The media are currently imbued in the housing crisis, and consistent as ever, are talking nonsense.
We’ve had much publicised finger-pointing at one another by the Reserve Bank Governor and the Finance Minister as to culpability, but all of this misses the point.
Rising house prices are like rising prices in anything, simply a reflection of demand exceeding supply.
The massive Asian migration which began in the 1990s and which in my view is the best thing ever to happen to this country (good looking girls, hard workers etc) set the demand and supply imbalance in motion.
The huge inflows increased under the Key government, albeit they were no longer solely Asian but additionally coming from troubled Middle Eastern and Latin American nations, plus South Africa, all to our advantage. But naturally they also compounded the housing demand and supply imbalance.
This is a terribly easy problem to solve.
First; we don’t have anywhere near enough building tradesmen to restore a demand and supply balance.
When we don’t have enough of any other desired commodity we import it. That’s precisely the way to handle the housing issue. It’s how we handled the Christchurch rebuild.
Create a new state house township sub-division on Auckland’s outskirts then go to tender in China.
They think big there and major Chinese contractors would have no trouble flying in a thousand tradesmen who will first erect their temporary barracks then go to it.
These tradesmen will happily work 6 or 7, 10-hour days weekly, so as to take as much money home as possible and lift their personal financial status to middle-class.
They’ll bang up as many houses as we want in double quick time and at a damn sight cheaper cost than relying on trying to do it ourselves.
Of course, there’s more to it than that if we’re to avoid creating ghettos. A town retail centre, parks, schools, public transport, swimming pools, public buildings and so on will all need to be part of the plan, so too mass tree-planting, much of which we can handle.
But in the short term we can knock the top of the state house shortfall problem in one fell swoop and thereafter leave it to our existing building industry to maintain supply in accordance with demand.
A new town of 20,000 houses will achieve that and logically it should be Auckland based in accordance with the main demand location.
In more organised jurisdictions than ours, the local city councils lay out in the greenfield areas, THEN GET BUILT train lines, stations, commuter parking areas, bus parks, schools, health centres and shopping centres at the same time as the streets, services, and fences go in.
When the first houses are ready for their new owners, everything is ready to go without any extra congestion or complications.
As Walter Nash did in the Hutt Valley.
I agree…but the dirty little secret is of course that housing affordability = goodbye property bubble. Which = goodbye the coming election. (Which is exactly why apathetic Mr Key didn’t do the job).
Truth is, NZ is grossly under colonised. In the live-anywhere economy, where nearly anyone can work online, we can and should let rip a *massive* building boom in Northland, expaninding from Auckland.
Another 15 million of the world’s most beautiful and youthful and hard (but not too hard) working people – thank you.
Make New Zealand RICH and beautiful. It is so, so, so…..easy!
Here is my model, if I may:
*Btw, Imported Chinese kit-sets allow us to import Chinese labour, in effect, as well.
They should also stop the private treaty method of selling houses. All those tendering for a house should know what all other tenders are offering so that a more real price is offered. When buyers have no idea of what to tender because it’s a private treaty sale, estate agents try to encourage would be buyers to bid beyond their comfort zone and hence over inflate the value of that property. The end result is others in that area immediately think their house is worth more bacause it has right or wrong more to offer.
Or Garry the buyers could simply choose not to play the game. You know – free market and freedom of choice stuff.
Any chance you are a “swing voter”?
Alas, your proposed solution is a complete “progressive” failure.
An isolated and insular nation, hiding under their beds, want nothing to do with immigrants. Foreigners bring the plague, and import other alien ailments, such as a strong work ethic. These pesky foreigners insist on working hard, causing the climate crisis. It’s better that we all agree to cower under our beds until further notice…
Furthermore, the government doesn’t want responsibility for building houses, for obvious reasons. Placing a metric on building can only cause embarrassment (see the Kiwibuild fiasco for reference).
What is the legendary “progressive” to do?
Extortionate taxes are a great “progressive” solution for reducing prices.
Alas, due to the pesky market economy, extortionate taxes eventually cause the prices (in this case house and rental prices) to rise.
This is when the legendary “progressive” responds by setting price controls.
Alas, price controls eventually fail (refer to the queues in Communist countries), so the “progressive” adopts the next policy from their playbook.
Some people own many houses. Many people don’t own a single house. This is not fair. In “progressive” terms, housing is a human right and a public good.
A public good should be available to all members of a society. Typically, these services are administered by governments and paid for collectively through taxation.
The “progressive” simply takes the property from those who have many houses, and give to those that don’t have any.
This redistribution is “kind”.
Re-work your proposal along these lines, and you may get somewhere…
Of course, if you’re wondering what our Brave New World will be like, I should point out that public toilets are perhaps the best example of a public good…
Breathe in that sweet “progressive” aroma…
Yes, everyone wins. A bonus being that these houses will be weatherproof. No more leaky home syndrome in the new development. Chinese will not want to lose face.
Fun fact :- home ownership in Germany is just north of 60%. Low right? Do they keep whining and whinging about it do you think? Or is it only “A RIGHT” in NZ?
I commented on this topic on The BFD earlier today. The housing issues of today began circa 1980 and were predictable and explained then. It is wrong to sheet home culpability to any one administration.
But what will happen to our army of paper pushers if the Chinese are allowed to bypass them? And if they are not, nothing will ever happen.
What housing crisis? There have always been aspirational suburbs and start out suburbs. Any rises in price are typically offset by the ease of getting a loan.
Correct sir! Auckland is NZs major city. The commercial hub and most populase. Try looking at house prices in similar major cities in the world. At the moment NZers see driving from Papakura to the City Centre as a big thing! Wait and see what those Papakura houses are worth when the population of Auckland doubles, and it will, and at this point Papakura will look like city centre and Waiuku will be a close suburb.
It all semi for kiwi’s impression that they are more relevant than they really are. Hell, we’re leading the world in climate change action so we must be relevant. … right? Actually we are as irrelevant as it gets. Just very self absorbed maybe!
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