Just when you thought the Auckland housing fiasco couldn’t get any worse:
‘Ghost houses’ hit Auckland renting market
… Prices are rising so fast that speculators are buying homes and refusing to rent them out, instead looking to sell them for huge profits without the hassle of finding tenants in the interim. One Mount Albert villa has been empty for years, much to the disgust of neighbour Chris Haturini.
Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith doesn’t think the number of ghost houses is rising, and there is no way of knowing how many of Auckland’s 22,000 unoccupied properties are being deliberately left empty.
However census figures show the percentage of unoccupied dwellings in some desirable Auckland suburbs has surged in the past 10 years, with more than one in 10 Takapuna homes empty.
So let’s get this straight. Auckland has an urgent deficit of 20,000 to 30,000 houses. Meanwhile 22,000 houses, up to 1 in 10 in some suburbs, are sitting empty. Behold the awesome efficiency of the market! Tremble at its rational distribution of resources!
Seriously though, this is messed up. Because houses are sitting vacant: many people have nowhere to live; we have overcrowding and its related health problems; we have people unable to escape cold damp houses; we have rents that are too high; we have desperation further inflating the property bubble. All this in the service of (untaxed) speculative gain.
See that? It’s the invisible hand of the market giving we the people the invisible finger…
In other ghost housing news:
@PhilTwyford we can't live in your conceptual house!
— Helen Kelly (@helenkellyCTU) June 15, 2015
— Phil Twyford (@PhilTwyford) June 15, 2015