Housing crisis sets up political clash
Sat, 26 Jan 2013 7:37a.m.
By Peter Wilson
Affordable housing is shaping up as the big political issue for 2013 as the Government and opposition parties go head to head over how to deal with the crisis.
Houses in Auckland cost more now than they did at the height of the boom less than a decade ago and the rest of the country isn't far behind.
First time buyers are priced out of the market and all the political parties say solving the problem is a priority.
Prime Minister John Key unveiled the Government's strategy in his state of the nation speech on Friday - cutting red tape that holds up developers and 14,000 extra apprenticeships over the next five years with the focus on construction trades.
He warned councils that if they don't change their planning processes, the government will do it for them.
Labour, which says it will build 100,000 low cost homes over 10 years if it wins the next election, scoffed at the government's plans.
"Bandying around images of property developers champing at the bit to invest in affordable housing is pure nonsense," said housing spokeswoman Annette King.
"And dishing out veiled threats to local authorities won't get families into their first home either."
Mr Key promised significant changes to the Resource Management Act, which controls consents for new buildings, within months. But Labour and the Greens say tinkering with the legislation won't achieve anything.
The Greens on Thursday released their housing policy - a rent-to-buy scheme for low income families which they say would be about $100 a month cheaper than a mortgage and could be paid off in 25 years.
Labour and the Greens, who will form a coalition government if they win the next election, are looking at merging their housing policies to build homes that will cost about $300,000.
Mr Key says it's an impossible dream and the idea of building $300,000 houses in Auckland is "disingenuous".
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4/02/2013 11:57:07 p.m.
Do we really want overseas investors buying up our houses to rent to our young people who will never be able to buy a house themselves?
27/01/2013 7:41:16 p.m.
Pretty spot on analysis of the Akl situation Zac. It ain't right how its all set up overseas investors and not kiwis looking to buy their first home. All the positive actions you suggested National take to benefit locals would turn them cross-eyed just thinking about it. They'll sit on the fence as long as they can and then do something ineffectual and lame....as usual.
27/01/2013 10:26:49 a.m.
There is a housing crisis particularly in Auckland. Now foreigners buying properties for investment, and over valued property prices helped pushed housed prices sky high. Most baby bloomers invested heavily in properties for there retirement, buying more than one houses when the house prices were thousands of dollars cheaper in the 1970s and the 1980s. Who can blame them? The problem is that most younger NZers has been shut out of the property market because they cant save the thousands of dollars for a deposit, and the house prices are well beyond reach for them. Low wages, high costs adds to their worries as well. Something needs to be done to address these issues before most our our children end up being tenants in their own country. This government is dragging it's feet and their affordable housing package is a joke compare to Labours Housing Policy. John Key and Bill English should stop passing the buck, grow some balls, remove red tapes from the Resource Management Act, and introduce a capital gains tax, even if it will cost you the election. Most countries already have them. It's time we do it.
26/01/2013 7:45:31 p.m.
Shearer needs to go on the offensive concerning the affordable housing situation and start to push the alternatives from the left. Housing and getting the youth into jobs this year will be two areas where opposition parties can gain some traction before the next election. The govt may want to sound confident, but politically they have little 'leverage' with the public on these issues. They cannot afford for them to turn out like the Novopay fiasco or the controversial (power company), asset sales. Protracted, drawn out affairs that attract lots of bad PR and attention. If David Shearer wants to head up a govt in 2014, he needs to start piling up some political collateral and this is one of the times he gets the chance to push Labour's policies and intentions for the country. (The right should have lit up by now but for the left it is)... The year to turn the corner or keep watching from the opposition benches.
26/01/2013 7:39:16 p.m.
Agree with Steve, our young need to learn how to save so they can buy property or set up a business, unless you want to be "an employee" forever. Yes, I hankered after all the "in-things" as a teenager but other than my one and only HP experience have only bought when I actually had the full amount to pay at the - haggled - discount price. My only debt is - again haggled - mortgages and now have a net worth of over $20M. I've never had any inheritances or other handouts until Nat Super - my now hobby money - kicked in 7 years ago. In short, if I can do it, why can't everybody else? We all need to learn is if you can't pay in full, you don't buy, unless it's for a home with a - negotiated - mortgage rate you can afford. Forget about all the latest gizmos, they are only the next week's junk. Do a search, how much crap you have paid top $'s for are now unused dust catchers. As for all these Govt - or ever hopefuls - incentives and promises have ever come to fruition? NONE. Forget them. All expensive pipe dreams from the most under productive. When did a petty bureaucratic enterprise ever "return a real profit"? NEVER. When has a politicians promise returned a positive outcome? Again NEVER. All hot air.
26/01/2013 3:41:56 p.m.
Mike B wrote:
Student loans are a personal choice, if you choose to study a subject that has no economical benefit don’t be surprised when you can’t earn a good wage.Nature takes over and people get pregnant? Have you not heard of birth control?People need to take responsibility for their own lives and stop expecting the ever decreasing responsible sector of society to fund their poor life choices.
26/01/2013 3:28:15 p.m.
Have heard via Real Estate Agents that young first home buyers do not want to buy the cheaper houses or do ups, but the more flasher homes with all the mod cons-apparently they want it all and not prepared to compromise! Most people start off at the bottom house price range and work their way up but that's not what young people want these days....
26/01/2013 3:25:10 p.m.
There is plenty of affordable housing in Tauranga and many other cities and towns around NZ, with smaller town prices way below CV and not selling!! Why also are new immigrants not given priority to living and working in smaller cities and towns around NZ so they are evenly distributed around NZ, instead of all being allowed to crowd into Auckland pushing up prices???
26/01/2013 2:02:38 p.m.
Back in the day , pre 1980, people left school at 15yr, most women had children by 19yrs, families were 1 income, home ownership was far higher and child abuse rates were far lower. Small towns were far bigger. There were way more apprenticeships and working railway lines back then too. Unemployment was non existent. Should we bring back 15yr apprentices, pregnant teens, industry in provincial towns, 19yr dads who loved and put their kids 1st.
26/01/2013 12:47:03 p.m.
You make some good points, but young people are also burdened with student loans, low pay (if they get a job), high rents etc so it is not easy to save! Then nature takes over and people form relationships and get pregnant - it happens, nothing new - and the kids need a level of stability so they can grow up in a positive environment. The problem with this govt is that it regards everyone and everything as a cost.... except of course their own pet projects like giving tens of millions to Hollywood. The culture needs to change - away from an obsession with money, and more towards what really matters in life, starting with kids and families, and providing genuine opportunities. This govt's approach is driving tens of thousands into the ground... some faster, others more slowly but it is killing families and communities. It has to stop.
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