The Labour-Greens confidence & supply agreement promotes 'progressive' housing ownership models. So will the Government roll out a shared equity scheme?

The Labour-Greens confidence & supply agreement promotes 'progressive' housing ownership models. So will the Government roll out a shared equity scheme?
Some of the KiwiBuild homes planned for Auckland.

The government’s flagship KiwiBuild scheme will no doubt be in the headlines this year, with its progress or lack of progress, scrutinised constantly.

Last year the Salvation Army released its report Beyond Renting, which looked at the New Zealand housing market and some of the various options the Government has to address the ongoing housing affordability crisis.

The report’s author, Salvation Army social policy analyst Alan Johnson, called for the Government to introduce a shared equity scheme to help first home buyers enter the market.   

“Extended home ownership subsidy programmes - perhaps through well-funded equity share schemes - will extend the reach of KiwiBuild and, if it is of sufficient scale, unleash private sector development to cater for a market that to date has not existed. Indeed, the Government should focus more on supporting modest income households (earning around the median household income not twice it) to achieve home ownership through subsidy programmes rather than facilitating small-scale residential developments and balloting off houses.”

In the report Johnson said without a subsidised shared equity scheme KiwiBuild will be just another form of middle-class welfare and will continue the gentrification of state housing areas such as Tamaki which began under the previous government.

“The unwillingness of government to include a generous subsidy programme into its KiwiBuild programme will mean that it is only accessible to wealthier middle-class households who most likely could have accessed home ownership through the market.”

Shared equity housing has been used widely in Australia as a means to allow lower income earners a chance to buy a home. State government’s across the Tasman have commonly used a shared equity model whereby a homeowner takes out a loan for the majority of the property’s value (typically 70% or more) and the equity partner, e.g. the government then provides the remaining 30% share.

The homeowner can decide to buy back the remaining share or, if the home is sold at a later date, pay back the remaining equity to the partner. But in some cases the capital gain on the property may be limited in a bid to improve affordability in the housing market.

Greens pushing for a shared equity scheme

Under the confidence and supply agreement between the Greens and Labour, both parties agreed to develop a rent-to-own scheme, or a similar progressive ownership model, as part of the KiwiBuild programme.

Despite comments from minister for housing and urban development Phil Twyford last year that the Government was looking at the feasibility of shared equity housing, no details have been officially announced to date. Twyford has yet to respond to interest.co.nz questions for this article.

But Green Party housing spokesperson Marama Davidson says the Government has to develop a shared equity scheme and a rent-to-own scheme for those who can’t afford a deposit for a house.

“These are a crucial part of fixing our housing crisis. Thousands of families are unable to save a deposit because of high rents, and have been squeezed off the property market with no hope of ever owning their home,” she says.

“A government-backed progressive home ownership scheme including both shared equity and rent-to-own would help lift home ownership rates, and would ensure more people reach retirement with the security of owning their homes.”

Davidson says this may include the Government working in partnership with the not-for-profit sector and iwi to deliver affordable housing.

“KiwiBuild is about the Government stepping in and supplying modern, warm, energy-efficient homes in well-planned communities near public transport connections. However, KiwiBuild will only be a success if it serves the needs of all income levels and actively contributes to a more equal society. The Green Party is committed to ensuring that every single New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home to live in. We are committed to flourishing communities.”

“This means we need targeted support in the form of shared equity and a rent-to-own scheme as well as increasing the numbers of state houses and improving rental standards.”

Not a panacea

Arthur Grimes is a senior fellow at the Motu economic research institute and adjunct professor of economics at Victoria University. He says shared equity housing isn’t a panacea.

“It all depends on what the Government’s trying to achieve. But shared equity just changes who gets a house, not how many get a house,” Grimes says. “The fundamental problems we have is there isn’t enough houses and not enough people to build them.”

He says if the Government does go down the path of a shared equity scheme the devil will be in the details.

“The Government will need to say what it wants to achieve with it. If the Government is trying help certain groups it will have the desired effect, it will affect who gets them.”

But Grimes says if the Government’s goal is to make housing more affordable they will have to build more of them and major housing projects take time.

“They need to be mass produced and that’s what they’re going to have to work on. I think this government and the last government had the right intentions. But housing takes years to build and they’ve been naïve in terms of the amount of time involved in housing developments.”

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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Well they had better come up with something .............. anything ............. because Kiwibuild is a dead duck floating .

Shared -equity is something ..........not a good plan B though

The home ownership, sale, and shared equity space is evolving quickly. Probably not a bad idea to have some government participation to keep the ticket clipping to a minimum.
point.com -> sells part of you home to release equity
divvy.com -> buys home and rents it to you
opendoor.com -> buys home from you
flyhomes.com -> buys home for you

Boatman,

Not often That I agree with you,but KiwiBuild is a mess. I am broadly sympathetic to this government,but they have made the fundamental error of over promising and under delivering. Twyford looks and sounds like a rabbit caught in the headlamps.
It’s a gift for Judith Collins and she will make the most of it.

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This demonstrates perfectly the saying -- "trying to solve a problem by creating a bigger one".

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Absolutely my thought too. People can’t afford houses - I know, let’s get the NZ taxpayer to help support and encourage these rediculous prices. Genius! Shall we deal with the systemic issues that created the problem? Na mate, too hard.

First time I'm agreeing with Boatman. They need to get house price to income ratios back in line. Seriously, just bring back Land Value Tax.

If you look at both sides of that ratio, income and price, you'd struggle to hand out many ticks for policy coming out of the last few governments to address either. In fact quite a lot of red ink.

Why don't they build more(lots more) state houses,charge minimum rent thereby allowing people to save for their own home.
Sounds odd but i recall living in a Railway house at very low rent which allowed me to save for my own home.
Just a thought.Might be tooooooo extreme for some.

@ng Its a good idea ........... in theory , but the Government cannot house everyone in low -rental accommodation .

Government does not have the money , the resources , the skills , the will , or the ability to be landlord -of -last -resort for everyone who cannot afford to own a home .

that's where they need to go back in time to a stepped program
state houses with low rent then when you have a deposit a government low interest loan for a government built house in a massive new housing estate.
before the final step of when you have built enough equity, selling, paying off your government mortgage and taking out a bank loan and moving to a nicer area.
and all this targeted at low wage workers (below 60K PP or 100 K per house) not people earning $150 k like kiwibuild

@sharetrader , you are dreaming , its never going to happen , and anyway who says we are all entitled to a house sponsored by the State ?

I never got any help, not from anyone , in fact we had interest rates of 25% on my Mortgage and nearly lost my home

People were entitled to it in the late 60s with the State Advances Loan at 3%. I suppose they did have a lot of returned servicemen sitting idle and not a lot of red tape so building houses wasn’t an issue back then.

25% mortgage interest for a brief period of time, on an amount that wouldn't even cover the deposit for a house these days? In an era of almost unlimited land supply? I don't have a violin I can play for you, but I do have this foghorn that screams "out of touch boomer" at about 1300db. Will that do?

GV 27. Your 'boomer' epithet is a tired cheap shot that can only be fired with the benefit of hindsight about what happened after the period boatman is describing i.e. unforeseen deliverance through runaway inflation. The anxiety at the time was real; I remember the fear.

As someone struggling to even get a deposit together now, would you like me to tell you about my fear, or about the things in life I've had to put off until I've had stable accommodation? Or does it only count when it happened to people over 50?

The cheap houses were not cheap to someone earning 70 dollars a week in the late 1970s....No comparison with wages of today!

You're right. BH coverd it here https://www.interest.co.nz/news/44330/opinion-why-golden-oldies-are-wron...

" We found the average pre-tax income in June 1975 was NZ$126.88 a week. After tax of 22% that left disposable income of NZ$98.97 a week. The average house price in 1975 was NZ$24,300. Assuming a 33% deposit on a 15 year mortgage and the 9.3% variable rate at the time meant an average wage earner had to make a mortgage payment of NZ$38 a week or about 39.2% of disposable income"

.. average weekly wage has gone up about x15 since then
House prices have gone up double that.

15 year mortgages back when the average household income was the same as the average wage.

There are also a lot of other things which have changed to make housing higher as a percentage of disposable income. On the demand side, consumer goods are far far cheaper now and I think that's made a difference. As other things have become relatively cheaper, buyers have been able to bid up homes using their extra. On the supply side new housing is more expensive and more complicated to provide which pushes us the price. I know it's not right but secondhand homes benefit from those cost increases.

"As other things have become relatively cheaper".. like most manufactured consumer products always do. What was the cost of a radio in the 1970s, vs the cost of a wireless set in the 1930s? yeah, they got dirt cheap, and so much better.

So manufactured goods get cheaper over time for better quality, so what everyone knows that, right. But houses and land are different, they become more expensive over time....you seem to really have a blind spot there and think they should be the price from yonks ago...would you also say that about your shares investments.

So why did you try to make some sort of point by stating it above to justify why houses are getting more expensive? Its relatively constant, it hasn't changed since the industrial age began, manufactured goods get cheaper over time as manufacturing methods improve and scale.

And no, houses should remain relatively constant with regards to real cost vs income in the long term.
Have a read of this, a 340+ year study of housing along one of the Canals in Amsterdam.
https://pub.maastrichtuniversity.nl/cda347a3-7fdf-426e-99a4-1a2c30717764
"Between the 1628-1629 and 1972-1973 periods, the average biennial logarithmic increase was 1.8% in nominal guilders. In real terms this was a mere 0.5%" I.e, in real terms house prices doubled in 340years , and if you started the index few years later in the 1632-1633 period the long term real inflation over 340 years was... zero. In the short term it moves up and down, but over the longer term it ends up going almost nowhere.

Long run, housing can't keep growing to absorb more of peoples incomes, Where does its stop? 60%, 80%, 101% of household income?

As for comparing stocks.. what? Stocks are ownership of a company that (hopefully) produces something of value, or provides a service, if they don't that stock will soon become worthless as many people have discovered the hard way. A house does not produce anything, it sits there and deteriorates if you don't maintain and improve it over time. Using a house as a rental, sure, that should produce an income stream, and if you do that well you should make a modest profit. Just owning a house and doing nothing more than basic maintenance, and waiting 20years should not be a way to get rich since its not producing anything, or providing a service, and is costing you money to maintain.

New house prices have risen fast and steeply (yes above the inflation rate) due entirely to local and central govt regulations and policies since 1980s and used houses have shadowed new prices. Now they (COL) say they can help to bring prices down...you are a smart guy, do you really believe them?

Seems its fine to be sponsored by the state for negative gearing though ?

But that is what it has come to with years of suppressing wages while allowing the prices of houses enter the stratosphere.
You either fix it or you don't, if you don't you might want to be putting the odd hill aside for barrios/favelas

Did it have heat pumps and up to date insulation? If not, then you were lucky to get out alive in those conditions!

Aww, poor widdle landlord has to upgrade his "product" to a livable standard and is feeling victimised.. Perhaps a work around.. you rent a house built to 1960s standards.. and the tenant pays 1960s level rent?

Agree. Definitely a better idea than simply pouring more money into trying to prop up house prices.

The last few governments have taken the approach of pouring money into propping up prices and rents and look where it's gotten NZ.

"Shared equity housing - a dream or reality? " - not a dream, hopefully not reality , sounds more like communism .... (communal flats with shared toilet etc. shared with the bank in this case). hopefully the masterminds will come up with something better

The shared equity schemes floated by the Greens cannot work especially if capital gain or capital loss have to be factored in. Huge arguments will erupt when calculating a buy out price. The better idea is to divide the land from the house. The Government(or who ever) buys the land and leases it out to the deserved needy at a fixed rent and a fixed buy out price within a fixed period of time. The buyer pays off the house as fast as they can and can trigger the lease buy out at any time within the fixed period. Rates and maintenance on the land and house all payable by the buyer. Banks can still lend full mortgages on the house part as they would have the right to trigger the land buy out in the event if default thus maintains security.

This is recipe for disaster/ litigation as well. The leasehold land will not increase or drop in value?

Lessee has option over the land, the landowner carries all of the downside risk, so I cant see any private investors keen on that one

The issue is capital. Maybe the Government could issue 10 year housing bonds that provide a decent return and match contributions dollar for dollar. Got $20k to invest, Government puts in $20k. After 10 years you get your $20k back but a return on the $40k.

Use that to get the ball rolling. Start up a training academy for trades, run apprenticeship schemes and get them to build the houses under supervision.

It's a case of anything to stop the market collapsing. Credit growth has stalled, only growing at the same rate in 2018 as it did it 2017 and already house prices in our major centre are collapsing, with a massive supply of new builds about to hit the market. Credit growth flat-lining is all that is required for house prices to fall. If credit growth is slower this year than last and it looks to be going that way then we have a real issue on our hands. What a muddle. The economy can't take any more debt, but that is the only thing keeping it alive! Morphine please, more morphine!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkKRU1ajKFA

Yes a credit injection stat nurse!

I love that song too.

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If shared equity has been widespread in Australia I can't see it's a model we should copy. Their housing market is just as dysfunctional as ours.

Has anyone thought of cutting immigration numbers to reduce demand?

Campaigned on it, got elected on it, hasn't done anything.

Shared equity schemes sound way way cooler in terms of activist cred though, so you can forget about the stuff they actually promised during the election.

...the reason I voted TOP. Couldn't trust Peter's even though he's banged on about immigration since Adam was a cowboy. Ok some of Top's stuff is seen as fringe, but their stuff is well researched. Love to see their influence in parliament. They are the only real alternative to rinse and repeat.

The Problem: A lot of lower-middle income people can't afford housing, as it is overpriced.
Potential Solution: Provide those with lower-middle incomes the ability to afford the overpriced housing.

Way to treat the symptom rather than the cause. I try to be a Greens voter, but they make it hard...

you're right in many regards however the bigger issue will be that 'a lot of lower-middle income people can't afford the housing' they've already been allowed to buy. 25% of loans beyond 6 times household income is a recipe for disaster. 30% of last years loans were interest only. The system is so fragile because everyone has been having what they used to call ' a good drink' on the banks... and the regulators and last administration turned a blind eye while standing at the bar!

Shared Equity?? Bloomberg have picked up that I-pad giveaways are the way to sell housing debt in New Zealand. maybe we should try that again...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-21/no-more-ipad-giveaway...

The issue is not more houses per se, but more affordable houses.

And affordable means without having to cut the house in half so it 'looks' cheaper than the whole, or by providing a subsidy.

This is just arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

The issue is systemic, and needs a total system change.

They have to enable housing to be built faster and cheaper on a like for like basis.

You have to remember the Greens plan is a compact city model so one way to do that is to make housing so expensive that you can only afford a shoebox in the CBD (plus of course by then you cannot afford a car, so have to use their subsidized public transport.

Anything that needs a subsidy should automatically raise a red flag.

We need to get over 'affordability', as that is all based on interest rates, and what mortgage people can afford to service. As interest rates are historically low, that means people can afford to pay more, so when there is a lack of supply, people will borrow up to their maximum to outbid others. The problem is when interest rates rise. So it is all about looking into what will happen in the future, and whether people could afford to service an 8% + mortgage on that million dollar house, (which is still very low historically)

Rob,

The more likely scenario is how much financial flexibility do most households have in their budgets if they were to have an unexpected reduction in household income. In Auckland, mortgage payments can currently absorb 35% or more of two gross incomes, particularly for owner occupiers who have bought in the last 3 years or so with minimum deposits, and maximum allowable LVR's.

The key question is what would happen if there was an unexpected global shock which led to an economic slowdown and higher unemployment. How many households could continue their debt service payments if one person in the household lost their job or had fewer working hours leading to lower wages. How would the household cope with such an event.? Would they experience cashflow stress even if they significantly cut their discretionary household costs such as dining out, entertainment, overseas holidays, etc? Would they have sufficient savings to cope?

If household budgets are already stretched to the limit now, with little or no cash savings, then there is potential for cashflow stress in the event of an economic downturn.

Look at the stories coming out of the US with the government shutdown. Look at how many of the US government employees not getting paid do not have sufficient savings and are unprepared for an emergency -
Take a look here - this guy has to be at least 50 years old - https://twitter.com/Jesus_was_a_Lib/status/1087494778944516096

There are stories of government employees taking their possessions to pawn shops, others looking for part time work, others becoming Uber drivers ...

Here are some more stories - https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShutdownStories?src=hash

Hence why the banks have us by the short and curly's. By design?

The risk of that scenario is quite high if not inevitable with existing conditions.

What do we do - use it to create fear in the masses to make it easier to have Too Big To Fail, easier to have a concentration of power in the hands of a few - or do we think outside the box to create a more resilient, interdependent society?

Meh,

Highly leveraged property owners unintentionally gave the banks their short and curlys ...

Highly leveraged property owners made a conscious choice to purchase residential real estate at high prices and take on high levels of debt relative to their income levels, and stretch household budgets. They didn't realise that they were also giving banks their short and curlys at the same time ...

Others chose to continue renting and not purchase high priced residential real estate and avoided taking on high levels of debt relative to income levels - in other words, there were those who hung on to their short and curlys and chose not give them to the banks to handle.

So "let them eat cake". Got it. Meanwhile, rents rise a result of limited rental supply, short term accommodation pressures. Rent, relative to a mortgage, is dead money. Unfortunately people cannot put off things like having families forever. There is this peverse "just wait stuff out" logic without recognising that we're now three years past the traditional 'seven year cycle' deadline for a correction or market turn. We are in totally uncharted territory yet you're still expecting people to put their entire lives on hold in perpetuity in order to make what you personally think are rational choices.

Owner occupiers do make their buying choices based on their own priorities. Owner occupiers buy for non financial reasons which they deem to be more important than financial reasons. Some examples are:

1) want the convenience of renovating the property to their own style
2) want to avoid the risk of rental increases from their landlord - "peace of mind / security"
3) want to avoid the risk of being given short notice period from their landlord to move out - "peace of mind / security"
4) they want to make a "home" that they call their own
etc ...

There are many non financial benefits from being an owner occupier vs being a renter.

An owner-occupier can buy on these factors, and are willing to stretch household budgets to attain these non financial benefits.

By making that decision, there may be unintended financial consequences:
1) if the purchase price is low and the debt and debt servicing payments are low relative to their incomes, there is the increase in probabilities that they can make financial gains via an appreciating house price.
2) if the purchase price is too high, and they take on too much debt relative to the debt servicing capacity of their incomes, there is an increase in risk of adverse financial consequences.

The important questions for potential owner occupiers looking to buy in Auckland at the moment is:
1) do you want those non financial benefits mentioned above?
2) given current house price levels in Auckland, and the potential large mortgage (relative to the debt servicing capacity of their incomes, relative to their incomes) to finance that purchase, are you willing to take on the financial risks associated with that decision?
3) do you have sufficient financial flexibility and financial resources to continue making mortgage payments in a more challenging economic environment such as a recession?

Remember that owner occupiers can also buy outside of Auckland, so do they really need to buy in Auckland? Yes, their employment may be in Auckland, but is there some other solution?

It's all about tradeoffs - the tradeoff between the non financial benefits with the financial benefits / risks. Each person has their own unique circumstances, psychological needs (peace of mind, etc), financial needs, etc. Many will prioritise their non financial needs over financial considerations.

Potential owner occupier buyers in Auckland are free to make their choice, but they cannot choose the consequences of their choice.

You mention a very commonly held mantra and belief - that rent is dead money. I also believed that, there there was this story.

A property buyer (owner occupier) who:

1) believed that rent is dead money (comment at 3:00),
2) believe that you have to own your own house (comment at 4:10).
3) had a fear of missing out as she believed that property prices would continue rising (4:39),
4) paid a very high price for their home. (when the house price to income valuation for the area was 8-9 times)
5) took on high levels of debt relative to their incomes in an economic downturn
6) as a result of the subsequent financial consequences of that decision to buy, she subsequently regretted her decision to buy (comment at 4:29)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfcSWLJBIRg&fbclid=IwAR2ZaSS69s_cYHWEW6o...

As a result of that one single decision to buy a house at high price levels and finance it with a large mortgage, her financial future has changed dramatically - she is in negative equity, she is unable to save much for her retirement, so her financial security at retirement might be at risk. By the time she retires, her house might be worth about the same amount as she had paid for it.

Had she waited and purchased the house at a much cheaper price, she would have excess savings from their salary for retirement, her house value would likely increase before her retirement and she would have the capital gains for use in her retirement at which time she could choose to downsize and realise the gains. She would have avoided the psychological toll of financial stress, and emotional stress.

So the correct mantra should be "Rent is dead money ... when property prices are low and the financial risks are low."

Wow, buying things when they are cheaper is better than buying when they're expensive. Thanks for the breaking news alert. Do you have any solutions for things like biological clocks? Maybe some massive diatribe I can send to my female friends who are already almost a decade older than their parents when they had kids, simply because they've had such a terrible experience with renting/flatting and constantly having to move that they wouldn't put a family through that.

If your answer to people born and raised in a city is for them to leave so they can do normal things like own homes and have families, then you're avoiding the actual issue. At some point, this insane constant feedback loop of capital gain to the benefit of one particular class/generation has to stop.

If you don't know the baseline unit of measurement you need to use, then anything can be justified.

The definition of affordable is 3x income, NOT what the system can extract from the host without killing it, which is just about where we are today.

All that lower interest rates do when house supply is limited is make it easier to buy a house, which then feedback in more demand but no further supply which then feedback into price increases which in turn feedback into bigger mortgages. That debt is locked in, irrespective of when the house price drops (and it will) and any rise in interest rates can be catastrophic for the homeowner, even if does not mean having to sell, it can effectively lock them in place, cannot sell because of negative equity. All caused by lower interest rates with supply shortage.

Other jurisdictions, have affordable housing at 3x income, and low interests, despite high population growth rates.

FHB on the sideline and looking into housing, its not so much the house itself but the land which is priced too high. If we can loosen land area around cities, make a few higher density suburbs (not pokeno style) and remove the red tape then we will naturally see a shift in prices.

Both are too high.
House build prices per m² have gone up something like 50% in the last 5 years. Wages and inflation have only moved a fraction of that amount - that rise is mostly increases in (unnecessary) regulatory burdens.

And rural land around Auckland region is mostly $10-50/m², but sections cost >$500/m². The price difference is mostly driven by council requirements and the costs they impose.

Shared equity is about supporting banks..it has nothing to do with helping our first home buyers. It is the same scheme type as first home buyer grants -

"We have considered if the FHBG is a direct driver of increasing median house prices
and an indirect driver through increased borrowing ability. Due to the combination of the
FHBG, the ability to borrow more, and an inelastic supply, "

https://shelternsw.org.au/sites/shelternsw.org.au/files/public/documents...

Putting more money into the same market without increasing supply is by it's very definition inflation. We need to increase supply if the price of housing is to come down. We actually know the answer but we continue to think it's some mystery. We need more builders and more efficient building methods, reduce restrictive building practices at councils, and greater density.

Mr Green is smoking his greens over this shared ownership , and here's why ......

If CGT is introduced , its going to be an absolute nightmare when the shares in the "shared equity" are divvied out and a shareholder "leaves " or want his capital gain to go off and buy on his own , or the shareholder dies , or worse if a shareholder is declared bankrupt and the OA wants the "share" to settle creditors

The change in ownership/ shareholding with strike a Capital Gains Tax event , and everyone will be required to pay up .

Boatman ; exactly. And many people would be unaware of how often such scenarios occur in business.

If it's a persons home, then in the event of a sale there would be no CGT.
Then again would the "partner" who is supplyiing the additonal equity be regarded as the same as the home owner.
Who knows with this lot?

'If it's a persons home, then in the event of a sale there would be no CGT'.

Not a given.. yet. Many houses and baches are owned by trusts and other entities. We are yet to learn how
comrade Cullen intends to deal to deceased kulaks who settled these trusts and occupied the properties.

Kiwibuild is underperforming so badly that it must be due the axe. Only 33 houses built, and only about 300 expected to be built in first 1.5 years. That's about 2% of the 10k/year promised. and less than 1% of what private sector builds. A truly breathtaking failure given $2billion dollar budget.
And a $600k mortgage can't be afforded even by 2 adults no kids with median incomes. Middle class welfare.
Even worse they are unable to sell them. No sales for many of the 33 homes completed:
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/01/kiwibuild-houses-might-n...

Elephant in the room is that the cost of land and construction compliance costs. High land price = not worthwhile building cheap housing. So it also drives up the cost of our flimsy building materials. What has Labour et al done about this? Nothing. No land tax. No RMA change. No building code changes. They can't even re-sell more than 33 boxes!

Drive to the edge of the city and you'll see on one side of the road you see tiny little sections. On the other side you see farm animals, each occupying more land than the sections across the road. The average cow on the city outskirts is far richer and better off than the people living in those tiny boxes.

Whenever politicians say "affordable" what they mean is smaller. If a pies were too expensive in NZ Twyford would try to pass off little savories as "affordable pies". I suppose if we switched petrol from Litres to pints the price would also look more affordable.

Housing is a total joke. If Twyford keeps going like this it will be rent-to-buy dog kennels. Unless a young person has windfall money from a rich daddy they are treated worse than farm animals. Kept in cages and milked for rent.

That is why it would be a good thing if kiwibuild failed big and failed soon... It might finally motivate the coalition to fix the excessive regulations and slow infrastructure build that are the real source of the house price problem.

Of course given that reduced regulation runs counter to all their beliefs and ideologies it's not likely, but previous Labour govts have seen past ideology to sense in the face of crises (1984)

The rich in New Zealand used to farm animals. Now they just farm people for capital gain and they are constantly asking to be allowed to get more livestock in from overseas. If mum and dad are of the farming class you are fine. Otherwise, you are screwed

The truth is now coming out on KiwiBuild. It was obvious that Labour were making false promises at the Election.

When will politicians be called to account for blatant lies and false promises?

It happened with Brexit and now we have it with KiwiBuild.

penguin. The evidence to support your 'false promises' is accumulating rapidly but not sure I agree with 'blatant lies'. My take is that although Twyford is a posturing, bombastic incompetent, I don't think he is dishonest. I suspect he suffers from the same syndrome as much of the coalition - inexperienced with limited natural ability but with excessive self belief.

The kiwibuild crew are running for cover.. just got this in my inbox:

KiwiBuild has been in the media a bit lately. Some of what’s being reported is accurate, some of it’s not, so we thought we’d deliver you the facts straight to your inbox.

Right now, we’ve got over 10,000 KiwiBuild homes contracted and committed to build. Soon, we’ll be announcing new homes for sale in a number of cities including Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Auckland and Whangarei.

More details will be revealed soon but we’ll make sure we give you plenty of notice so you can get pre-qualified before the homes are offered for sale.

Here’s where we are at today:

47 KiwiBuild homes completed
236 homes under construction - we have contracts for 293 homes to be built by 30 June this year, and we're working on finalising more contracts too.
53 homes sold - this includes homes bought off the plans.
289 pre-qualified buyers - these are people who have seen a KiwiBuild home they want to buy, and are ready to purchase.
7651 applicants in the pre-qualification process - this is the number of people who’re either in the process of pre-qualifying, or are familiarising themselves with the system.
You can purchase a KiwiBuild home off the plans, while they are being built, or once they're completed. We've got KiwiBuild homes ready to move into right now.

47 KiwiBuy shoe boxes completed
236 shoe boxes under construction - we have contracts for 293 builders to stop work on the 293 ordinary houses they had planned to build and instead build 293 shoe boxes by 30 June this year, and we're working on finalising more contracts too.
53 shoe boxes sold - this includes shoe boxes bought off the plans.
..

We've got KiwiBuy shoe boxes ready to move into right now.
Nobody wants them. Please buy them. Please.

Hilarious demonstration of how well organised they are.. the email above says 10,000 contracted, but the webpage at https://www.hud.govt.nz/residential-housing/kiwibuild/follow-our-progress/ (updated today according
to the date at the bottom) says 4047 contracted. Meh, its only a difference of about ~$2.5billion dollars.

They must have read your comment as the number is updated.

The fact that they are pumping out propaganda emails smells like a cover up. Perhaps if they had less people writing irrelevant emails and more people who actually know how to get buildings built this farce of a commission would look different.

They are feeling the heat, especially after this mornings scathing takedown of Twyford by Hoskings. Ardern is guardedly declaring she still has confidence in her housing minister and this afternoon Peters also jumps onto the KiwiBuild bandwagon (but strangely a different line to Twyford's 'ahem, a few, ah , snags, err and we might not make the July target' backdown),by insisting the 1000 by July target will be achieved. Which of these of these two conflicted coalition ministers we are to believe, is unclear.

Heat? It's all an act of crocodile tears. Do you actually think they're trying? Nothing will spark Labour, Winnie and the watermelon party into actually doing anything because they don't care.

Making an omelette too isn't hard. Smash land values with a land tax. Smash Fletchers by allowing imports of European kit set housing. Cap the cost of building consents and make the councils pay $100 for every day it's delayed.

Yeah, I do think they are trying. Having gone out on a limb by confirming it is a key flagship policy they don't have much choice than to keep flogging the dead kiwibuild horse.

The problem is that for the last few decades, they have allowed house prices to increase too much, partly fueled by low interest rates, but also fueled by other factors such as a lack of land and expensive building materials, and overseas investors being allowed to buy housing stock..
They actually need to make houses cheaper. A shared equity scheme shouldn't be needed if houses were cheaper. I am not talking about affordbility either, as that is based on interest rates, which are at historic low levels. Once interest rates rise, unless house prices drop, affordability will be worse.
I could buy a kiwibuild home, but I think they look like cheap housing, on small sections . Some maybe good value based n the location they are in. But I would prefer to buy something existing that I can do up.

Cost ... of. .... land.

It's not really complicated but the previous lot and now this shower haven't the bottle to deal to the cardie wearing bureaucrats and land bankers who are strangling the aspirations of young kiwis. Time for a genuine strongman to stand up. Appoint David I'm sorry Cunliffe as lebensraum gauleiter for Auckland.

{sarc} We obviously need more more people. 60,000 a year isn't enough. We need more. Bring in 600,000, that will sort it. {/sarc} Sigh.