Fleeing Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 12:34 pm, August 24th, 2016 - 71 comments
Categories: articles, housing, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

Online magazine The Spinoff (recommended!) has a widely quoted piece up today:

One in three Aucklanders has recently considered quitting Auckland because of house prices – poll

The Spinoff/SSI survey reveals the extraordinary impact of housing crisis on residents of New Zealand’s biggest city – and the extent to which Aucklanders blame foreign speculation.

There is a housing crisis in Auckland, and it has already bitten hard across the city, according to the latest results from polling conducted by SSI for the Spinoff in association with Jennings Murphy.

One in three of those surveyed – or 32.2% if you insist on being absolutely precise – answered yes to the question, “Have you in the last two years considered moving away from Auckland because of house prices?” A further 36.3% selected the option, “No, but it’s a good idea”, and the remaining 31.5% said it’s not something they’d considered.

Spinoff-poll

When those who believe Auckland faces a housing crisis were asked to identify reasons, “foreign investors” was selected by 55.7% of respondents (respondents were allowed to select more than one answer). “Government inaction” was selected by 39.6%, “developers and speculators” by 38.5%, “incompetent Auckland Council” by 28.8%, “selfish NIMBY baby boomers” by 9.1%, “over-cautious Reserve Bank” by 7.8%, “ungrateful spendthrift Millennials” by 3.9% and “too much immigration” by 3.3%. …

Plenty more – go read the full piece on The Spinoff.

71 comments on “Fleeing Auckland”

  1. save nz 1

    Yep, guess who those poorer Auckland’s will be replaced with and I don’t think the answer is Labour or Green voters… Judging by the unitary plan with zero provision for affordable houses, and state houses being sold off as quickly as possible…

    Saying that, Havelock North does not sound like a nice place to move to either…

    • TC 1.1

      Another good outcome for the nats who thought they had the 05 election in the bag till akl results came in and sunk Dons dogwistling efforts.

      They are very good at this, the best their backers money can buy.

    • Chooky 1.2

      +100 save nz

  2. Keith 2

    Small businesses at least are now feeling the property crisis effect. “Homeless” as in no premises business people is becoming a reality!

    • Sabine 2.1

      we have been feeling it for a while now thank you very much.

      and yes, if my partner and I will loose our rental in akl, i will close my business, my shop girls will be unemployed and my suppliers loose another of their customers.

      ain’t the free market great.

      and btw. yes, businesses have already closed all over akl as commercial properties are too expensive and land banking on commercial properties is so much more fun when the thing is emtpy. There are a lot of the smaller fringes that are not leased all over town, but some are ‘lived’ in.

      and again to those that say fuck Auckland who cares about them, this issue is going to come to a place near you.

      • BM 2.1.1

        Didn’t you just recently buy a house somewhere small and rural?

        • save nz 2.1.1.1

          Sabine is part of the exodus..

          • Sabine 2.1.1.1.1

            Actually i was not intending to buy, and no i will continue living and working in Auckland as in my little slice of NZ is not really a possibility.

            I was able to buy a house because i had no debt , a bit of money safed and enough semblance of stability to get a loan for the rest, and now am settled with a very small mortgage for a relatively short time. But then I am also closer to retirement age then middle age and my decision making is influenced by other things then jobs, schools, public amenities and did i mention jobs? I was lucky that a house that i had liked for a few years now was made available to me. I was very very lucky in all of this.

            but i am not leaving Auckland, not unless i loose my rental – and we could get our ‘leave’ letter any day to be honest, not unless my customer stop shopping with me, not unless my partner would loose the job.

            but yes, there is an exodus, an economical exodus and it should scare everyone else anywhere in NZ. The Shock Doctrine from Naomi Klein comes to mind.
            We have been shocked and awed into homelessness in a City many many of us have lived for decades and it seems that absolutely no one gives a fuck. Cause its just Auckland.

      • weka 2.1.2

        “and again to those that say fuck Auckland who cares about them, this issue is going to come to a place near you”

        Not sure what you mean there Sabine. The housing crisis isn’t just in Auckland. And the provinces have known for a long time about small businesses having to close and the impact of that.

    • save nz 2.2

      There are so many vacant retail around Auckland too, what’s going on?

  3. Ad 3

    Isn’t this exactly what the country needs?

    Plenty of people complain about the provinces not having enough immigration.
    Well, here they are.

    • weka 3.1

      Depends which Aucklanders it is. If it’s the ones with the dosh and higher equity because of the property boom in Auckland, then what do you think happens to rents and property prices if they sell up and move to somewhere cheaper? It’s not that different to overseas immigrants coming in with the advantage of a good exchange rate.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        So you only want the poor ones?

        This isn’t The Grapes of Wrath redux.

        • Anno1701 3.1.1.1

          “So you only want the poor ones?”

          the wealthy will ruin the place

          small town NZ simply cannot afford the leeches….

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          You think that anyone who doesn’t have high house equity is poor? What would be wrong with having the poorer people? Do you have anything to say about the issue I raised re impacts of immigration?

          • Ad 3.1.1.2.1

            Internal migration is different to external migration, yes.

            It’s about time people stopped treating New Zealand citizens from Auckland as if they were foreigners.

            • weka 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Of course they are different. But there is still an effect. Are you saying there isn’t, or that the effect is irrelevant?

            • b waghorn 3.1.1.2.1.2

              They come down taumarunui way if the want , a few doctors would be good.
              I won’t even hold it against them that their house has made $100k a year while mine has made none.

            • Nic the NZer 3.1.1.2.1.3

              “It’s about time people stopped treating New Zealand citizens from Auckland as if they were foreigners.”
              If we setup a passport control and immigration procedures with the rest of the country we could collect statistics and find out how many had actually acted on their opinions and moved (and therefore didnt get counted in the survey) couldn’t we? Sounds good to me anyway.

    • adam 3.2

      I was thinking this already happened in Nelson, and did nothing good for house prices there.

      • Ad 3.2.1

        New Zealand is the exemplar of uneven development. It always will be incredibly uneven while much of it relies on bulk commodity exports.

        But I do declare, within three years, you will be able to get a coffee fit to drink anywhere in this place.

        The next Mayor of Auckland will ensure all those Aucklanders arriving in Temuka, Bluff, and Owaka wear a little bell that dangles from a pom-pommed hat, just to let the locals know they can put their prices up.

  4. weka 4

    I like the finesse of the questions that were asked. A bit more elucidating than general polls.

    This was interesting too,

    When those who believe Auckland faces a housing crisis were asked to identify reasons, “foreign investors” was selected by 55.7% of respondents (respondents were allowed to select more than one answer). “Government inaction” was selected by 39.6%, “developers and speculators” by 38.5%, “incompetent Auckland Council” by 28.8%, “selfish NIMBY baby boomers” by 9.1%, “over-cautious Reserve Bank” by 7.8%, “ungrateful spendthrift Millennials” by 3.9% and “too much immigration” by 3.3%.

    • miravox 4.1

      I thought that was a really interesting result. Not much immigrant, baby-boomer or gen-x bashing there, the majority of respondents put the blame squarely where it belongs – policy, greed and planning, not that some politicians and mainstream news sources would have you believe that was the case.

      I’m beginning to feel a bit more kindly towards my fellow Aotearoans after seeing that.

      • mac1 4.1.1

        miravox, the 55.7% who said that foreign investors were a problem was 55.7% of the 84% who agreed there was a crisis. Therefore, it’s not a majority, but some 46.7% of all the respondents. Very significant, all the same.

        • miravox 4.1.1.1

          The distinction between foreign investors (as developers and speculators, I take it) and immigration generally (3.3%) seems to have been made by the respondents. I thought that was quite positive. People seem to be seeing the problem as a systemic one, not one for individual blame and that makes a change too.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    I’ve said for ages that people need to be given practical ways to quit Auckland and start decent lives somewhere else.

    Seems like quite a few Aucklanders are thinking exactly the same thing.

  6. Anno1701 6

    “Class” cleansing in effect

    • miravox 6.1

      +1.

      Even more social separation, that’s the worry. It’s not like the realativels well off have a fair understanding of how others live even now.

  7. TC 7

    it works well if you compromise and accept a rural/smaller town way of life which is where most just dont think it through.

  8. b waghorn 8

    The irony is that a large amount of those 84% have and will vote national, why do kiwis except leaders who can’t lead.?

  9. Adrian 9

    One in three Aucklanders has recently considered quitting Auckland because of house prices…so does the survey differentiate between ‘because house prices are too high’ and ‘because house prices are so high I can sell up and buy a home and a rental in the provinces’ ?? Both reasons are ‘because of high house prices’…but two entirely different scenarios.

    • BM 9.1

      That’s a very valid point

      Just say half want to leave because they think that if they cash up and move else where they’ll be a lot better off.

      All of a sudden we’re only talking 16.5% of people in Auckland have a major issue with the cost of house prices., the other 83.5% not that fussed or probably quite happy about it

      If you think about how many Aucklanders are currently looking to buy their first house, 16.5% is probably quite a bit on the high side.

      Maybe people in Auckland are thinking house prices could collapse and they want to cash up and leave before the arse falls out of the market?.

  10. Righty right 10

    A city. Can’t function with only lords of the manner the whole economic system is broken only a major crash can solve the problem Auckland is in an illogical freezey something happen and music will stop I just hope those speculators get wipped out

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      The speculators will be protected by this government and the bill will be put on the taxpayers, i’e, the bottom ~90% of the population.

      • maninthemiddle 10.1.1

        “More than one in four households are contributing nothing to New Zealand’s tax take.”

        “A table from Finance Minister Bill English’s office shows 663,000 households – or 40 per cent – receive more in tax credits and other benefits than they pay in tax. Thousands more are neutral contributors, or are close to it.”

        “By comparison, the top 3 per cent of individual income earners, earning more than $150,000 a year, pay 24 per cent of all tax received.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81429047/Small-number-of-taxpayers-bear-the-brunt-of-New-Zealand-tax-bill

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Yeah, that’s one of the lies that National trots out every now and then.

          It’s the top few percent that are dodging ~$7 billion in taxes every year.

          And, of course, capitalists only get rich by stealing from the poor.

          • maninthemiddle 10.1.1.1.1

            It’s not a lie, thee are official statistics. Again, left wing denial is alive and well in the face of hard data.

          • framu 10.1.1.1.2

            is there any point in explaining the difference between income tax and all forms of tax to “man on the extreme fringe”?

            or that net tax isnt a collected stat?

            or that the article he links to is full of holes?

            or that bills chart isnt included in the article so its actually just a claim from bill with zero data?

            or that the net tax argument has been debunked over and over again?

            • maninthemiddle 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Is there any point arguing with someone who doesn’t understand ‘net tax’.

              • framu

                its not an official stat.

                thats all im going to say – you can have your little macho tough guy contest by yourself

                • maninthemiddle

                  It is a statistic that is used an awful lot. It also seems to have you exercised.

        • Craig H 10.1.1.2

          Those families also pay GST and excise tax (mostly on petrol, but also on any alcohol and tobacco they purchase), but none of those stories ever seem to look into that.

          • maninthemiddle 10.1.1.2.1

            We all pay GST, Craig. And when it comes to those on benefits, this is the first government to increase the real value of benefits in 30 years.

  11. whispering kate 11

    In today’s Herald there is an article about Westpac closing down many branches over a series of small towns and/or suburbs throughout NZ. It would seem fleeing Auckland might not be such a good idea if you are escaping for a quieter life. Shamubeel Eaqub was stating, hopefully, tongue in cheek that the reality is that people may have to get used to living off the grid in these smaller places as the banks and other utilities like sewerage and water pack up shop as everything today is about profit and it doesn’t pay for them to stay around. . So much for encouraging people on benefits to get out of Auckland for a better and cheaper life . Sounds like the country is going to the dogs, businesses won’t be able to get staff in Auckland because of high rents and house prices and life in provincial NZ will be lacking in amenities for life. So much for life choices.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11699902

    • Ad 11.1

      Middlemarch is complaining about not having a bank branch.
      Banking is done on the phone, or through a mobile lender. Not semaphore.
      Bank staff are paid crap, and treated crap.
      Why defend Westpac, the worst customer service bank in New Zealand?

      Middlemarch is right on the Otago Rail Trail. The locals are perfectly entitled to protest, but there really are more upmarket bricks and mortar shops to stick into a village.

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        “Banking is done on the phone, or through a mobile lender. Not semaphore.”

        Well noddy here in our rural corner of the world we like bank branches with people in them and people to put the shopping in the bag and so on.

        Your privilege (and attitude) has blinded you to the real Aotearoa.

        Thank the Goddess – stay in your illusions, in your city, with the rentals and holiday home in Wanaka. Please I insist.

      • whispering kate 11.1.2

        Ad where did I ever defend Westpac in my post – if anything I think its a disgrace how these provincial towns are dying through lack of care and attention. Bank staff are paid crap and are on pressure all the time to sell services. I know of a person on a benefit who is constantly pressured to get a credit card – am not sure what bank it was but they are all tainted by the same drive to squeeze money out of people who cannot afford it.

    • BM 11.2

      How often do you need to go into a bank?

  12. s y d 12

    My voice from a region being severely and negatively impacted by the Auckland property bubble. I hesitate to call this internal migration as in my experience this is internal speculation.
    We went to sell our family home (private sale) in early 2015. Well over half the people we had coming through were Aucklanders – many were only looking to buy a property and rent it out, while continuing to rent a house in Auckland. Just trying to get onto the ‘ladder’ I guess.
    Trouble is the prices they were willing to pay have meant that:
    local people who don’t have a house/mortgage were rapidly priced out
    rents for housing have skyrocketed, without any basis other than paying a mortgage and covering a rent out of Aucklands market
    There is now a desperate shortage of affordable or indeed any rental housing locally.

    In my work I also see that many new builds here are sold to cashed up retiring Aucklanders – some of the building firms I deal with specifically target this market – after all they are the only people who can now afford to buy locally. Again, with a clear case of land banking, section prices have basically doubled in the last 18 months. Latest release that comes to mind is 325m2 for $420k.

    It’s madness and it is only getting worse by the day.

    • Sabine 12.1

      this is by far the most sensible comment in this whole thread.

      sadly no one will listen.

  13. Nessalt 13

    free market economics at work. If 1/3 of aucklanders leave because they can’t enter the market then house prices crash to a point where they are affordable. this is labour policy, enrich the regions and make housing more affordable. yet you criticise?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Government is responsible for ~33% of the economy. Why do you right wing gimps attempt to pretend that government policy isn’t a market force?

      It’s because you’re useless at governance, because you’re incompetent, and that’s most likely a consequence of your low IQ. Just saying.

  14. whispering kate 14

    Another thing which should be thought about with these mature Aucklanders who are fleeing the city for smaller communities and to escape the traffic – the hospitals will be miles away, there probably isn’t a doctor for miles either, for surgery you will have to go to a major centre for it, certain major surgeries in Hawkes Bay have to go through to Wellington, Bay of Plenty people have to travel to Hamilton, I know of people in Whangarei who have to travel down to Greenlane in Auckland for their eye specialist appointments.

    This Government doesn’t consider the implications of their cost cutting. Young children who need major surgery have to come miles from everywhere to Starship – the burden for families is immense. To make a really great society money has to be spent to implement it, healthy kids with great schools and teachers, people in secure work and paid a living wage at least, homes that are not temporary places of abode – simple really and just common sense, then society becomes cohesive and productive. Not bitter and combative like it is today. Why can’t this simple formula be seen and accepted and acted upon. This country is badly in need of moral and spiritual guidance to get back on track again.

  15. Lloyd 15

    Auckland is expanding too quickly.
    Auckland needs to spend lots more on infrastructure, parks etc.
    Rates in Auckland are lower than much of New Zealand.

    Wouldn’t one of the best ways to solve a lot of problems be a really big increase in rates in Auckland? How about multiplying the present rate by 4? If that doesn’t help slow house prices, crank up the rates in 2018. Keep doing it until the house price stops going up. I am sure the average Aucklander will be less hurt by the rates going up than by the house prices rocketing up at the same sort of rate that has happened in the last to or three years.

    • Sabine 15.1

      how about a full stop to migration into Auckland?

      Anyone who wants to move to NZ can but needs to settle anywhere but Auckland? This could be done for something like 5 – 10 years. I wonder what the house market in AKL would look like if there would be 50.000 people less a year moving in.

      Never mind.

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