While Labour flounders around talking about 4 bedroom houses for $485,000, Metiria Turei cut to the quick in a question to Key yesterday: “has he never visited his own electorate and taken a look at homes such as those on Hobsonville Road, Cyril Crescent, and Mona Vale that are stand-alone family homes costing around $300,000?”*
The Greens gave TV3 an example of a 3 bedroom house in the neighbourhood that was going for $315,000. Nothing amazing to look at and from the 1970s, but, then, that’s the point -KiwiBuild and Progressive Ownership are about starter homes. It’s proof that a $300,000 home in Auckland can be a reality.
As Turei says: “Given that there are homes for sale for around $300,000 in his own electorate, will the Prime Minister now concede that the problem is not that building a $300,000 home in Auckland is impossible but that it is that there are not enough of them and it is not in the interests of private developers to build more of them, and that that is why we need a Government-led building and progressive ownership programme of affordable homes for young Kiwi families who desperately need them?”
Key’s reply: “Look, in relation to the last point, no. In relation to the first one, I have never said you cannot buy a house for $300,000 or less in New Zealand. What I have said is that it is disingenuous to argue that that is a four-bedroom home.”
So, there you have it. Key’s conceded that $300,000 or less homes are possible. It is clearly possible to get an average of $300,000 in new-builds – especially with economies of scale. Key can waffle on about four-bedroom homes but that’s irrelevant. The numbers on KiwiBuild and Progressive Ownership work*.
*you can check out the rateable values of the houses in that neighbourhood here
**well, the $300,000 average price works. KiwiBuild’s assumption that it can do 20 building cycles of 5,000 homes in 10 years and find 100,000 low-middle income families to buy them who can also afford to service a $300,000 commercial mortgage is a lot more suspect.