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Turei backtracks on housing 'mistake'

Wednesday 11 Sep 2013 10:08 a.m.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is backtracking on comments she made last night that people who own homes will have to take a financial hit if prices are to become affordable again.

During the taping of the latest episode of The Vote, which airs tonight, Ms Turei said: "Those holding on to wealth now will have to prepare to let some of it go."

Perhaps fearing a backlash from homeowners, Ms Turei this morning said her comments were a "mistake".

"It's not our intention to reduce the equity that people currently hold in their homes," she said on Firstline this morning.

Instead, she says the Green Party wants to "stabilise" prices – not drop them – by increasing supply.

"If we are to make housing more affordable for the new generation, young families now, we do need to both increase supply and we do need to stabilise prices," she says.

"Auckland housing prices have increased by something around 15 percent just in the last year. We see house prices in Auckland doubling over two-to-five years. These are unaffordable increases for the people who are trying to get into the housing market. Let's make sure we increase supply – that is actually the answer, and I was wrong."

The Government and Auckland Council have promised to increase supply in Auckland by 39,000 houses over the next three years.

Under outgoing leader David Shearer, Labour promised to build 100,000 homes for $300,000 or less over a decade. It's not known yet whether his successor will keep the policy, though it is still listed on the party's website.

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