Westpac report says Auckland housing shortage will get worse before it gets better - fixing problems will 'be a slow grind'

Auckland's housing shortage is continuing to worsen and will keep doing so for several years, according to a report on the region's housing market by Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod.

The report says that since 2012 Auckland's population growth had far outpaced the pace of building, creating a shortfall of 30,000 homes, which it describes as a conservative estimate.

It estimates the region's population will grow by another 300,000 over the next decade, with this estimate assuming a slowdown in net migration from current levels. 

That would mean building another 13,000 homes a year for 10 years to accommodate the extra people and address the existing shortfall.

"The key question is, how quickly will building activity pick up?" the report says.

"At this stage, it looks like it's going to be a slow grind higher.

"Home building in Auckland has been rising, with around 11,000 new dwellings consented over the past year.

"But while that is a rapid pace of home building, it's still below what's needed - and in recent months issuance has flattened off again."

The report also noted several obstacles to getting new home construction up to the desired levels.

The first is that because of the emphasis on higher density housing, some existing homes get demolished to make way for more intensive developments.

That meant the amount of new dwellings added to the total housing stock was less than the number of consents issued.

On top of that, Auckland's building industry is already hitting capacity constraints at current levels of activity, due to difficulties accessing finance, rising costs and a shortage of skilled labour.

"That combination of factors is providing a brake on how fast building levels can ramp up to meet demand," the report says.

Westpac says the ongoing shortage of homes in the Auckland region is likely to cause major changes in the housing market, including:

  • A permanent rise in the number of people per home compared to the previous decade.
  • A shift towards smaller, higher density homes.
  • A push to reduce costs and improve efficiency in the building industry, perhaps by increased use of prefabricated construction methods.
  • Increased efforts to attract more workers into construction-related jobs.

The report also says it's possible that migration policy could be tightened further to put an additional brake on population growth.

"Whatever way you cut it, Auckland is facing an uphill battle to address the housing needs of its rapidly growing population," the report concludes.

"At the heart of this is a challenging balancing act: Auckland needs to increase the rate of home building, but it it also needs to ensure build quality and the resulting homes need to be affordable.

"Achieving all three of those aims simultaneously will not be easy," Westpac says.

Here's the full report: PDF iconAuckland_Housing_Bulletin_April_2018.pdf

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66 Comments

It will be interesting when the census results come out.. Should provide a clear picture of how much of a shortage there really is. I personally don't think there is anywhere near as much of an actual shortage of houses.. just of affordable houses, and quality rentals.

Pragmatist,

You've hit the nail on the head. There is a shortage of AFFORDABLE housing, not a shortage of housing. Many property market commentators are confusing the two issues.

In Auckland, there are currently 12,575 properties listed for sale on trademe.co.nz.

I read that there were 657 properties listed for sale in Flat Bush, which represents almost 2 years of inventory based on recent sales / transaction rates. Also read that the developer was having a tough time selling them at current price levels even though some sellers had reduced their asking price by $100,000.

There are also another 228 properties listed for sale in Albany, which is apparently 83 weeks of inventory.

Think about it - if there is a genuine shortage of any product (from hugely popular concert tickets to housing), then the products should be selling like hotcakes and inventory levels would be low or even sold out? Yet that just isn't the case with housing in Auckland...

There are houses out there for sale, just not at affordable price levels given Auckland household income levels.

Imagine the current economic environment with only one key variable change (i.e interest rates, inflation, unemployment rate, economic growth, are all unchanged) - that one variable change is if house prices were selling at a house price to household income of 1.0x. Most likely, the houses would be selling like hotcakes, and there would be a shortage of properties and house inventory, and in that situation you would have a genuine shortage of housing in Auckland. In that situation, houses would be affordable to buyers given Auckland household income levels.

Hi Pragmatist & CN,

The reason that there's a shortage of "affordable housing" is that there's a shortage of housing.

When there's a shortage of anything then, ceteris parabus, prices get driven up. That's a standard market response. In such circumstances, the poor (who will always be with us - and I happen to be one of them!) inevitably find that the commodity in question becomes "unaffordable".

It follows that if there was no shortage of housing, then there would be much less (or no) shortage of affordable housing.

The demographic features of Auckland are well known - and have been discussed here many times. They are a major part of the reason why Auckland house prices have increased over time - to the extent they have done so.

Government could respond by paying Aucklanders a subsidy to live elsewhere. I throw that comment in because I'm not sure it's ever been discussed. (It might not be feasible??)

TTP

TTP, what absolute rubbish. It's a surplus of unaffordable housing with no doubt many overcrowded houses.

Keep digging that hole to China, you'll get there eventually!

Auckland listings 13,549. There's plenty of unaffordable dwellings for sale and buyers are thin in numbers. Buyers anxiety driven enthusiasm of 2016 no longer exists and vendors are now finding things challenging to say the least. The only way to shift stock is to meet buyers latest expectations on price. I suppose you will next argue current listing prices are way too cheap, scaring buyers away.... "cringe"

Que the usual "cut and paste" reply that's void of any common sense......

Hi Angry-Poppy,

A key reason why house prices in Auckland have risen to their present level is that population growth has put upward pressure on Auckland's housing market. (Other factors, such as interest rates and NZ's growing recognition/desirability abroad, have served to consolidate the effect.)

If Auckland's population had been falling by 45,000 people per year (rather than rising by 45,000 people per year) Auckland house prices would be considerably lower.

Unless we see a significant fall in Auckland's population, then it's highly likely that the current level of house prices will be sustained - albeit with small fluctuations month-to-month.

The "crash" that you (and several others here) have been so eagerly awaiting for such a long time now simply won't transpire. The best you can hope for is that there will be a plateauing of house prices for a while longer - but that's not guaranteed (especially in the highly sought-after inner-city suburbs).

Nobody can ignore the impact of demography/population on house prices, because it's a key driver on the demand side of the market.

TTP

TTP: the govt does pay a subsidy but in reverse - all manner of benefits are location related with Aucklanders getting most. $2bn just for accommodation allowance must be helping house prices rise.
Good for me since I own 2 houses in Auckland. [Just hope Jacinda doesn't read my comment and do as you say - subsidies for living outside of Auckland.]

No , don't worry mate, Labour were totally against National's $5000 moving cost contribution to those on benefit who did like to move to the regions.

After all, such a move is against their religion !

TTP,

For your information, the government has previously responded by paying Aucklanders a subsidy to live elsewhere. The relocation subsidy ended in January 2018.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/92166391/Hundreds-take-up-government-gr...

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1712/S00193/auckland-relocation-grant-t...

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304806/$5000-moving-grant-'laughable'-without-work

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11810797

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85694056/100-Aucklanders-take-...

This article talks about the challenges of moving out of Auckland with respect to employment - https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/83431777/Leaving-Auckland-for-the...

I also recall a story when a mother and her children relocated out of Auckland. However what she experienced was lower income but she could not afford the higher costs - these were a result of now having to pay for childcare as she had no family in her new location. Previously her family in Auckland assisted her with childcare and there was no financial cost, but now that she was in a location without family, she had to pay for childcare, which more than offset the lower rent from moving out of Auckland.

Hi CN

Thanks for your helpful response.

But......a $5,000 subsidy targeted at the homeless is not what I had in mind....... That amount would hardly even cover removal expenses!

If real impact is to be had on reducing Auckland's population, a subsidy would need to be far less narrowly targeted and offer far more incentive than a paltry $5,000 can offer.

And a cut-off point at January 2018 is clearly ridiculous.

TTP

To The Point,

Let me see if I'm understanding your perspective correctly here.

Demographics, such as inbound migration and a birth rate more than offsetting the death rate result in a growing population in Auckland, then this results in continuing rising house prices.

Can you explain what is happening when there is population growth in Auckland and there is a fall in house prices?

(FYI, this occurred in 2008 / 2009 GFC where average property prices in Auckland fell 8%. This has also occurred recently as property prices in Auckland have fallen about 5-8% from their recent peak, yet we still have organic population growth and net inward migration.)

Hi CN,

Predictably, you haven't understood me correctly. (Sigh.)

I did not say demographics is the only driver of house prices. I only argued that it's a key factor! Other factors may exert different impacts........

Auckland house prices might have fallen 8 percent following the 2008/09 GFC shock - but rising population contributed to the rapid bounce-back.

Between 2006 and 2016 Auckland house prices rose by 96 percent - so the impact of rising population over longer time horizons is plain for all to see. (Would house prices have risen by that order of magnitude if Auckland's population was in long-term decline??)

I see nothing on the horizon to suggest any significant falls in Auckland's population. In contrast, there's a widespread view among analysts/forecasters that Auckland's population will continue to grow around the current rate.

TTP

TTP, credit availability vs price are the key ingredients [ personal insult removed - just not needed to make a civil point. Ed]

Massive increases in population can quickly reverse in the absence of jobs - (refer Ireland) Also, the commodity in question must also be an affordable and not just price driven with a mass approval of interest only 100% mortgages.

I'll safely assume you didn't know this but Auckland ranks as one of the most unaffordable cities in the world! YES! its true. That said, who are your cashed up buyers who will sustain your much beloved cheap credit driven ponzi now? (sound of crickets)

In any case, the risk of a crash are no less likely than a Global one. The risk of long term price stagnation (say ten years) are a best scenario outcome. Meanwhile FHBs earn interest, Landlord/speculators pay it on an asset that's, at best, just stagnating in value!

If the jobs run out then so will the people - (DUH)

Hi Misguided-Poppy,

You should note that Auckland is now not even in the first hundred cities in the world, in terms of rate of increase of prices. (The updated statistics were released a week or two back.)

Also, what information do you have to suggest that Auckland's population growth might quickly reverse? Just because it happens in Ireland doesn't mean it will happen in Auckland. (You fall into the same trap as a number of other DGM here - forever grasping at straws.)

FHB's would do well to ignore your advice - and the latest data shows that most of them are doing just that. (They are as keen as ever to get into their own homes - and wisely so.)

TTP

TTP, as you repeatedly miss the point, I agree with the editor in hindsight, it's pointless me being colourful. Some sheeple never comprehend the bigger picture and that's what sets aside debt junkies from smart savers.

TTP

"You should note that Auckland is now not even in the first hundred cities in the world, in terms of rate of increase of prices. (The updated statistics were released a week or two back.)"

Interesting.

1) What cities on that list do you think where property prices are too high and at risk of falling? say more than 15%?
2) How do you determine whether property prices are unsustainable and at risk of falling? (or perhaps you might have the perspective that property prices are never too high and one should always be buying as long as the population is growing)
3) Have you ever looked at the total debt situation of NZ households? Perhaps you consider this irrelevant with respect to property prices.

TTP, Mary Holme, votes for selling the rental to become mortgage free on the family home here; http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&obje...

FHB wait, don't listen to our resident TTP. Backed by sound advice, an army of amatuer speculator/Landlords are poised to sell up.

Really? This guy needs to get out more!

Westpac predicts: more crowded smaller homes. No wonder I have nostalgia.

Has the author not heard, the government is building 100'000 affordable houses in the next 9 1/2 years, half of them in Auckland, so there is no problem

Also the new government is drastically reducing immigration, so again, problem solved

I think the government is just praying that Australia's economy booms and sucks as many Kiwis as possible over the Tasman.

Watch this space...sentiment is changing,slowly,but surely cos we don't want to scare anyone:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1203...
The other big headwind for the economy was likely to be a slowdown in migration in 2019 and 2020.
Infometrics forecasts the annual net migration gain will fall from 68,900 (for the year to March) to below 17,000 by early 2021.

Well 13,000 were partners of Kiwis last year - that won't stop, given recent permanent residents are younger (ex-student visas) and from countries where they prefer marying someone of their own ethnicity (caste even) the figure is almost certain to go up. So maybe Infometrics is predicting things will get so bad in NZ that our steady outflow of skilled Kiwis will become a flood.

Maybe this is the govt's solution https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/shocking-admission-winz-had-...

Hi Yvil,

Thanks for your delightful tidbits above.

The new Government is clearly on Struggle Street......

Lots of bad decisions and botch-ups - fast putting an end to its honeymoon period. Not sure it can last until 2020.

The question on my mind right now is whether Jacinda will return from maternity leave?? Certainly, it will be a big decision for her.......

TTP

This CoL is still thinking , studying, trying ideas & concepts and flipping around every second week ...

The actual plans will come later - I guess right about the end of their term.

They are already referring to examples and units which can hardly be counted as affordable for FHBs .. like Ockham Residential development or Hobsonville which will be available in few months .

Good Luck

Not to mention that the Government has or will introduce far harsher penalties on property investors such as tougher rental laws, a 5 year capital gain tax, ring fencing of losses, the right to only have one home tax free, a petrol tax that will make travel expenses hit the poorest the most, with more to come. It may work to dampen demand in the short term but will create a "lock in" of property as people refuse to sell rather than pay tax.
Buying a residential property as an investment is just nuts because of taxes and other punishments. The end result will be to push up rents even faster as the supply dries up.

The end result will be to push up rents even faster as the supply dries up.

That's what your logic tells you, but there is another narrative that would say that rent is constrained by what the market can bear. Furthermore, every time rent increases 1%, the equivalent monetary value is lost to consumer spending, which dampens business revenue and profits, thus impacting employment, the ability to borrow, etc.

Always good to stretch your thinking beyond what you perceive as a logical relationships between single events and outcomes.

Big Daddy you are just to logical for most of the people on here, your points are very valid but the COL is not seeing a bigger picture of reaction to their actions.

Here is a tidy nice brand new Shoe Box ( with Garage!) for under 600K
https://www.realestate.co.nz/3203141

Smaller and cheaper units are also available .. any takers?

50cc scooters are back in fashion.

There is nothing wrong with the apartment itself. I'd happily live there. I just wouldn't pay anything like $600k for it. $400k and we could talk :)

Indeed , nothing wrong with them at all but they are small and very expensive for what they are ... the $400K price is spot on ..... these are unsuitable for families now or in future -
they only suit either:
Investors to rent out and hold long term - even that is very difficult to swallow nowadays.
Or, retired couples, or working mature people with no kids.

And singletons and divorcees.

There are certainly plenty of singles and divorcees around these days.

And plenty of couples who don't want (or can't) have kids.

So one and two beddie flats (and studio apartments) will likely remain in quite strong demand.

Those who smoke tobacco products are finding harder to get into good dwellings.

TTP

Agreed,expensive...but if you drove around the area and see what you get for your money in a cold,damp old unit,you would probably think it was very nice.
Not actually sure of what your point is anyway Echo..you say we can't build them cheaper,the Nats let in too many people,so there is not enough homes or infrastructure which artificialy raised prices...so what do we do...build nothing so the property spruikers can keep the ponzi going??
I haven't actually seen one idea from you that shows a way forward to change the situation.
All you do is rant and say every one else is an idiot.
Put forward your 5 year plan for AKL.

You are scattering the conversation and taking it to its extremes , not a bad technique but completely useless to make a point and reflects badly on your logic..

I am not calling everyone an Idiot, I am calling this bunch of noobs CoL idiots, and I don't need to prove it , they are doing a good job at it themselves...and certainly not the only one who have noticed that. hope you watched the Hub this morning!

If you mention National now in any subject, then you are simply looking for excuses -

National are not responsible for this CoL incompetence - not responsible for their lack of planning, Big mouth promises, shooting themselves in the foot by banning oil exploration while they cry for money which will be in short supply soon - not responsible for CoL running around like headless chooks Re two major issues we currently have Houses for FHBs and Transport.

This Gov has the power and the money ( well sort of, they sprinkled a lot already) to engage in meaningful planning to produce UNITs that can be sold to FHBs. Combine HNZ and FHB with market buyers is a very bad idea that will never fly - nuff said on that!

To ask me for a 5 year plan is very childish, for zillions of reasons , i will let you figure that out or ask someone older than you.

Here is another Rub, while they don't seem to have a solution for Kiwibuild ( other than hijacking the Unitech project so far ) they are also chasing investors out of the market to cause another crisis - this time it will be rental shortage and rents will blow up - watch the space

No offence Vman, but you could question these views , as they don't seem to sit well with your political affiliation , but if you had 20+ years in this business you could have understood why people like me jump to inevitable conclusions as we could kinda know what works and what doesn't in the housing market.

All the CoL is showing us is that they are incapable of building a complex of garden sheds to store some tools in.

Chasing "investors" out of the market creating a crisis, this time rental shortage...

How many times do we have to cover this.. if they exit the market they sell the house. tenants move out, new owners (or their tenants) move in. One household evicted, one moves in. NET ZERO change in housing availability.

Surely you mean they convert the dwelling into a book-a-batch or air bnb as opposed to having long term tenants? The number of dwellings may remain unchanged but the cost of occupancy may rise significantly.

That might work okay with central city apartments and Waiheke Island Baches, but I doubt there is much demand for a 2 bedroom 1970s shitbox in Mt Roskill on Air BnB.

There is also the old "buy the neighbors house to merge the title with my current house and in so doing land bank under the family home".
How about not building that extra house permitted by the Unitary plan on that huge back section because it isn't worth it now.
Some people are also fond of purchasing residential property from which to run law / accounting firms.

Balanced out by the people that buy the neighboring section, bowl them both, and put up 5 townhouses where there were two houses. Admittedly that case does cause a temporary deficit in houses while construction goes on but then produces an expanded number of dwellings in the long run.

Again with respect, and for the 10th time ... we have to cover this until you and others get it ....

there is no such thing as Net Zero in availability - your logic is so disappointing as you don't seem to know who the average renters are today and what most are capable of.

Fact: most tenants CANNOT, or Will NOT have the means / finances / attitude / Desire to buy a property

Some of these rentals will be sold to investors and others to capable buyers who are over and above the level of current tenants or FHBs decile prices ( unless it is a real rundowned property) .... So the shortage in rental stock availability is certain, so is more displacement of current tenants.

You also assume that these properties will be sold dirt cheap so Tenants or FHB could buy them - Well, that is NOT true at all ...and given all the recent reports and pricing trend - that will not happen soon !

Don't take my word for it - ask around!

So the new owner (one of these other investors) is going to leave it empty? No? then one household moves out, another moves in. End of story.

Unless the new owner leaves the house empty, then its one family/household in, one out. Net zero change. -1 + 1 = 0. Simple maths. You can even do this one without taking your socks off.

I said nothing about price, the market will decide that, for the investor to exit the market they have to settle for what someone else is willing to pay. If they don't then they haven't managed to exit the market and the existing tenants stay where they are.

I will keep my socks on and say you are idealistic in your assumptions. Some issues do not follow simple math ..

You are right, Investor buying will not affect the balance, but as I said, that is more difficult today and less appealing asset class, so that percentage might be quite low.

However, A lot of rentals will be refurbished / modernized and sold on the market at prices beyond most FHBs can afford ... so these will be picked up by mid tier couples or young families ( with mum & dad's help) currently tucked away at mums place waiting for a property on a bit of dirt to start a family or get married, Others upgrading and selling their older house ( which could possibly be picked up by boarding FHBs) , and extended families moving out into home and granny or bigger houses.

There won't be Zero Net, as there is a significant number of new owner occupiers waiting in the wings .... when you stir this pot significant number of tenants will lose out and the demand will grow, in addition to the Organic Growth YoY & immigration we are currently experiencing.

A lot of poorer tenants could not complete with professional FHBs for buying in the lower decile price range - that is, If they had the motivation and actually wanted to buy. Obviously demographics play a roll too.

In the last 9 -12 months, new residential mortgages written for investor went down from ~34% to ~22% of total bank lending, while FHBs were a bit higher. That is a significant decline in the supply of new rental stock and there are no signs of that easing any time soon ... Maybe some investors already started quietly downsizing.

Someone has to cater for the shortage, HNZ might end up buying a big chunk of what investors will sell on the market ( depending on the pressure) and become the new landlord.... or have to build new, there will be equal amount of 1-2 bdrms and 3-5 bedrooms required ... a lot of rentals house big families too, especially Maori and PIs, so small units will be useless to those families.

The Kiwi build saga will continue and wont come soon enough to solve the issue . we will be lucky to see few units by 2020 for HNZ which has a growing list.

Hence, shake such a market and watch it closely to see if it follows your simple math or the laws of gravity.

It will certainly blow up and add to the homelessness chronical headache PT is suffering from .

As far as National,I will only mention Nick Smith...ex housing Minister...say no more on noobs..
Actually,have no political affiliation,have voted both ways...
Not sure why having a 5 year plan is childish...all successful businesses would have one...
Your suggestion that I ask someone older than me,means I assume you think I am young..wrong...
What city do you live in,may I ask?
Whilst we are making assumptions,mine is that you don't live in the big smoke...

Lol, Nick was a noob, but he learned a trick or two in his last nine years - I hate the guy and really want to see the back of him sooner than later - He overstayed his welcome and is expired goods.

Regardless of your age then please go and ask someone older than you - you sound like you still need some guidance on certain things.

Asking "ME" for a 5 year plan is childish , Not as you are putting it ( yes, every company has a 5 year plan) ...I am not the Gov and my plans would only be words for you and others to mince and munch on. Not really interested in spoon feeding basic market fundamentals.

Like yourself, I 've been living in the big smoke for ever Vman, I live in one of North Shore city's top suburbs - Assumption is the mother of all stuff-ups , as you know, I am not making them, you are.

I would definately live in one of these, but I wouldn't pay anywhere near $600K for it.

Well you have one thing correct...in AKL 50cc scooters are in fashion...also in Milan,Rome and many modern cities...

Lots of things are always in fashion in Milan. Last year in October, from the look of it, it was black and grey!

Labour said they would turn down the immigration tap to 30k net (which would only turn down the incoming flow to ~3/4 of what it is now).

It's not hard guys. Delete "chef" and "retail manager" from the shortage lists. Raise the points required for skilled migrants and cut any non-citizens from sponsoring family stream visas. These are all one line amendments.

What's the excuse?

Diversity is a strength? The greasy food is so good? We're going to build ghettos for them which replace green spaces?

That is the permanent residency (about 50,000pa) but they are presiding over a boom in working-visas too and that covers bakers, bus-drivers, labourers,etc). Solution might be to charge more for the visas; it might put a smile on a Kiwi taxpayer's face too
.
Working visa $208; Student working visa $298, Skilled resident Visa $1550. The INZ website say that covers processing costs and an immigration levy.

Maybe diversity is overrated. Korea and Finland thrive without it and my family has more diversity in it than the average for each continent. However many think diversity (meaning ethnic variety) is good but you don't get it when a business is all English, South African or Chinese. Many of the small local businesses in North Shore are mono-ethnic; if diversity ruled you would find Indian and Chinese and African and European and Maori and Pakeha all working together (maybe the only example I know is North Shore hospital).

Anyway this article is about how to house them not where they are from; numbers not nationalities.

I bet we could fix the problem in relatively short time by suspending immigration.

There is no need and no excuse for the hoardes of Asia pouring into our country.

Again, nothing wrong with people from Asia, is just what kind of people you are getting in the mix (but I know you mean well and are talking about the dodgy ones ;) ). Problem with nz is we are not as attractive in terms of career opportunities like USA, UK, Canada and Aus that in turn force us to get bottom of the barrel immigrants by default. I was wondering if shutting the gates for the next 20 or so years may be best option for nz??

To be fair neither is an option for NZ or it's governments legally. Legally they cannot cut or quickly shift legal goalposts and dropping the rate for close relatives of those already new residents is out of possibility. Even if they cut the rate of new immigrants not related to NZ citizens & residents the reality is the number that have come in already will still provide for booming immigration levels in the years to come. Tweaking around the edges is the best any government can do, (and several have unsuccessfully done even that), but tweaking those rules slightly was never going to do much. Even requiring higher skill requirements only continues the higher rate of fraud with workers being brought over for day labourer & hospitality jobs with false, unable to be categorised, inspected, verified credentials. There are too few inspectors and no money in finding illegal companies abusing the privileges of importing workers. If there was a hefty fine & regular inspections then maybe those abusing the system might think for 1 sec first. But with the current level already brought in, no chance to produce a full block on immigration and no controls against false information provided for visas (where even those who commit horrific crimes or outright lying on the forms still not breaking the good character requirements & able to stay in the country with residency) we are getting up shit creek without a paddle. The next gen will be born here and there is no going back to a population level even basic NZ services can handle. Lifestyles from here on out will be worse for the next gen because the boomers have not even all retired yet for full pensions, housing & healthcare (and I say that with the knowledge of the lifestyle for the gen before the boomers).

At some point ex pat Kiwis will stop returning and Aussie high paying jobs will draw our best and brightest overseas. The current government are even more clueless than the last bunch. Until then, we party on.

Retired Poppy, to be fair Mary Holm is a financial advisor and doesn’t get paid for promoting real estate!
Everyone’s situation is different.
Financial Advisors are required by certain people however property investors tend to not need them as they get better returns by doing the investing themselves

TM2, yes well said. Mary's advice to sell the rental is certainly impartial and its factually backed.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&obje...

What we really need is the results of the new census to show just how many empty homes there are in Auckland that without a doubt drastically contributes to this cities shortage in available homes. Of course have over priced property still very much factors in to this too as other commenters have mentioned.

So lets look at the figures:-

* Auckland 2013 more than 33,000 houses were registered as unoccupied.
https://www.noted.co.nz/money/property/running-on-empty-the-ghost-homes-...

* Now factor in the height of the market where overseas were at their peak ranging from 2010 to late 2016.
And you can be pretty sure that the number of empty homes has significantly increased. At an educated guess; I recon we're around 50,000 empty homes (Probably mostly apartments).

* Now compare that to what measures other large developed countries have taken. Such as Vancouver which has brought in a Foreign Buyers Tax and Empty Home Tax.

Their latest census numbers for 2016 show there were 25,502 unoccupied or empty housing units in the City of Vancouver. That’s 15 per cent higher than recorded during the last census in 2011.

Vancouver sun article: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/census-counts-25502-unoccupied-h...

Here's an article that shows a 'heat map' of all the empty homes in Vancouver, no surprise that they're mostly in the down town city centre area. I'm guessing our will be similar with further heat spots in North and East Auckland.

Article: http://www.vancourier.com/real-estate/highest-number-of-undeclared-prope...

In conclusion: Highly likely that Labour will need to introduce a 'Empty Homes Tax' for Auckland later this year.

Go for it Labour!!!!

Well, there is a reason some of us call the PM Taxinda, so anything is possible. But why stop at empty houses? How about taxing empty bedrooms or garages?

Ex Expat, Yeah! and how about canning that free tertiary study thing you happen to be lining your teens up for. Do you also think it's high time Super payments were axed to well financed individuals too? All this wasted money! (Sigh)

I’m on record as saying free tertiary is ridiculous given my children are going no matter what and I can easily afford to support them.

As for Super, I’d just like to know what the long term rules are and I’ll adapt accordingly. For the record I’d happily go without as long as those that led a spendthrift life or decided not to work were denied as well. If you work out how to monitor/manage that then you are smarter than me. If you are able to stand on your own two feet you should be made to.

Ex Expat, correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't a Super surcharge initially proposed under Nationals Ruth Richardsons black budget (Ruthanasia) in 1991? Grey Power walking the streets canned that idea and benefit cuts ensued. In a risky move, Super remained untouched.

Who knows, under fiscal stress, revisiting that surcharge might reappear on the table given the projected bill will be $20 billion by 2030.

As now off title topic, will leave it up to you to post last comment.

Super was then and remains now a sacred cow. There are too many variables in people’s circumstances to work out who should get it and who shouldn’t and they all vote. If there is any Silver lining it’s that most of the Super is spent as quickly as it’s paid. Of more concern to me right now is the proposition that retirement homes should develop affordable options. It irks me as it will really be subsidised by other retirement unit buyers. If the COL is so adamant people need help then pay it out of taxpayers money.

@ExExpat: I think certain predotray investors are way ahead of you on capitalizing on the vulnerable poor Kiwis - outrageous!

Article: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2016/07/predatory-property-man...

Still I'm sure these Landlord think it's postively luxurious in comparison to what they could get away with in their own back yard: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2017/jun/07/boxed-life-inside...

So by your logic there are bunch of cashed up FHB (but not FHB) waiting in the wings to buy all these houses that investors (exiting en masse) will sell for top dollar... But these same cashed buyers aren't buying the 13,000 odd Auckland homes on trademe now. Yeah, okay.

...exactly, limited buying support for unaffordable dwellings = continued price depreciation of those dwellings. FHBs would be wise to continue saving hard and play audience to this playing out.