Labour Party leader releases new interactive 'housing map' showing people 'how the crisis is affecting their neighbourhood'; Govt says it's riddled with errors

Labour Party leader releases new interactive 'housing map' showing people 'how the crisis is affecting their neighbourhood'; Govt says it's riddled with errors

More than 98% of the country is afflicted by a "housing crisis" according to the Labour Party, while the Government says Labour's evidence for such a claim is 'riddled with errors'.

Labour leader Andrew Little has released a new interactive housing map that people can look up to see just how the "crisis" is affecting their neighbourhood.

“Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four areas of the country: the Grey District, Masterton, Westland and Wairoa. These four areas make up 1.25% of our population.

“The housing crisis is making life tougher for most New Zealanders. Skyrocketing house prices are locking a generation out of the Kiwi dream of homeownership and pushing rents up so high, families are being forced to live in cars and garages," Little says.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says the new Labour website showed how "desperate" the opposition had become to overstate New Zealand’s housing challenges.

“The claim that 98% of New Zealand has a housing crisis because house price increases have exceeded wage increases is not credible.

"This definition would mean almost every region of New Zealand was in crisis for all of Labour’s nine years in government, during which house prices rose 102% and wages 44%," Smith said.

The Information in the Labour map includes: rises in house prices, changes in homeownership rates, rent increases and the length of state housing waiting lists.

Labour says it's drawn the information from the following sources:

  • House prices: Quotable Value. QV provides monthly updates on house prices by council area and, for the main centres, by groups of suburbs.
  • Homeownership rates/proportions of renters: Statistics New Zealand Census Data. This data is broken down into census ‘area units’, which are roughly equivalent to an urban suburb or rural community – the names usually refer to the names of local communities or prominent locations.
  • Rents: MBIE regional level data is used to match with the income data, which is only released at regional level.
  • Incomes: Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Income Survey. Data is released each year at regional level.
  • Heating: Statistics New Zealand Census Data. Data at council level used to match with the state house data.
  • State houses: Housing New Zealand. Waiting lists and vacant houses by council level are released quarterly.

“The map highlights how dramatically National’s housing crisis is exacerbating inequality. The highest homeownership rate in the country is in Waimakariri at 80%, compared to just 39%," Little says.

“Unsurprisingly the highest average house price – a staggering $1.4 million – is found in Auckland’s eastern suburbs. In comparison in Kawerau it is $131,000."

Little says the shortage of houses in Auckland is now affecting other areas.

"In South West Hamilton house prices rose 29.8% in the past year – the fastest in New Zealand. The fastest rent increases were in the Bay of Plenty where they rose 9.5% in the year to March.

“Behind all these figures are families who are paying more and more for a roof over their heads, leaving less and less for food and other essentials for themselves and their kids."

'Riddled with errors'

Nick Smith says Labour’s website is "riddled with errors and misinformation", with the homeownership rates differing from those provided at the last Census.

"It claims 82% of homes in Christchurch are rented – but that is the figure for the CBD. In fact, for the city as a whole, 65% per cent of homes are owner occupied.

"Another error is around incomes; it claims Wellington incomes have dropped in the past year, whereas the latest quarterly employment survey shows wages have increased. The data on rents is also incorrect, with the latest Auckland data rents up 4.1% Labour claims it’s 5.2%".

Smith says the information is about is reliable as that used to supposedly identify Chinese buyers in Auckland - "based on the sound of their names".

'Biased data'

“If people want reliable information on New Zealand’s housing sector they should look to the independent information provided by Statistics New Zealand and other independent agencies, and not biased data cooked up to serve Labour’s political purposes."

Little says "only Labour" has a comprehensive plan to address the "housing crisis".

"We will build 100,000 affordable homes, crack down on offshore speculators and provide the social and emergency housing our country so badly needs,” Little says.

 

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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Labour are shaming National into doing something, but I am still waiting for them to put a cap on rents.

Still with the rent cap talk, huh.
I'll let you in on a secret - it will never happen because it is a crazy idea in the Auckland context.

Why? Nothing else has worked, and impacted first home buyers before investors and speculators. Cause a crash in house prices - why is that a bad thing? It is all private money, people making bad business decisions, manipulating the market and costing the taxpayer billions. the recently reported stress test on the banks states they are well positioned to weather a house price collapse, and again it is private money, why should the taxpayer be propping them up? Some argue that a house price collapse will flow over and cause unemployment - how? Investors don't create employment.

If it is a crazy idea, spell out why. show the mechanisms. And avoid extremism, most who debate issues in these pages seem to take an all or nothing position. Capping rents is not one of those, it simply puts the brake on greed.

Nothing else has worked? Nothing has been done at central or local government level.

A rent cap cannot solve the problem because it does not address the root issue of supply.
A rent cap isn't going to suddenly increase supply in the market, just somewhat contract demand. As long as the supply is constrained and demand is not lowered, medium term supernormal profits are always going to be sought. This creates a self fulfilling predicament, simply perpetuating the inflation.

I agree the taxpayer shouldn't be subsidising speculators' risk, but a rent cap will just make this worse without eliminating negative gearing at the same time - overnight landlords are able to make even greater tax losses on their properties. So, in no way does it put the brakes on greed...
Eliminate all of these factors and the market collapses completely. Your assertion that a housing collapse will not flow over and cause unemployment is ludicrous. Think of all those people who now have negative or unsustainable equity. The demand for employment/labour remuneration would surge.

Additionally, although we have no real wealth generation, the economy is being propped up through the spending of the new found nominal wealth. It is a folly, ponzi system but, undeniably, if you eliminate this the economy will sink into deep recession.

The goal should never be to totally crash the market, but instead adequately limit the inevitable correction and subsequent economic damage. Sure I agree that the market investors should realise all of their risk in the event of a collapse, but in aggregate welfare terms this is just not the best solution.

This is but a drop in the bucket of what could be argued about the proposition of rent caps in NZ. Perhaps this is why "most who debate issues in these pages seem to take an all or nothing position" because the scope of the economic argument just becomes so incredibly complex.
Think also the systematic variation we have in housing across Auckland and the nation. We have no basis for equitably differentiating characteristics and appropriate rent 'caps'. Only the unobstructed market could adequately control for this in an efficient manner.

Nothing has been done - i am assuming you mean nothing effective. LVRs and all the other noise is not nothing, but it has been utterly ineffective. While supply is a part of the issue, I doubt that it is as big as is made out. The arguments around supply read too much like vested interests looking for action in a way that will actually help their position not address the issue. For example sufficient land cannot be released in time, nor houses built in the time frames necessary to effectively address the issue, plus there is the issue of vacant houses in places like Auckland. No one seems to be able to put a substantiated number on it but many estimates are in the vicinity of 20,000. Thus investors, and I include speculators, will actually benefit from this measure due to time frames giving them opportunity to entrench their position and move on the new properties.

Most if not all landlords in AK are likely already making tax losses on their investments anyway, so that makes no difference. But this should still be addressed by the Government and IRD to limit or stop the creation of LAQCs.

There is already demand for employment and remuneration now. The Government's "labour flexibility" laws has forced many onto multiple part time work at minimum wages, high costs, minimum benefits and entitlements. All; the while many businesses are growing their profits. So no i refuse to accept that a collapse or re-adjustment of house prices will flow over into employment or other business, unless those businesses have foolishly invested in an over-inflated property market.

Crashing the market is not the goal, but people tend to react emotionally rather than in a controlled way. A controlled application of regulations should manage any re-adjustment, rather than waiting for circumstance to cause a total rout.

I agree that the issue has got very complex, so that no one solution can work now. Rent caps are a solution that will have an immediate impact for people looking for homes, and address poverty. All the other solutions are about protecting people with money only. NZ was always known for it's willingness to care for the least privileged of us. What has happened to that?

So what rent cap do you propose?
Provide us the logic for it, and how you deal with systematic variation in the housing stock.

I just cannot see how you think rent caps are going to be free - the subsidy has to be paid for somehow.
Nor can I understand how you think rent caps are going to magically fix the supply issue. The same amount of places are going to exist, except with more demand. Assuming we still adhere to the Russell and Whitehead proof, (after your assertions, frankly anything could go at this point) we still don't solve the housing crisis.

The average wage nationally is identified as around $55K, so i suggest no more that $200 per week for a whole house. This puts accommodation costs at approximately 25 - 30% of take home pay (after tax only). If we talk about the median wage (approx. $38k) it gets uglier, but i suggest the cap needs to be set at an affordable level for the renter, not the LL. Many LLs claim to be providing a social service, which unless they are considering their tenants ability to pay, is utter bunkum. As has been clearly identified in the past much of the housing crisis, now spreading beyond AK, is investors banking on capital gain, but many claim their right to charge exorbitant rents is based on an entitlement to a return on their investment. This may be true in a rational market, but this market is anything but rational.

I don't think rent caps will be free. There will be a cost, but it'll be less than the one we're paying now, as a regulated market can be controlled, but an unregulated one is only manipulated to the benefit of a few, but cost of the majority, as is happening now. Private money has no right to demand the tax payer prop up their risks. I do have some concern for first home buyers if the market collapses, but feel that if a rent cap is added, and now it must be for the whole country not just AK, the readjustment can be controlled. The long term savings will be substantial.

An effect that i would expect that with a rent cap kicking the legs out of many investors returns, they will be forced to sell their property. With a significant number on the market the prices will fall, allowing many who are currently forced to rent because they cannot afford to buy, the option of buying, thus the rental demand will also reduce. This re-adjustment will continue until a balance is achieved (as with all things). Yes a few property businesses will go to the wall, but again private money over-invested in an over inflated market? Tough. The banks, well they're a part of the problem. Read the news about them being desperate to avoid a Royal Commission in Australia.

Again though, today this cannot be the only solution. there are other factors impacting the market too. Foreign buyers (not just Chinese) buying and land banking. This must be addressed, as is the level of immigration.

Actually i suggest the foreign ownership issue is bigger than most admit. In the early 2000's in Whanganui a real estate agent friend told me of a German woman who cam to town and bought 10 houses in a week and then went home. At that time that was a little over a million dollars in our money. A month later it was a group from Australia doing the same thing. A part of the problem is no one knows how much residential property in this country is owned by non-residents.

...It gets crazier.
You forget about the distinction between household income and personal income. So, you are assuming one occupier per house, or that the household have only one income?
Also, do you think its equitable that a person who is living in a 1 bedroom apartment in the CBD pays the same arbitrary amount of rent as a 6 bedroom house in Remuera? Because that is what you are saying..

"There will be a cost, but it'll be less than the one we are paying now". Please explain the logic for this?How can a subsidy - a artificial control - represent anything but greater cost than a market solution?

How will the rent cap affect investor returns significantly?
Like I already stated, it just increases their taxable losses. Losses they can offset against other forms of income. The fact that people call it speculation should give you a hint to the fact that period cashflow isn't the main reason for the demand.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding stern, but the airy fairy "we should do this, then this, then that" is so frustrating to hear when it isn't founded on logic.

No i am not saying that. You're taking an all or nothing perspective. With a cap on rents, I'd expect that there will still be a market adjustment that sets a price for what you're getting. I wouldn't expect all LLs to immediately get away with just charging $200 irrespective of what the property was, the market would kick back. If you were a renter and wanted somewhere to live would you take a one room apartment in the CBD at the same price as a house in one of the burbs? Some might want to but I suspect most wouldn't. and yes i think the number living in the house is irrelevant because it could quite easily be one family on one income. To write in more detail will only over complicate the issue. A few mansions might go the market too.

Currently the current situation is costing the tax payer at least $2 billion in accommodation supplements, without accounting for the costs of the effects on health, crime and so on as a result of people struggling to accommodate themselves, not to mention the overall effect of poverty in general. This has a huge flow on effect. What would be the cost to the taxpayer if we did this? Again why should people making private decisions to invest their own money in a high risk enterprise expect the tax payer to cover their risk? They privatise the profits, but socialise the risks. Why is that fair or right?

Investors face a number of on-going costs from insurance, rates, upkeep, interest and so on. For more than a few rent will help them cover those costs and/or pay some or all their mortgage. Cap the rent, and you automatically limit the amount they can afford to borrow. Increases the investor's capitalisation in their business. Those that can't afford to, will have to bail. The way the tax is handled is a part of the bigger picture that also needs to be corrected. There are many rules that allow organisations and individuals to avoid tax. These need to be fixed. All parties are talking about reviewing how investors avoid paying taxes on their property.

Tell me...what market adjustment would occur?
Even the most cheapest rentals in Auckland have a (already subsidised) market price of above your arbitrary ceiling, so your $200 would be the cost of ALL properties for rent.

Yes, everyone thinks the distinction between personal and household income is completely irrelevant - that's why stats NZ only ever reports personal income. Oh, wait...

Okay, $2bil in accommodation subsidies. True they might all but disappear. However, that isn't a real saving because the same amount will be debited from the tax take. It is a subsidy. Someone must pay for it.

You actually have a big gap in your fundamental understanding of the interactions associated with the housing market dynamic if you don't understand these factors.

Initially yes, i expect all rents would be $200, and many LLs will resist lowering it, but as the market fights back the $200 would start to break down and the quality of the property would start to take effect i expect. Just as cars vary in price, or other commodities.

That $2 bill is not all claimed back in tax, while it is taken from the overall tax take. It is a cost to the tax payer.

My understanding of the housing market is from actual experience, not theory. I used to own a portfolio of rental properties. But i do understand the theory - enough to recognise that many vested players try to tie it up in gobbledygook, meaningless, fear mongering rubbish. The big dread is economic collapse. Well i lived in AK in 1987, and what i saw was that the foolish paid while the majority were hardly impacted at all. I gather talking to you over this, and i might add that I have enjoyed it and respected and appreciated your challenges, is that you are invested in the market in someway, if it is your own home, you've re-mortgaged it to take advantage of the change in value for your lifestyle thus increased your debt, or you're and accountant/economist/lawyer.

The problem here is the sacrosanct "free market" which isn't free at all.

Mmm, I'd disagree with the 87 assertion too. The impact was definitely felt by the whole economy and we saw potential lag effects occuring for periods afterwards.
I do agree, it will have hit investors the most, though.

For the record (you got 1 correct):
- I have no land/property assets, whatsoever.
- I have no intention to buy any land/property assets.
- If I did have land/property assets, I wouldn't be remortgaging in order to consume.
- I am an economic and financial consultant.
- I am under 30.

Under 30 puts you in the highly vulnerable bracket in my view of the current perspective on markets. Breaking in is hard. I could never afford to enter until in my 40's, and buying a house meant stretching beyond what i thought I could afford. living was a little sparse for a few years. put kids off for a while. Nearly 60 and for the first time in my life I've been able to afford a new (or even near new) car. I feel some sympathy.

Here is a suggestion, if the average house price was say $150 k - $200 k would it be easier to make money than now? Run the numbers, consider the market size, the whole lot. I think you'll find everyone is much better off if it is all cheaper. That is the fundamental or my arguments. I am not right wing or left, but I see that there is a need for balanced Government regulation to make sure everyone has a fair go. No just a few rich. Trickle down does NOT work.

In 1987 yes i saw a few get hurt, but most did not to a significant degree. A few businesses vanished and therefore jobs lost, but all those I know in that position got a new one pretty quickly. the real blood was the ones I knew who were invested in the share market. One guy who regularly crowed about what he was worth lost most of his value. Another whose wife left him around the time sweated on the mortgage until I reminded him the debt was also matrimonial property (he had been very depressed as they had borrowed for lifestyle against the house valuation)

Still i expect the advice you're giving won't vary much from what my experience base gives. Just don't forget the downside, history teaches us that sooner or later it always bites, and the ones I've seen get burnt the most are the ones who didn't consider it.

"Behind all these figures are families who are paying more and more....etc etc"
Also behind those figures are families who are doing better than ever and getting wealthier by the minute and can afford more and more,
The so called housing crisis has brought unparalleled wealth to the vast majority of kiwis who now enjoy a standard of living the envy of the world.

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Can afford more and more ? I think you mean - Are borrowing more and more. I fail to see that as wealth, unless you are a banker.

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Yes, we should all just inflate our house prices to infinity, noone would ever have to work again. Wow, you have really thought this through.

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Until the gain is realised it isn't wealth just paper. Also unless you intend to leave Auckland I can't see how it benefits anyone.

it benefits the children or grandchildren of the owners, but they have to wait for a long time to get that benefit and who knows what may happen between now and then.
as an aside my benefitors do not know what i am worth, might get a knock one night, as they say greed kills
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/gileads-greed-that-kills_b_7...

No its only ever a paper wealth gain ... which has to be exchanged for (energy) resources at some point to be "worth" anything. BUT, the trouble is future energy is in big trouble - which means all these future claims on resources are based on resources which arent there ... does the word PONZI ring a bell.
Energy wise, i think we will see big trouble by 2020 and have collapsed by 2025.

tsk, tsk, tsk.
Always with the crazy talk.

Whenever we sell our family home we're realising the wealth. Admittedly, most of that is then ploughed back into buying another home, but that in turns generates a profit eventually.

Only if you're horse trading. Hypothetically, 10 individuals could buy and sell the entire housing stock forever. It doesn't necessarily generate a profit at all.

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Big Daddy was a wrestler and as we all know, wrestling is all a show, a facade with no substance. That also goes for what you have written above. Pure hot air. Produce some evidence to back up your claim that "the vast majority of kiwis now enjoy a standard of living the envy of the world".

When you see that the Ford Ranger is NZs biggest selling car ,then you know that the economy is booming.

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When you see that the Ford Ranger is NZs biggest selling car ,then you know that the ability to borrow money is booming.

-corrected it for you

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When you see the billboard at the corner of Bond St and Sandringham road, advertising Mercedes E class - Starting at JUST $ 99,990 - ,then you know that the ability to borrow money is booming.

Heard that 80% of new BMWs are bought with borrowed money; a triumph of marketing over common sense;and the normalization of the idea that if you don't (borrow to) drive a flash car you are somehow a bit nuts

I know that at least 50% of new residential swimming pool builds are built on borrowed equity.
By my calculations that is conservatively 42 million in debt a year. I'd be worried if I wasn't benefitting from it...

Never borrow money to pay for an "asset" the depreciates in value....especially a car

I've got to say BigDaddy, you're a damn idiot if you stand by your comments - you are in fact the cause of the problem, you just don't have the smarts to realise it.

To be fair you don't have to do much to be the envy of the world financially. If you make over $90 US dollars a day puts you in the top 1% of earners globally. That was the hilarious thing about the occupy protests. Globally many of them were the 1% not the 99%. Personally I think anyone complaining should have to hold a degree in what they have to be allowed the right to complain about what they don't have. I'm sure someone has a good call about what that degree might be called?

That statistic is BS

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Mr Andrew, for solving the problem you have to tackle demand along with supply.

Do not know about rest of NZ but know that in Auckland more than 80% independent houses are being bought by asian and at redicules prices by competing among themself as a result prices of all other small houses, units too go up.

To solve the problem one has to find the cause of the crisis. First is supply and second which too is a major cause is non resident money flowing into the housing market.

We do not have to go overboard or be racist but need facts to settle this issue one way or the other.

Here we go again.

Do not know about rest of NZ but know that in Auckland more than 80% independent houses are being bought by asian and at redicules prices by competing among themself as a result prices of all other small houses, units too go up. --> why single out Asians and leave aside KIWI investors (i.e. including the whites and everyone else)? If they compete among themselves but the nice non-Asians investors refuse to partake in such "excesses", will the prices of all other small houses and units go up? Let's collectively take aim at investors as an entire class and not single out a particular race/ethnicity.

Unfortunately China has us tied up in their free trade agreement. The agreement says their citizens must be allowed the same rights to buy as any other nation. But for us that includes Australia. So if we are going to stop the Chinese we also have to stop Australians.

My understanding is with the Chinese fta, we were able to make changes to our laws over who can or can't buy here, it was the Korean fta and after that the TPP that specifically disallowed our making changes that affected only foreigners. We then had to offer the same terms to the Chinese.
It is kind of like the myth that John Key pays all of his prime ministerial salary to charity, not something the government is prepared to clarify.

What a joke.

House prices in Gisborne have risen 4.4% in the last year, but are still below the 2007 peak, yet Labour are claiming there's a housing crisis?? A couple of years of house price rises don't constitute a crisis. Wellington and other regions have also been flat for years, and just moved in the last year or two. Not a crisis.

Auckland is a totally different kettle of fish, but most of us don't live in Auckland. Totally dishonest to try and pretend that a housing market that moves for 1-2 years after being flat/declining for 6-7 years is an issue.

Most of the population live in places with housing crisis.
Only between Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington you have half of NZ's total population.

As I already mentioned, Wellington has been flat for 6-7 years. A year of price rises isn't a crisis.

A February article I found said the biggest increase in Wellington was Wellington Central, which was 8.9% over it's 2007 peak. A rise of 9% over the last 9 years is hardly a crisis. http://aov.co.nz/wellingtons-property-market-booms/

Similar article about Tauranga claims 15.7% over 2007 peak. Again, 15.7% over 9 years is hardly spectacular or a crisis - http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/119207-tauranga-house-prices-accelerate.html

Don't get caught up in the hype. Modest price rises after years of stagnation is not a crisis.

The question you should be asking is actually whether the house prices were 'affordable' at the 2007 peak? If 'no' is the honest answer then if doesn't matter if there's only been a small appreciation as they're still likely unaffordable.

Also, how much have wages gone up over the corresponding years? Has the 15.7% house price rise in Tauranga been matched by a 15.7% rise in local wages? Please let me know the answers to the above.

Just the first three account for over 50% of NZ's population, and that figure is rising very fast!

No, it's not.

It's now rising fast outside of Auckland, but it's been so flat for so long that many regions are still at or below the last peak. This is not a crisis.

Look at actual data.

Hang on - I thought everybody said that houses never go down in value. Do you mean that for the past 7 or 8 years there are parts of New Zealand where people potentially have lost money on housing. I'm shocked.....

Everybody says they never go down in Auckland.

A perfectly reasonable opinion for anyone under 7.

http://www.interest.co.nz/charts/real-estate/house-price-index-reinz-rbnz

You have to look at it like most rational people will and that's over the years not on a month by month basis. Housing is a reasonably long term investment. SMH that I have to explain such a simple thing to you.

Oh, we're talking long term ignoring short term noise? Why the hell are you in property and not shares, which have a higher yield and higher past returns? And for the record, looking at the data series I linked, if you bought in mid 2007 you'd be waiting till 2011 to break even. That isn't focusing on a month by month basis, but viewing over the years.

edit: how stupid of me to ignore inflation which was ~2-4% over those years. Add another year or two.

What rubbish! 30% of homes in NZ are freehold, can't see how they would be struggling.

What about the other 70%.....

Maybe their struggling because they're propping up their kids deposits so they can get into a home.

You call yourself "Property king" and you don't know what freehold means. Hint: it doesn't mean mortgage-free. Unless you are really claiming that 70% of homes in NZ are leasehold?

After reading Little's comments it is true that :
"Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad"
(Euripides 480-406 BC)

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you got anything more recent than 406 BC Big Daddy

No need for BD to reinvent the wheel CS.....

Isn't his thinking from this time period though?

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall"
Proverbs 16:18

"I think we're on the cusp of something very special."
(John Key 2014 AD)

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House price rise is an understatement in Auckland. House bought in February for $908000 has been sold in June for $1082000 and this too was bought by an overseas buyer over the phone based in China.

Everyone is afraid of talking openly about the problem for fear of being termed as racist but this is the fact and has to be tackled.

And it is correct to say that this a burning issue and affecting many specially in Auckland. Now it is not only an economic issue but is a BIGGER social issue which has to be addressed.

Not talking about banning or anything drastic but FIRST need to know what the FACTS are.

Is Little Andrew, who am sure knows the facts, ready to place it in public domain and let the people decide. What we need is just unbiased facts about non residents buyers.

you need to learn the difference between anecdotes and data.

For one who claims to be so interested in facts, you haven't presented any meaningful facts at all.

- The average price in Auckland has appreciated (from sales data).
- The LINZ survey showed at least 38% of houses were brought by foreigners.
- The recent Auckland sales data showed that investors make up almost half of purchases.
- From overseas data we know Chinese buyers are key players in sustaining most of the other large property bubbles (Canada, Aus).

None of this is anecdotal.

None of that was presented by the OP. He simply gave an anecdote.

At least you've tried to present data, but your 'data' is full of issues too. Let's just pick one.

Investors own over 40% of Auckland properties, so what percentage of purchases do you expect to be by them? Gisborne has 42% of properties owned by investors (from memory) and has done for years. Investors buy and sell more frequently than homeowners. Therefore the expectation should be, in any town, that the percentage of sales to investors is slightly higher than the percentage of properties owned by investors.

Now we don't have that detailed data on Gisborne, but if you looked at how many purchases were by investors in Gisborne ( a market still well below 2007 peak) and it was also 46% I wouldn't be shocked or surprised or think it's an indicator of any issues at all. So what conclusions should we draw from 46% of purchases by investors in Auckland? Looking at the whole picture it seems about right to me, and when it's comparable to Gisborne it's hardly an indication of some massive problem driving prices up. If that's the case why haven't Gisborne prices moved for 10 years?

Randomly throwing out a couple of numbers without analysing the data properly doesn't mean anything.

You are on your own there

John Key has categorically stated he prefers to rely on anecdotal evidence

I listened to the stuff interview of John Key. Something I found very interesting from that was when describing non resident buyers he clearly said the government distinguished these as being people with no connection at all to New Zeland , then clearly said these didn't include students studying here or their parents.
Hmmmm doesn't seem to fit my definition of a non resident buyer. I though it meant someone who wasn't a resident of New Zealand. I wonder what the real number is?

The problem is anyone including politicians who state the obvious are labelled racist. Everyone knows but nobody mentions it, except Winstone Peters.

This is all pretty rich from Little - when you consider that he did away with rational tax policy of his predecessors, & gave a clear message to property speculators that they will be able to retain their tax-friendly status no matter who is in government.

i have tried it, it is not very accurate, eg you can not buy a house in mangere bridge for 724 k and they are saying that is the average. rents in patumahoe are way out by $100 per week.
if anything it understimates some areas because the sample area to get the average is too big.
so i would advise against using it if looking for an area to buy into or rent from

Well, you can buy a house in Mangere Bridge for 724k, but it'd be a unit or a townhouse on a cross-lease.... very much entry-level. Average actual sale price in the area fluctuates around 950k..... with good reason, it's lovely there.

yes but 724 is the average so you would need to sell a lot against the ones selling for a Mil to get that average. and there are not that many units and 1/2 sections down there.
they have included the whole of mangere in the data so it is flawed,

Well, of course, given the rate house prices are inflating, the ink would be barely dry figuratively speaking, before the numbers would be out of date

What a load of rubbish. They say houses in Kerikeri have risen 14 1/2% in the last year. They fail to say they are now back up to 2008 levels. I clicked my address in Kerikeri and then Coopers Beach which is 1 hour north and both areas have the same data so Labour are wrong saying they have done reports for the whole country. The problem is Auckland, and if people refuse to leave the chaos there they should not complain, the rest of the country is doing great. In Kerikeri we have the sections and builders and masses of people are moving here. Ive just sold one section and now only have one 3800 metres2 section left, fully planted with great views for $189K. Most of the young people moving here work online.
Just adding that 7 years ago I was getting $380/week for my rental, last year I put it up for the first time to $400/week. Not bad for a 220 metre2 house in its own private 1 acre garden.

A link to your section for sale pls, is it on TradeMe or similar?

Private. 094074606

Is that 14.5% rise because of the issues in Auckland? Wasn't 2008 the peak of the last bubble?

The price of land may be cheaper than Auckland (by a longshot) but I doubt the price of building is any different. Kerikeri prices aren't much different from Auckland prices albeit larger sections (in some areas). Without the influx of cashed up retirees (and foreign money) the local economy doesn't really support the housing market in Kerikeri either, much like Auckland where without the influx of foreign money and cheap credit the local economy doesn't really support the high house prices.

You are correct, 2008 was the peak. We collapsed because of the Finance Company fiasco and every time things looked like they were picking up the Reserve Bank hiked interest rates which was the last thing all regions needed. Because of this slowdown all Tradesmen hopped it leaving a glut of houses. This has now reversed as people recover their finances and come up here to enjoy the lifestyle. Tradesman are returning and we are growing fast.
I know of a few people living here but work remotely online in the Uk. This I suspect will happen more as people need to be at a office less. Kerikeri has a great future if we can keep the Reserve Bank off our back.
Why not try adding a penalay interest rate to high priced post codes rather than a blanket rise that hurts the regions?

The devil is in the detail - how many houses have been sold , prices etc. Some areas may suffer from small volume statistics....

NZ was ranked 9th best country in the world by the United Nations a few months ago with regard to health, quality of life and general happiness.
How does Little square with that?

Politicians would be doing us a disservice if they just put their hands in the air and said 'hey it's pretty good here, this'll do' and went off on holiday. Excessive house prices are a problem for a significant proportion of the population who want to settle down, and harm the productivity of the economy. Clearly our industries could be more competitive if they didn't have to pay their employees enough to afford such high house prices. If you want to keep the country up in those rankings, this is the kind of thing that needs to be stamped on.

Depends who they asked...if they asked anyone at all, instead of just formulating some kind of opinion based on some economic measures. So...how they do it BD? Cause without actually knowing, this is what they call mere "fairytale economics"

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Nothing like the wealthy and powerful exploiting a basic human need:) Soon wages well be driven down further by low skilled migrants including absorbing health and education resources paid for by generations of working Kiwis. National have created a brighter future for an elite society.

Little has to portray it as being a whole country problem, instead of just Auckland.

Otherwise people start asking which political faction has been governing Auckland for the last 6 years and how have they stuffed up this badly?

Umm, it isn't just Auckland. Where do you live? Cause I know for a FACT whats really happening in Nelson, CHCH and Southland is no different.

I wonder if this is an own goal by Little, in regard trying to overplay his hand . Labour have the govt on the rack over Auckland house prices and the flow on affects to other markets like Hamilton are obvious. For the majority of regions a lift is generally welcome, because as others have pointed out, it is off a depressed base.

By far the greater effect of the Auckland housing issue on the regions is that it necessitates an internationally high level of OCR, which has blunted the $NZDs ability to correct downwards to mitigate dire commodity prices.

Labour is trying to play the "of national significance" card. That is so it can compulosry acquire land for state housing under the public works act. Watch out, your property could have state houses built on it, compulsory!

It's actually not rocket science.
Work hard, save money, buy house.
Work hard, pay mortgage.
Work hard, retire.

I'm 43, mortgage free in an inner city suburb and have just bought a piece of land for a retirement home.
I paid my student loan off and worked hard.
No one gave me a hand up or hand out.
Stop moaning and blaming others.

When did you purchase your house and what did it cost?

What multiple of your household income was it when you purchased?

The first one, in 2007, the second one in 2010 and the third in 2013
The point I make, that you clearly can't comprehend is that I did this on my OWN with a student loan.
Don't give me the "today is different" speech. It's not.
Keep complaining. It won't actually make any difference. No one is (or will) listen.

If you're in Auckland then the 'it's no harder today to buy' line has already been debunked. Even original naysayers like 'Gordon' finally saw the light and changed tune.

You'll have to speak up, I can hardly hear you over the sound of you pulling the ladder up.

Today is different actually. Vastly different. It's so obvious I don't need to give you the speech. It's little wonder you haven't provided an actual answer to my original questions.

And why emphasise that you did this on your own? Who's asking for a hand out? The only hand out going is the HomeStart grant which is a terrible policy which drains young people's retirement savings and pushes up the price of houses. Australia did the same thing after the GFC (a grant rather than drawing down retirement savings) and it was a disaster.

@ SOLD to the hig... Yes where is your property, that tends to make a HUGE difference. So where pray tell??

And your occupation please and annual income.... your deposit amount also?

Prove to us your'e the hero you think you are , cause I reckon you are full of it.

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You remind me of a mate of mine. We were having a beer together a few weeks ago and he came out with the same line " No one gave me a hand up or a hand out". I said err hang on a tick didn't your parents give you $400 k when you took over the farm and lend you another $600 k interest free? After a very pregnant pause he said " oh yeah but you cant really call that help, everyone gets that around here".

And anyway, i think the point is if you came out of Uni now at 24 yrs old with a MSc degree you might be struggling to be mortgage free in an inner city suburb 19 years later. Especially if like most people you had children which after all is quite a normal event to happen during ones life.

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How is it that people are able to gloat about ballooning capital gains increasing the price by hundreds of thou every year then able to turn around and in the next sentence claim that it's just as easy for young people to afford them, in an era of stagnating wages and a 20% deposit requirement, without their heads actually exploding from the cognitive dissonance?

They are generally pretty stupid people I'd imagine. Unfortunately, the majority of stupid people don't think very well. They also like to spread disingenuous memes like 'it's all hard work' - while failing to mention the fortuitous timing and other things that went in their favour.

SOLD-to-the-highest-bidder obviously made the smart choice of choosing to be born 20 years earlier than the youth of today. Why didn't the youth of today think of this?

Bugger - pity I don't have a time machine.....

Yes - very like the baby boomers who complain about young people getting themselves into debt while blind to the fact their Pension schemes is reliant on said debt ...

Not really you have to make tough choices and one of them is not getting involved with women and having kids. That way your in 100% control of your spending. I'm was mortgage free at age 47, single and I did it the hard way but I have to confess it was not without the help of my parents contribution of money along the way. The point is it was on a single income in jobs that never paid over $65K, sometimes way less. Its about choices, you need to realize you cannot "have it all" unless you want to be in debt up to your eyeballs until you die. The modern approach is live today and pay tomorrow, its going to bite a lot of people in the ass if we get a property market crash.

And think of the benefits to the country when we no longer have to bother looking after children! Hey, if that's what it takes for normal people to afford a house in Auckland, it's a small sacrifice to override your primary biological imperative. You know, there are plenty of countries in the world (and indeed places in this country) where house prices and the cost of living are such that you can have it all.

So imagine a world where you can achieve all the same things without so much mortgage debt, allowing you to work hard and spend money on other things too. I have a house myself with a well dented mortgage, but that doesn't mean I support making things more difficult for younger people to achieve the same.

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For the record, capital gain has nothing at all to do with actually "working hard". It's more about stealing from those coming behind you.

Rubbish its about being smart with your money. I made the tough decision to buy 10 years ago and the market has done what its done based on historical data if you look at it. It could have gone in the other direction its a chance you take. How is that stealing from those behind you ? I have observed the younger generations and I'm sorry but their expectations are unrealistic. The problem exists with every generation, they EXPECT more than their parents, this is just not sustainable.

Difference being your parents looked out for your generation Carlos. The BB's have turned out to be a massive disappointment who only seem to give a toss about themselves. Why are you so fearful? What are scared of? What makes you so greedy? My grandparents and their friends would never have considered buying more than one home that they lived in - why do the BB's feel they need to build 'property portfolios'? WTF!! My grandma always told me happiness and content came from having enough to get by. For some reason BB's think this means owning 5 rental properties! Why?! It's because you've lost the plot - self centred and greedy.

The world seems to have lost the plot as the BB's took over the last 15 years or so. Markets in turmoil, terrorism, Trump...what the hell guys/girls...My grandparents would be bloody disappointed in you if they were still here to witness this self centred BS.

People are people and I'm sorry but the younger generation are even greedier than the BB's, if eyeryone switched places it would be the SAME of not worse. Basically your parents have to help you into a house. My father got left a house so we basically didn't need a mortgage until we moved to NZ and got a bigger house. I still remember a couple of VERY lean Christmases where the toys were scarce. Parents will have to downsize and help their kids, nothing has changed really. By the way I only have one house, I find I only need one to live in, no need to get greedy and start buying up rentals.

Good call Carlos - but I'll firmly refuse my parents help to get into a house. I'll wait for common sense to return to Mr Market before wasting my parents money in a ponzi scheme...

Ah-ha. That explains it. You're a legacy boy, that's what you are. Getting things left to you and 'help' from the parents when in your 40's. Wheres your pride man?

In another 10 years you'll be beating your chest saying how you got it all through hard work.

The problem with 'millennials' is that they expect to be able to eventually afford a house of their own to live and raise a family in. Such entitlement is sickening!

Yeah it's a bit greedy really...I'll take a reality check by looking at the latest REINZ figures once more and align myself with the good New Zealand 'society' again...

Am reading all the comments - interesting but if Little Andrew has to hit the nail, I am with the person who suggested to release the Non Resident buyer Data now - correctly as it is true that national is hiding behind that old data that was not correct to reflect the true picture.

So logically : national policy of no action against speculators and non resident buyer is based on that data and if that data turns out to be faulty, it will means that national policy of no action will be wrong.

We know what the national will do, blame the agency and say that now will act. Is it not just delaying tactics by national to protect speculators otherwise just prove everyone else wrong by releasing the correct data.

Labour just bring out the data and that data will say and do everything by itself - expose national and they will be running for cover.

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Labour can hardly claim to be without blame in this housing mess. In their last term in office they were just as bad as National. Clearly prices were racing away and it looked like we had the beginnings of a bubble, but they were happy to do nothing as long as the voters felt rich. I had a number of email exchanges with Michael Cullen on the subject which left me with the impression of his smug satisfaction with the situation and if Kiwis didn't like it they were welcome to keep leaving for Australia because there were plenty of others breaking their necks to get to NZ.
Further I haven't yet heard anything from Little that gives me any confidence at all that they would do anything meaningful to stop the flood of immigrants. Even if he wanted to would the rest of his party let him?

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And would it not be reasonable to assume that the people elected National to do something different? That is what I want to yell into John Key's face every time he uses that nonsense to justify his party's inaction.

Great interactive - well worthwhile.

"It's getting harder to afford a home in Tararua.
In the past year, house prices rose by 1.8%, from $154,000 to $157,000."
Well thanks for the encouragement labour.

All the people I know that have purchased their first home in the last few years, now vote National before when renting voted for other parties.

they need to to keep it going otherwise they could end up going backwards

thats what happens when you join a Ponzi

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It's getting to the point now where I'm actually hoping and looking foward to a massive housing and ecomonic collapse in this country. Those given the responsibility to govern have feet far to small to fill the shoes they're supposed to be wearing.

Those responsible to elect those who are supposed to govern the country are deluded by greed.

Given that I'm priced out of the housing market now - why would I want status quo to continue? A massive recession in the country likely won't change my position (either renting or unemployed if people are loosing jobs) - but importantly for the 'slaves' right now who are forced into paying landlords rent, it may in fact bring back a fair playing field, even if that field has less green grass than that which the likes of BigDaddy, ZS and Property King are currently making hay from, rightly or wrongly.

Yes - let the country burn. If those in positions of power don't care about the well being of those they govern - why should we care about the prosperity of the country? If it's all about looking after number 1, then so we shall.....

I'm not sure "simply looking forward to" something really counts as effectively looking after number 1.

Yes to be honest, I'm just glad at least one political party has the stomach to actually do something about this.
And actually try to protect the Kiwi quality of life. If they saturate the market with property that will bring property prices down.

What everyone is overlooking is the fact that listings are in short supply.
If more houses were for sale at any one time then prices would steady or even drop.
So how do you make more listings available?
Not by bright lining sales - that just discourages vendors from putting properties on the market
Try the opposite.
Tax investors who don't sell within a given period and while we are with it give a GST rebate to FHB which would save them $150k on a $1M new house.

Incorrect - You should know better than uttering loose-lipped nonsense

There is a shortage of "inventory" or "stock-on-hand"

Sales volumes still running along quite nicely - close to average

No shortage of supply

What everyone is overlooking is the fact that listings are in short supply.
If more houses were for sale at any one time then prices would steady or even drop.
So how do you make more listings available?
Not by bright lining sales - that just discourages vendors from putting properties on the market
Try the opposite.
Tax investors who don't sell within a given period and while we are with it give a GST rebate to FHB which would save them $150k on a $1M new house.

$850,000 for a house for a first time buyer? Just how disconnected from reality can one man be (without being John Key)?

The figures were just given to make a simple illustration. .
Obviously you are to dim to realise that.

To dim what? The lights, the sun?

If you have a look at Labour's new policies, one of the major components is to build more houses. National have been saying the same too. No one has overlooked that more supply is needed, quite the opposite, there's been far more attention on increasing supply than reducing demand. This quote is in the article above if you have a quick read:

"We will build 100,000 affordable homes, crack down on offshore speculators and provide the social and emergency housing our country so badly needs,” Little says.

Taxing investors who don't sell sounds expensive to do and easy to dodge (perhaps you could sell your properties to your wife?). As for your last suggestion, not a fan of throwing more government money into the market myself, from past experience it just seems to stoke the boom.

"The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation.It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." FDR

At least Labour would try something....

Forget about "building 100,000 houses', houses are not starter properties with Auckland land values this stratospheric.

More intelligent to build 100,000 nice tower block apartments, well located and affordable.

If you have 100 apartments per 15-storey building, that is only 1,000 buildings, and requires 100/year over 10 years.

Don't forget NZ's second largest city, the capital of the Mainland. There has been no huge value boom - yet - and it remains very affordable for an average family, with plenty of expansion space too all the way to the Southern Alps.

Looks like Labour are thinking of a mixture with unspecified proportions:

"KiwiBuild will deliver 100,000 affordable houses over ten years for first home buyers. Half of these will be built in Auckland. That is a ten-fold increase in the number of affordable houses being built in Auckland each year, from 500 to 5,000.

The stand-alone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-$600,000 with apartments and terraced houses under $500,000."

There never has been a problem with land , only a problem with the relevantly zoned land.

100,00 homes over 10 years that will turn into 100,000 more people that will end up voting National as they will not be keen on seeing their house price drop, Amazing how people think when they change from renting to owning.

This was a reply. In wrong place.

Just read Brian Fallow in the NZ Herald today
The best summary of the current Housing shambles and who is responsible
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-business-analysis/news/article.cfm?c_i...

do keep in mind how many of our mps are part of the investor group taking advantage of the tax laws and government spend.
its like asking the fox to repair the whole in the fence to the hen house
https://www.parliament.nz/media/2721/register-of-pecuniary-and-other-spe...

Ummm....what?

Nice crisis indeed. For Hastings, the rent went up all of 0.4% in the past year according to the Labour link. How does this translate to *crisis* for 98% of New Zealand? I'm not thinking that Hastings is in the 2% category...

That said, we bought early this year after nine years of renting when it finally became cheaper to own than rent here. Yes, for nine years it was cheaper to rent than buy here. A bit different than the capital gains fueled auckland. BTW all you that are so sure that the demand in Auckland is organic rather than investor driven, the data in southern California showed far more demand than supply a decade ago... until the demand rather abruptly stopped and supply ramped up. We sold ours in 2006 there, and have been renters ever since (1 year there, 9 here). If I lived in Auckland and owned now, I would sell and rent for a while, IMO similar factors are in play. Not quite the same result will occur, but there will be a re balancing so that organic demand will better align with supply.

Make a LAW , ONE person (or Married Couple) , Can ONLY own ONE HOUSE. No Exceptions.

Capitalist Baby Boomers are stealing their own Children's houses and savings and future which in turn will affect their children's children.

Renting to them to fund their excessive life style of never satisfied greed whist receiving the pension from them.