David Whitburn on NIMBYs, Brian Gaynor's house price fears, Demographia & toilet paper, what's different about Auckland, Dilbert & more

David Whitburn on NIMBYs, Brian Gaynor's house price fears, Demographia & toilet paper, what's different about Auckland, Dilbert & more

Today's Top 10 is a guest post from David Whitburn who is a professional property investor, property development consultant, author, member of the Auckland Property Investors’ Association board, and proud father of three young kids. David is a co-founder of Fuzo Limited, an infill housing company, and he blogs on davidwhitburn.co.nz.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz. And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

1. Is Nick Smith pandering to NIMBYs?
There are likely to be changes to the RMA this year.

Some of them, as outlined here, are long overdue.

However there is no mention of affected party forms that council require to prevent costly hearings that can arise if neighbours don’t sign-off small planning contraventions.

Neighbours often don’t like change – they might lose part of their view or be concerned about that time 4 years ago when your kids had a party and loud music playing at 2am and this is their chance to get back at you.

Seen that far too many times dressed up as not signing forms, going into hiding, making up an issue, when there usually is no major reason.

Being on the coal face acting as a project manager on affordable housing development, I have to get these forms signed off regularly.  Too often good developments that will bring on significant supply are frustrated.

There has been no mention of neighbour notification issues.  In the media release well expanded by the New Zealand Herald, point 5 mentions “greater weight to property owners”.  Is this going to give NIMBYs more powers and dash more first home buyers’ dreams?

Nick Smith's RMA reforms ...

1.   Add management of natural hazards
2.   Recognise urban planning
3.   Prioritise housing affordability
4.   Acknowledge importance of infrastructure
5.   Greater weight to property rights
6.   National planning templates
7.   Speed up plan-making
8.   Encouraging collaborative resolution
9.   Strengthening national tools
10. Internet for simplicity and speed

Read more on a closely related topic from Lynn Grieveson here, which includes Graeme Wheeler’s solutions on Wednesday to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee where he thinks “work needs to be done in inner Auckland in addressing the height restrictions and the Not-In-My-Backyard syndrome that's there.”

Councils nationwide but especially in Auckland need to lay-off trying to make developments notified. 

A concerted effort needs to be made to categorise more activities as permitted or restricted discretionary activities.

2. Auckland hits record highs
Like the sharemarket the property market is around record highs with Auckland leading the charge. There are crucial advantages property has over shares in my opinion.

Life will go on if you don’t have any shares, but you need a roof over your head.

Our banks know the safety and security property brings, and will far more happily lend on it.  Many readers will be able to get an 80% loan fixed for 5.75% for 5 years to buy a $500,000 property right now if it is not leasehold, in an informal blacklist for being in a very low demand area, or a tiny apartment.

But just try to get a loan to buy $500,000 of that same bank’s shares. I’d be surprised if many people qualified for this. In fact, how many people would want to?

You may get on a much smaller amount 30% of the same bank’s shares, with a much higher interest rate, extremely unlikely to be fixed for 5 years.

Perception is reality. Kiwis love property. Banks love property. Auckland is the undisputed heavyweight champion of New Zealand’s economy.

We pay in housing for the price of success and being part of the third most liveable city in the world. By voting with our feet by remaining in Auckland and coming to Auckland, as we have done and will continue to do for decades and centuries on end, means that Auckland will keep being expensive. 

As my late grandparents said Auckland houses were expensive in their own grandparents’ opinion. I think my grandchildren (if my at least one of my three kids have children themselves) will also think Auckland houses are expensive too.  If you don’t like Auckland, don’t live there, we are fortunate enough to have that choice.

3.  Fear, greed and scare mongering
There are some interesting projections being bandied about for NZ and Auckland house prices.  Some of them are rather silly, some are very premature, others are from vested interest groups.  I commented to the New Zealand Herald in this article which had the headline:

Brian Gaynor of Milford Asset Management opined (in this video interview with interest.co.nz) house prices might come down “10, 15, 20 or even 25 per cent." Dominick Stevens added Westpac’s gigantic weight to say house prices may fall 5% by 2018.  

It is fair enough to give an opinion even if the middle and upper end of Gaynor’s prediction are somewhat imaginary. This epic destruction of wealth would require an implosion in the global financial system, collapsing our construction sector, real estate sales sector, and the massive property industry as a whole.  I don’t think our banks, which control our property market to a large extent, would let this happen to protect their greatest assets (their loan books).  A property market will not fall in isolation.  Unemployment and under-employment would be rife. 

You could expect to see a typical equity fund manager's face fall two or three times the quantum of his projections for the property market to fall in such a systemic meltdown.  I am not bagging the record priced NZ sharemarket at all and am proud to invest in it.  Whist I have had some shares fall over 1000% and others rise over 500% and one company go under to render my investment totally worthless, this roller coaster isn’t for everyone.

I think Milford are very talented fund managers (note I am not a financial planner or AFA so don’t get commissions to recommend companies or funds).

Remember, the housing market is dominated by home owners.  Everyone needs a place to live.  It is extremely hard for an individual external shareholder to add value to a company, yet adding a bedroom, renovating a property, building a minor dwelling or subdividing a property can make massive changes and help immunise you against the inevitable future market downturn.

Now why not ask your fund manager to charge a percentage of the annual income they generate for you, like a skilled property manager does with many years of experience in charging you rent? This would be instead of charging you based on your asset value.  That’s a novel idea.  They won’t because they can’t.  There is no comparison to having a quality property investment plan, taking action, monitoring that property plan and building a portfolio in a top growth location (i.e. Auckland).  This is why I help some AFAs out with the property investment component of their own wealth plans – they want to generate serious wealth using prudent leverage to get the turbo charged returns that long-term property investment in Auckland brings commensurate with the risks entailed.

4. Desire and the “it” destinations
Affordability issues gain popular attention and every year we get the Demographia political lobby group to pressure for urban sprawl, which gets good headlines to criticise the Councils and local governments in NZ and around the world for bad planning policies.

Some strategic planners and government politicians tell me that the annual reports get as much respect as your regular square of toilet paper.  I think it is more useful than that and an interesting read.

Affordability involves dividing median house prices by median incomes.  Median house prices are rising in Auckland, but incomes are going up at a snail’s pace.  However there is a more important point.

The cities which are the frequently the most affordable in the Demographia surveys are not in most peoples’ top 1,000 places to visit if you can find them, let alone to live in list:

· Limerick, Ireland (the most affordable city in the world)
· Detroit, USA (is their murder rate higher than Baghdad’s?)
· Moncton, Canada
· Decateur, USA
· Topeka, USA
· Terre Haute, USA
· Youngstown, USA
· Waterford, Ireland (they have some nice crystals on display)

But compare this to a selection of the cities towards the most unaffordable in Demographia’s latest survey:

· Hong Kong
· Vancouver, Canada
· Sydney, Australia
· Melbourne, Australia
· San Francisco, USA
· Honolulu, USA
· Melbourne, US
· London, UK
· Auckland, NZ
· Shenzhen, China (not directly analysed but noted)
· Beijing, China (not directly analysed but noted)
· Shanghai, China (not directly analysed but noted)

I may be being harsh to the hard working team at Demographia, but I fear the major point is being missed.  A major reason that house prices rise as people vote with their feet to live in these cities – this is migration.  A number of people don’t want to have to own a car and live over one hour away in heavy traffic to get to work. 

This is the most closely correlated driver to house price growth. That is why there is no sudden flood of people into Limerick, Ireland as charming and extremely affordable as it is, and into Detroit no matter how good the Motown music is.

Give a person wanting to leave a large country like India or China for example the choice between Topeka vs Vancouver, or perhaps Terre Haute vs Auckland, or even Limerick vs Hong Kong and you know the answer.

Quite frankly you’ll see this trend continuing and the Demographia reports will continue to mark the same cities as very or severely unaffordable, and the same cities as highly affordable for many more years to come.

Also who pays for all this infrastructure – taxpayers and ratepayers have had enough.  Developers will pass this onto home owners in less affordable homes.

5. Incomes by band
Incomes are the other part of the housing affordability equation and I’d love these to be higher for everyone. Wouldn’t we all.

The simple fact is we have the ability for many business owners and investors to band their income.  Look at the bands around $48,000 per annum income where the tax rate rises from 17.5% to 30% and again at $70,000 p.a. where the tax rate rises from 30% to 33%.

There are interestingly a massive amount more taxpayers earning $47,001 to $48,000 than there are taxpayers earning $46,001 to $47,000 and those earning $48,001 to $49,000.  Wonder why that is?

Tax policy creates behaviour changes world over – NZ is no different.

Instead of only focussing on restraining house prices, why not have a massive focus on upping our productivity and adding value to the rest of the world so we can raise our incomes significantly. Let’s take some small steps now to get big results.

6. What is so different about Auckland$ – Jonno Ingerson, CoreLogic
In Westpac’s REDnews, the director of research at CoreLogic (formerly QV) talks in this interesting article about the key drivers for Auckland house price growth.  

The excerpt includes “The things fuelling the property market such as low interest rates, strong net migration, and consumer confidence are impacting the whole country. Are they impacting Auckland more? Possibly. Migrants are tending to end up in Auckland more than many other parts of the country while consumer confidence and employment prospects are also generally better in Auckland.

But it’s the lack of supply that is most unusual about Auckland. That lack of supply takes two forms. One is an outright lack of houses for the number of people. While difficult to put an exact number on it, this shortage is at least 15,000 houses.

The other lack of supply is in properties listed for sale. This dropped throughout 2014 and a surge of sales activity over November and December ate through more of the stock on the market, meaning that we started 2014 with pretty poor choice for Auckland buyers.”

7. Rents up 9% across NZ
Trade Me reported that rents went up 9% from 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015 across the country.  Many Landlords have just realised this and the simple fact is rents are going up for most Tenants across New Zealand.

Nigel Jeffries, head of Trade Me Property, stated "median weekly rents clicked up $20 per week between December and January to a record high of $420 per week. That's grim news for tenants."

Areas which recorded some of the big rises in the year to January were Auckland up 6.7% to $480/week, Wellington up 6% to $440/week and Canterbury up 8.4% to $450/week.

Kiri Barfoot, director responsible for the Property Management of Barfoot & Thompson, who are Auckland’s largest property managers, said her agency's data showed a 26% increase in Auckland rent over five years, from $388/week in 2009 to $488/week in 2014.  In the same period a litre of 91 octane petrol has increased by 32%, while a 400ml glass of beer and an adult visit to the doctor have both increased by 22%.

All landlords need to ensure they are up with the news and charging market rents, as it is too easy as a part-time landlord to forget to put rents up and leave them the same for years, subsidising your tenants living costs.  A nice thing to do for them, but it may not be so nice for you and your own family’s financial future.

8. Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) starting mid-year
I salute Auckland Council for reaching agreement with Precinct Properties to allow them to build a quality 38 storey tower at their Downtown Shopping Centre site at the bottom of Queen Street extending the block up to Albert Street.

Precinct will be developing the tunnels when they do their foundations for their tower.  Details of the $500 million project can be seen here, whilst the One News report including a video announcing this from Mayor Len Brown is seen here.

Two new tunnels will start at Britomart and stretch 150 metres below what's currently QEII Square and the downtown complex. Auckland Council says it has enough money to extend the tunnels a further 450 metres up Albert Street.

However Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the Government plans to work with Auckland Council to ensure the CRL's success. But the Government is committed to a 2020 start date and has no plans to provide early funding unless more people than expected start to catch trains.

Come on Auckland Transport – make trains more affordable for the masses to increase patronage and then we can focus on what is holding Auckland back the most, infrastructure to cater for our strong population growth as we surge towards 2.5 million people and beyond over the next 25 or so years.

9. D-Day for the EU and a possible implosion with the "Grexit"
It is D-day for Greece and their many years of spend your future practices by government.  It is no secret that the German and Greek government’s don’t like each other and the Greek government only has three weeks of cash left right now.  This is a high stakes game as the new Greek government are a very left leaning party composed of radicals, as opposed to lackeys for various plutocrats.

I think that there will be a Greek exit (“Grexit”) from the EU.  Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis wrote this opinion piece on Monday in the New York Times, entitled No Time for Games in Europe. He wrote:

I am often asked: What if the only way you can secure funding is to cross your red lines and accept measures that you consider to be part of the problem, rather than of its solution? Faithful to the principle that I have no right to bluff, my answer is: The lines that we have presented as red will not be crossed.

These aren’t the words of man about to back down.  This is going to be very interesting.  Global financial markets will be watching what happens tonight very keenly as we have US$26 trillion of derivatives tied into the value of the Euro.

The Wall Street Journal reported (paywalled) that “any changes to the content or expiration date of Greece’s €240 billion bailout have to be decided by Friday, to give National Parliaments in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands enough time to approve them before the end of the month.  Without such a deal, Greece will be on its own from March 1, cut loose from the rescue loans from the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund that have sustained it for almost five years.”

If there is a Grexit, markets will panic. They will wonder who is next. Is it Spain, Portugal or Italy? So my question is who is shorting the Euro right now and how long until we get parity between the USD and Euro?

10. Tomorrow’s Big Game
I was lucky enough to be at Eden Park to see the mighty New Zealand cricket team beat Australia at the Cricket World Cup on 22 February 1992

It was an amazing atmosphere at a packed Eden Park with our legendary batsman, Martin Crowe caressing the ball to all parts of the ground. 

Tomorrow we meet Australia at Eden Park, playing them for the first time in four years.  Australia come to the game unbeaten like New Zealand, and with a raft of code of conduct and violations for sledging. The Chappell-Hadlee trophy has been put up for extra motivation too.  Our champion bowler, Tim Southee has been on fire and is fresh from carving up poor England, with a New Zealand best ODI performance with his 7-33 skittling England for just 123 runs.

The Aussies prime bully boy David Warner (who punched young English cricketer and choirboy look-a-like Joe Root at a pub in 2013) had this to say to the Sydney Morning Herald of Auckland cricket fans:

I hope they come out and boo us and give us crap like they always do. That's what's going to happen. We love it, it gets us up and going, gets the adrenaline going for sure.

I love it. You get some obscure swear words and a couple of things thrown at you, but that's what you expect when you come here. It's happened before. It's probably going to happen again. But I embrace it. They can give it to me as much as they want. I'll just get it on board and let my bat do the talking.

It’s show time!  Don’t miss the action if you were lucky enough to get tickets in the ballot well done. Otherwise be tuned into Sky Sport Channel 53 by 2:00pm tomorrow. 

This game is shaping up to be a real cracker. Come on Black Caps!  Let’s annihilate the Aussies.

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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Item 3: A share price cannot fall 1000%. At -100% it is already at zero.

Now that economics has invented magic, the old laws of maths have been denounced as a product of ignorance.

A little leverage will help you to lose as much as you like...
And in regards NIMBYs, the moral is Never Offer Permission Ever (NOPE).  Unless the neighbour is offering big concessions to you, why would you ever agree to anything??
Neighbours love to attack your trees, interfere with fences, not maintain or misuse shared accesses.  I could write a novel on the number of incidents where I've caught neighbours on my properties hacking trees etc because they think that a 3m high tree 3m away from the boundary is blocking their sun...
No niceties to neighbours...

I agree. And I think the neighbours obnoxious out of control brats waking you up at 2am in the morning is an EXCELLENT reason to never cooperate with their parents or landlord.

Which is an excellent reason why neighbours should have very little input into development.  Let the trained professional people develop the plan, decide what will be good and what will be bad.  Set sensible rules for setbacks etc, and define the permitted activities for the various zones in a way that will allow people to get on with it. 
It would be easy for the council to allow an apartment block of x height and x dwellings to be permitted on x size land, same with infill housing and greenfields. 
I recently sold some land, and am now watching someone do exactly the things I was told I couldn't do, the difference is who you know.  The funny thing is that now the right hand has seen what the left hand is doing, the poor guy who bought it is having a bit of trouble.  I have seen this before, and it ends badly.

Item 9
The Common currency is a flawed concept.  Long term it will never work so they would be wise to accept this and manage it's demise, otherwise unstopable ecconomic forces will do it for them in ways that will surely be disastrous.

It takes 7-12 years to get a flowering tulip bulb from a seed, a bulb can produce 2 or 3 daughter bulbs per year but the mother bulb dies after a few years.  The daughter bulbs take 1-3 years to produce flowers.  The most highly sought after bulbs were the "broken" bulbs (virus infected), broken bulbs could only be produced from daughter bulbs however the virus had a negative effect on the production of the daughter bulbs.  Taking this into account it is quite probably that the number of rare bulbs never increased during the mania.
"Everyone imagined the passion for tulips would last forever, and that the wealthy from every part of the world would send money to Holland, and pay whatever prices they asked for them"

"I don’t think our banks, which control our property market to a large extent, would let this happen"
Did the banks manage it in the 1930s? um no. You assume they can control it when the push is big.  Just how many countries has this already happened in BTW?  since 2008? USA, yep, PIIGS? yep, just two messy spots.  Now in the US's case its arguable that the true losses have been hidden with the help of the Govns so they only saw 35% drops.  For the PIIGS 50% seems more the norm.
"Unemployment and under-employment would be rife."
Indeed, once a deflationary, depression starts its self-re-inforcing.
"This epic destruction of wealth would require an implosion in the global financial system, collapsing our construction sector, real estate sales sector, and the massive property industry as a whole."
Yep, next Q?
"A property market will not fall in isolation."
maybe, maybe not.
When you have a 2x plus bubble you only need a collapse of the ponzi confidence game and some decent % of ppl ie the [foreign] speculators to run and you have a bleed that you cannot stop.
Your piece comes across as "this time its different"
I hope you are right, but I dont think so.

Nice one steven, I agree with you there.
"I don’t think our banks, which control our property market to a large extent, would let this happen" ... if they are able to stop it.
We have become a bank dependent country owing $200,000,000,000 (hopefully that should be $200 billion) to the Aussie banks. All is well, until it isn't.
There was a time when mortgages were based on two and a half times one person's earnings and amortised over 15 years. This proved to be a very stable and resilient model ... so the banks lowered their standards to a level where now mortgages can never be repaid at current earning levels. To make the system work the Reserve Bank now modulates interest rates to a level that allows Aucklanders to just afford the interest payments on what is effectively a perpetual mortgage. This uneasy unstable equilibrium may go on for years but it is very vulnerable to any sudden shock.

Item 9 - Germany will give into Greek demands. The Germans wouldn't dare to risk a Grexit. Imagine what would happen next. A Spanish vanish? Nope the Germans will surrender. Again.

The problem is we have the PIIGS.  If Germany gives in then the voters in the PIIxS are going to be asking some hard Qs of their Pollies, like "why are we suffering when we can get out of it like teh Greeks"  In which case rinse and repeat is the name of the game.
Ergo I cant believe that there wont be a GRExit...

Greece will achieve economic success when -------------?

Bang on. Greece will achieve economic success when they leave the Euro. Sure it may be in  5 - 10 years after some pain but they will be better off than Italy, Spain, etc. That's why German will not allow a GRExit.

Cant see how it leads on from my comment.
Short answer well, no, unless "do OK' maybe one day....is greek defination of "success"

steven, success is always relative to peers. So 'do OK' will be better than what Italy et al will be doing.

Maybe Onwards but I wouldn't be to certain about that. I suspect its no coincidence that the ECB finally got the Germans to agree to a EUR1.1tln QE program that was announced just a few days before the Greek election - the ECB now has a massive amount of artillery to use to quell any bond market sell-off if the Greeks look like exiting, and the Greeks know it, hence some back tracking in the past couple of weeks. But that isn't the Germains preferred scenario, nor the Greeks, but they've got to go as its their only chance of absolution at some future point - but the pain will be massive for them in the short term. 

The reason there is a cluster of people around the tax bands is that the self employed can manipulate there taxable income to come in just under a band. The 'company' pays the mortgage, car, power bill etc and the owner can qualify for a 'poor card' and get cheap health care etc, whilst at the same time owning a multi million dollar business. Farmers are particularly good at doing this. 

Close enough, once you hit 70k it's better for the company to make the profit.  I do find it interesting that you can own millions in assets and still get WFF, and a card.  I don't doubt there is a lot of rorting the system going on.
I was talking to a farmer about how you can get in so deep, you just cant get out, even though you are making a loss.  It's shocking the way farms are financed. 

DW may know everything about property. His knowledge on share investment is sparse indeed. I would never advocate trading in shares as a means of generating income/ gains but he should takes accont of some of he following:
Shares can be bought on bank credit directly if they are large and liquid enough.
When you raise cash on mortgage against an otherwise nil or less indebted property there is no constraint on where you use that cash. Indeed if shares are your poison you can spend up.
Then you can use CFDs at higher gearing than property.
You can sell shares in a few minutes not weeks or months as for property.
You can short shares if the whim takes you and thus profit in a falling market.
You can invest in small amounts not a minimum of tens of thousands deposit.
You can invest in multiple countries and currencies.
All you need is some knowledge of the markets not dumbly following an idea that 'property never loses value'. You can make and lose a lot more and a lot quicker in the markets that are an alternative to property.

Yeh CFD's are great

  • Buy the Saturday Press
  • Find the most touted company in the Business section
  • Bet 25k nominal on green for said company at the market open monday morning
  • Close the position between 3-3.30pm
  • Do the same next Saturday

Normally youd pay good money for guaranteed investment strategy like that, and I'm providing it for free :)

If you want to waste your time doing that in NZ sobeit.
Try similar mid week in US or UK and you may be on to a winner.
Longer term may still be to short one or two mining stocks, their index or time the bounce.
The above is not my opinion but the  chances are you will get a  bigger bang for your buck than sitting on a renter through the current market.

This unbeatable strategy only works in NZ, because you are just skimming from people who call their broker Monday morning wanting to buy some shares of that company they just read about in the paper over the weekend.  In the US/UK every trade you make is getting frontrun by HFT algos and insider trades.  My advice, stay well away from FX and index trades.  I don't trade at all, lost some money, and I hate losing money, it's a gut wrenching soul crushing feeling.  I look for low risk, high return, and if I can't find anything I just wait.  A rental property with 15% gross yield fits the bill, could be around 25-30% net yield on a deposit, they do exist but they don't show up every day.

"Remember, the housing market is dominated by home owners."
I don't think that is the case anymore in Auckland. There has been a very large swing towards property investment, both locals and non-residents. Housing in certain "liveable" cities property has become the global hedge currency of choice. 
Now, is it like Ireland? Yes - in many ways. And we all know that property prices are all about maintining the confidence that they'll keep going up. It's not the price of living in a city with nice beaches. Auckland's beautiful and at the same time a disaster of a city. Your house is only worth what you can get from the next mug and in a market over-dependent on investors, the pool of buyers shrinks very quickly when that confidence slips, resulting in a bigger price fall than necessary. I was shocked at the depth of the plunge in Ireland (Irish living in London at the time), same houses, reasonable employment, nothing had changed apart from a Govt socialising a private debt beloinging to Anglo Irish bank. Nothing had changed but somehow everything had changed. People refused to buy anything until prices hit minus 70% in some places. Now it's flying back up as cash buyers spot the opportunity and the machine starts to crank up, property supplements get thicker again, soon Ireland will get the DIY makeover shows back on TV...
Ireland was very similar in so may ways. Every man and his dog was an investor. The tax system was geared towards property investment. The endless makeover shows and press supplements and of course, the radio ads for Real Estate investment courses. Rents not rising relative to house prices. Like Auckland, Ireland had rampant immigration to fill those houses. There was an over-dependence by the banks on cheap foreign money. The price of a house was close to 10x average wage. The percentage decline in first time buyers. Over-reliance on construction. I'll stop there. 
The one person who warned about it all was told by the idiot that was PM that "people like him should go and commit suicide" - Bertie Ahern, now ostracised. I can't see how "our banks won't let a crash happen" - they are massively exposed to property both in NZ and in the even crazier Australian markets. Have a quick read of this, there's an enquiry going on at the moment: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/david-mcwilliams-crisis-was-absolutely-preventable-1.2118324
But for real entertainment watch this TV debate about house prices - it was just before the plunge. The whole show is interesting if you pretend they are talking about Auckland. http://youtu.be/Gd6ZwqLePC0?t=4m29s
It's not different this time, it's not a new paradigm. It's a frothy bubble, encouraged by Govt through their "do nothing" approach  and the risk to NZ economy if it pops is huge as there are whole sectors that depend on a continued rise in prices. 
I don't have a sense of what will happen - the whole world has turned into a globally traded asset bubble. That's the only new paradigm. Oh, and the naysayers will always get shouted down. 

Thats a great youtube clip.  What we no longer have is a dataset of unoccupied dwellings, which is strange considering we had one up until 2001. 

Really? The latest census shows 61% of Aucklanders live in a dwelling they own. Don't get me wrong 61% is appalling compared to the 73% it was 30 years ago but it is still the majority.

great post macbet..
l loved the video... did a google search on Morgan Kelly..
Some major differences between Ireland and Auckland...    

  • ireland had a construction boom....30,000 new units in 1995    to 80,000 new unit /yr in 2007  ( 1 new unit for every 20 households)
  • bank lending 60% of GNP in 1995   to 200% on GNP in 2008
  • Dublin house prices reached 17 times av. earnings in 2007.
  • Construction as a % of GNP went from about 4-6% of GNP to about 21% of GNP at the peak of the bubble  ( house building + other construction)
  • This construction boom lead to an employment boom... which helped reinforce the cycle. 

just this alone, make Ireland a very different beast to Auckalnd....
For me.... if Auckland does have a housing shortage.... and i think it does... then rents will continue to rise.... in their own time... as they are starting to now..
SO... I disagree with u that Auckland is in a Bubble...at the moment....   but i do think that when this boom does finally end..... it will end badly... (once Councils are made to get out of the way... and we get a massive increase in new supply..??? )
Maybe that is a few yrs away...????

I'd be interested to hear how rents can continue to rise faster then incomes.  Anyone earning less then the median wage is already struggling.

".....Auckland is the undisputed heavyweight champion of New Zealand’s economy...."
Errrh. Sorry it is disputed. Look at the centre of gravity for exports.
"......We pay in housing for the price of success and being part of the third most liveable city in the world....." Well yes, in term of the flight from challenging conditions, politics and economies in places outside New Zealand.
And don't forget the zombie suburbs and the kids stuck in them who have never seen the sea.

35% of GDP comes from Orcs, not bad for 31% of the population.  If I was a real estate agent I would definatly want to live in Orcs.

Orcs?  Is that just north of Hobbiton?  somewhere near Mt Doom?

LOL!  Well I met someone who has just left, and thats what he called it, Orcs.  I assumed I was out of touch with the vernacular.

Yep.  It's the real estate agent fees that push up the GDP there.

Auckland, the third most livable city in the World – so who says? Not anyone that lives there after all the Mercer most livable survey is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments.
Stop worrying about what the well paid temporary outsiders think, just ask the $14.75 per hour workers all over Akl. if this is the third most livable city.
If you want to know how liveable a city is you need to ask the people that live there.
Asking the right question to the wrong people will still get you the wrong answer.
So planners and some politicians distain Demographia, well considering who those planners and politicians are then that is a ringing endorsement. Those that have been willing to put their name and opinion on the reports include Sholo Angel, Alain Bertuad, Robert Btuegmann, and Bill English (maybe that is why some politicians hate it).
And there is no link between immigration and high house prices unless the places people are immigrating to also have restrictive zoning policies.
This city has very high immigration, high job creation, low interest rates, low housing and living costs and the most disposable household income.

Houston yes.  I have compared two rentals which cost approx the same per head.  One is a shared rathole with 8 others, the other shared with one other.  One is brand new spacious low level apartment, 5 mins from downtown, in house pool, bbq areas, sauna, bar, lounge areas, tennis courts and so on.  One is a draughty, cold, old falling down villa.  Guess which one is in the most liveable city of Auckland - now complete with unswimmable beaches.  When the music stops we will look at these dumps and wonder what the heck we were thinking. 

Yep, and according to David, Hong Kong is so expensive because everyone wants to immigrate there, after all who wouldn’t want this. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275206/Hong-Kongs-metal-cage-homes-How-tens-thousands-live-6ft-2ft-rabbit-hutches.html
Although an Akl. version of this would be great for property investors as look at the $m2 rate you can get. Now that is a compact city.
And Len Brown wants us to be more like Vancouver and with the reported increase in homelessness it looks like we are well on our way, see here:

And if you are tired of always hearing about Houston, try Calgary instead. Double Auckland's growth rate over the last 15 years but with houses costing 45% less. It has nothing to do with immigration.
Every year Auckland Council publish a big pirate map saying to all comers "Buy here and help yourselves to as much Kiwi wealth as you like". Gee that's working for the well-being of your community.

Solid Energy, Pip Dunphy steps down.
The interesting thing is just how many other boards she is on giving out her advice/guidence.
"Pip Dunphy has worked in New Zealand financial markets for more than 20 years, assisting local and offshore companies in capital raising and risk management. She currently chairs the Boards of Mint Asset Management Limited, New Zealand Clearing and Depository Corporation Limited and Solid Energy New Zealand Limited. Pip’s other directorships include (Fonerra), Abano Healthcare Group Limited, New Zealand Clearing Limited, and NZ Superannuation Fund. She is also an Advisory Panel member of the Next Foundation."
So good at risk? and yet Solid energy is well, stuffed?
hmmm, interesting.

From what i can see the real problem with the RMA is it has no control over immigration.
You cannot have record immigration, a city bursting at the seams and an RMA to protect the city and its environs.
If you want record immigration you must throw away the RMA and just let the market satisfy the demand any way it wishes.

Thread hijack:  Hey, why am I suddenly getting "Access Denied" on the page about sexism?

Anyone with short stature is going to have trouble with big cows.  That's not an issue.  Likewise any one of slight build is going to have issues with steadying downed cows (or horses).   But farmers generally DON'T want people using physical force to calve cows, or do delicate veterinary work.  There is plenty of equipment to make direct force uncommon - and often the vet dispatch knows if there's likely to be an issue they try for people with recent experience.   Many preg tests are done with probe and only confirm empty manually and most of the time it's a short reach.

As for a smile.  that's often called manners and can be many things.  There was a busy time on farm where I hadn't seen another human for 2 months or a female human for 4 months.

Sometimes its a case of having a vet in the area with a bad reputation (eg slow, impatient, tend to ignore other signs and only concentrate on the logged call out, or just too rough) ... often the smile is "thank the gods they're finally here" , it's a big relief because all but the most disenchanted farm people don't like to see anyone in pain/distress.

From my own experience the _most_ likely thing it was was a combination of relief, and of "oh another new vet"   "I feel so old, they seem to be getting younger and younger".

It likely has nothing to do with your skills or physical ability - if you f up, your bosses will hear about it no matter what gender, age, or who you are.   Farmers expect vets that are sent to be fully trained and capable professionals... remember what some of our staff are like...

As for "the farmer expecting strong lads" and "expect the males to do better".... as the opinion of a class of vets.... where the majority of the class is female...   well there is the likely source of where such expectations are being cultivate... In _vets_, especially young vets, where apparrently, due to anecdotal evidence ... the population is mostly female.   So it stands that it's the female vets !  not the farmers who are promoting that sexist meme.

It's ironic that the worlds most LIVABLE cities are also the worlds most expensive cities to Live in.  Define livable: 

Houston is a sprawling mess, if this is your idea of a panacea of affordability then I guess nothing is going to change your mind. Do you really believe this arrangement is the least bit sustainable in the long-term!? It's not.

Demographia paradise.

....ha ha so you think Auckland aint a sprawling mess then! Cripes it is when i visit...its a shambles!  Most liveable? Who the hecks kidding who here?

Yep, that's my point. It's bad enough already and they want to encourage far more sprawl development. Just think about the strain on infrastructure and congestion that would create!

Your'e confused. Houston and others have managed to grow without putting a strain on infrastructure, and no worse congestion than any other city, and less so than higher density cities.
Auckland is the way it is because of the present restrictive growth policies, both up and out.

Um no this isnt what I have read both strain on infrastructure and finances (rates).  On top of that Houston is going to have a transport energy problem within a few years and since American cities are so car centric suffer more than most.
Also if Boone Pickens wants to pipe water I would assume that he sees a decent profit opportunity, he doesnt strike me as a charitable person ( I dont mean that in a bad way, btw). 

My comment was in reply to the fact that it is implied that sprawl is the reason for Akl. problems that include infrastructure, congestion, and others like housing costs.
This is not true.
Houston has less congestion, far lower house prices, far higher immigration, low interst rates, higher new job creation, than Akl. does.  and on top of this Houston is actually increasing in density.
Auckland owns its own problems, and the reasons are because of the policies they are promoting around supply.



Auckland is one of the WORST cities in th WORLD for:
- House prices to income
- Public Transport (or lack of)
- Any form of transport that involves a car and a motoway (should really be called a stillway)
- Decent entertainment
- An UGLY CBD that which is disfunctional
If you have to live in a city for work, why Auckland?  Why not Sydney, Melbourne, London, Singapore, LA etc etc...
Saying Auckland is the 3rd most livable city in the world really is like putting lipstick on a pig and entering said pig into the miss world competition.
Livable for who? Millionaires?

LOL notch , you have some good points ,its really only liveable for the wealthy