningful way is to build, build, build. Which is what NZ did post the early 70's oil shock. Making the most of a bad situation.

Also, from a political view, a new residential CGT would hurt those young aspiring middle class who have managed to invest in recent years. And there are a great many of them. These are part of the large bloc that elected Labour in a landslide.

Any form of CGT or wealth tax means I get taxed twice. Once when I earn the money, then again because I have saved and invested. There must also be a conversation at the same time about which taxes will be reduced as a result.

Also, if I had a loss on a house (see discussions on climate change affecting viability of some houses) would I get money back? Which expenses are able to be used to offset the capital gain, how is my time for DIY improvements taken into account etc.

You don't get taxed twice. Say you buy a house for 500k - you were taxed on the money you earnt to pay for that. A CGT means you get taxed on the gain - so if you sell it for 500k, you don't pay any tax. If you sell it for $750k, you get taxed on the gain - $250k. No money has been taxed twice. You're also not being taxed 'because you saved and invested,' any more than someone who pays income tax is being taxed 'because they work hard and invested in their education.' You're being taxed because you made 250k.

As above. You sell it for $750k and get taxed. So you buy your new home and have to down grade because the govt just stole $75k. All houses are going are NO better off but have just had $75 stolen because you moved house.

I think you'll find you'll potentially lose more than 75K shortly. Any gain will be added to your total income so you'll be paying 39% on anything over 180K gross. However at the moment the BL tax isn't payable on owner occupied so moving to a new home wouldn't be captured

Right, that's how taxes work - you have less money after tax than you did before. But I don't see why choices you make about what you spend money on after you have made it should affect whether or not it is taxed. Put it this way: if you are saving for a deposit from money you earn from wages, should you be able to argue that you shouldn't pay tax on that money, because if you do pay tax on it you won't be able to buy as nice a house as you would like?

I mean... the government's poor management of economic levers is how we got into this mess in the first place. What has the government done to justify clipping the ticket on a gain they created but will just leave the vendor out of pocket? You're better off not selling at all - or even better, developing the absolute hell out of your property to maximize the gain.

Well, if the government created those gains, what have property owners done to justify keeping the entirety of the gains?
Also, if you sell one house and buy another, you're already losing some money, as it costs money to buy and sell. Should we have government subsidized real estate agents then, if it's so important that vendors aren't out of pocket?
When it comes down to it, its about treating people fairly. Someone saving from their wages to buy a house gets taxed on the money they intend to buy a house with. This means they won't be able to buy as nice a house, because they'll have less money. If we think its unfair to tax a vendor because then they won't be able to buy as nice a house, it's also unfair to tax the wage earner.

A cynic might say we already have the Govt subsidising real estate agents! But really, how is this treating 'people' fairly? Do we accept that families need help with things like the cost of raising kids, but if you try to buy a house with an extra bedroom, we'll slug you with a major cost?

I believe if you made a loss you would get money back, but not in 1 lump sum you would have to offset it against future income.

Going for a tax, is like going for smacking as a parent as your first and maybe only parenting tool.

There are so many better first steps to achieve affordable housing, many of which, if you don't implement first, will result in the very issue that you don't want, unless of course, you like hitting people with a tax stick.

So Connor is a PG in geography, with a leaning towards planning. He then decides to speculate in tax matters - priceless. At no time in his diatribe does he touch on the planning restrictions concerning the availability of land for new developments - which would be far more relevant to his expertise.
Many people have bemoaned investors for not supporting "productive" industries. What they seem to forget is
1: Investing in startups is inherently risky and a good way to kiss goodbye to your money.
1a: Investing in the "productive economy" can really only be done in three ways - an IPO(risky), start your own business(80% failure rate) or be an "Angel" investor (generally restricted to people with more money than a bull can sh*t)
2: You can't leverage an investment the same way you can housing.
3: Housing has been a reliable income generator for decades
Is it any surprise a risk averse investor (with a spare 200K) who is even marginally tax savvy wouldn't invest in housing.

NZ is a backwater, there are no decent businesses here to invest in. Anything remotely successful outside of this tiny pond don't even bother listing in NZ but go direct to Australia. A CGT will simply be money wasted on the rubbish that is left in this country and will go straight down the toilet. The only industry in which NZ displays competance, agriculture, is being destroyed by Labour and the Greens, so why would you want to invest in them? A wealth tax applies if you want to invest in overseas shares, so that is off the table too. Lets face it, there is nothing but housing to invest in here, and a CGT isnt going to change that. It will simply make everyone a lot poorer. As the saying goes, you don't make a country richer by making its people poorer.

Here is a hint !
More taxes will not provide shelter for people, you need more quality properties to leave in.

Good to hear from passionate student out there, but they must understand that their best best for their own future betterment is across the ditch, they think tank contributions, effort will be recognised & rewarded accordingly. NZ is unique in the current world economic wealth creation, retention and survival self preservation.
PM has targeted the 2025 for Carbon Neutral today, which means clearly from 2021-2025 is a clear years of stimulus should be given by RBNZ & govt. by means of continuing of current policy of handout, subsidy etc. - CGT, DTI, LVR and any other acronyms that you can think about related to regulation are sure of unwanted barrier to this effort.

I don't see how a CGT will stop people buying houses. I lived in Australia, and never once thought "oh, I better not buy that house or stock because I have to pay tax on any profits if I sell it". What a silly idea. A CGT only works to stop people selling houses or stocks. Which the Brightline is already doing - the number of listings since it was extended to 5 years has significantly dropped as owners who purchased since 2018 sit on their properties, which reduces supply, and in the absence of a corresponding reduction in demand, prices increase as a result (which we can clearly see is happening). Its not a coincidence that prices started to move early this year before Covid , because that was when the 2018 buyers were stopped from coming to market. Listings won't return to the market until 2023 when the Brightline expires. Extend it to 10 years, and it will be 2030 before stock levels go back to normal. In the meantime prices will keep increasing.

To me the main cause of the housing crisis is not no CGT, but the availability of cheap credit, and the fundamental belief by a significant portion of New Zealanders that house prices will always rise. When people go to buy a house they go and see how much they can afford, if the interest rate halves they can afford double. Also since people think house prices are going up they are willing to pay as much as they can to get on the ladder, and combined with low interest that is a lot.

Just look at the historic interest (OCR) in the 80s it was over 20% now its about 0, going into negative. For investors borrowing acts as a profit/loss multiplier and since housing is the only asset you can borrow large amounts of money at low interest rates for. I think CGT will make little or no difference. If you really want to hurt investors, raise interest to 5% and watch as they sell of their properties as fast as possible because now their expenses are doubled .

What a total pillock. Did Conor not hear Jacinda say no more CGT while she was Prime Minister? Classic professional university student, then straight in to job in so called Public Service or similar. The whole time of course, keeping well away from the real world.

Anyone that thinks a tax will override monetary policy being implemented the world over is an idiot. Higher house prices are not an unexpected side effect, it is a design feature of central bank monetary policy. At least the RBA Governor admits it:
"Speaking at a parliamentary economics committee meeting in Canberra, Dr Lowe said the aim of the bank in lowering borrowing cost was to “free up cashflow” for households to spend. “It would be inappropriate for us to target asset prices,” Dr Lowe said. “That’s not our job and shouldn’t be our job. What the monetary system can do is influence the average level of prices of goods and services.”
Dr Lowe said it was clear property prices would rise on the back of record low rates. “That shouldn’t surprise us. Lower interest rates do mean higher house prices, that’s part of the transmission mechanism,” he said.