- Date published:
9:33 am, September 13th, 2017 - 27 comments
Categories: housing, im/migration, journalism - Tags: bryan bruce, data, foreign ownership, housing, housing crisis, im/migration
Perhaps a bit lost in all the poll froth last night was the screening of Bryan Bruce’s new documentary (reviewed by Colleen Hawkes on Stuff):
Who owns New Zealand now? The NZ On Air-funded documentary that screened on Three on Tuesday, September 12 confronts the housing crisis head on and it’s an eye-opener.
This doco doesn’t just ask why house prices have soared while our home ownership rate is falling – it also wants to know why we have people sleeping in cars and “rental refugees” in Whangarei.
And this doco wants to know why, when NZ signed up to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago, are we not keeping one of the fundamental rights we agreed to – adequate housing.
Today, we have a low-wage economy. Since the 1960s wages have increased 59 per cent, but housing has gone up a massive 280 per cent. As Bruce says: “Our market-driven economic system has created huge income inequalities that didn’t exist 30 years ago.”
That’s one key factor. Bruce points out that successive governments have also embraced competition and the deregulation of the banking system, which has had a “dramatic effect on who gets to own their own home today, and who doesn’t”.
But there’s another factor that has contributed to the housing crisis, and, you guessed it, it’s immigration.
But just how much of an impact does this have? The figures are all over the place […] There is no data, just a heck of a lot of anecdotal evidence.
One advertisement encouraging vendors to promote their properties to people in China says in 2013 Chinese buyers spent $US37 million on residential property and guess what? New Zealand is the fourth most popular country they search for. (New Zealand is also the fourth most unaffordable city in the world, after Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver, and that’s not a coincidence.)
And this is where it gets really interesting. There is no register of foreign buyers. Information from land transfers is collected for tax purposes, but foreign shareholders in companies and trusts buying property in New Zealand go unnoticed.
“The Government is not collecting information on who is buying how much of New Zealand, where, what kind of value or even where these people are coming from.”
EMBRACING ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
But there are alternatives to traditional home ownership, and New Zealand needs to embrace these. …
Read the full piece for plenty more, and catch up with the documentary if you can. A brief interview with Bryan Bruce here.
‘Who owns NZ now?’ – A great doco to watch (you may have to log in or sign up to TV3 online): https://t.co/2YarR8EPWv
— DaveMac (@davemacpherson7) September 12, 2017