Land banking – National gives up on housing crisis

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, August 29th, 2016 - 29 comments
Categories: housing, national, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

The numbers are yet to be released, but the cost of the average Auckland house is now probably over $1 Million. The real costs for borrowers are staggering:

The $1 million average Auckland house means interest bonanza for banks

The average sale price of Auckland homes is now believed to be more than $1 million – but the interest paid on a 30-year mortgage means the real cost is closer to $1.9m. …

The Nat’s special housing areas (SHA) are an affordable housing failure:

Developers walk away from fast-track process as Auckland house prices top $1m

Property developers are quitting planned Auckland building projects which would have locked them into building affordable homes as Auckland’s average house price prepares to hit the $1 million mark.

Housing Minister Nick Smith told the Herald on Sunday that landowners in five Special Housing Areas (SHAs) had decided not to proceed under the previous fast-track process, which would have required 10 per cent of housing to be affordable.

The developers have instead opted to use provisions under the newly approved Unitary Plan which does not have the same affordable housing rule. …

What does affordable even mean now days?

“Affordable” housing, is defined in the special housing area legislation as below 75 per cent of the city’s median house price.

This is ridiculous. $750,000 isn’t affordable. It’s much (inflation adjusted about half as much again) more than the 2007 peak, when Key was banging on about the urgent home affordability crisis. The definition of affordable should be tied to the median wage, not to insane housing-bubble prices.

Not only are the SHAs a failure, but Real Estate agents are now actively advertising and encouraging “land banking”:

‘Insidious’ land banking boom – Labour

A Trade Me search shows more than 300 properties around the country being promoted as great for land banking – more than a third of them in Auckland.

The practice of buying up land with the intention to sell or develop it in the future when it has increased in value is legal, but Labour Party leader Andrew Little said it was insidious.

“It’s happening even in the Special Housing Areas that the government said were subject to agreements to set aside land for development [for] getting houses on urgently. “So we’ve got a silly situation where more and more land, it seems, is just being held for land banking.

“People are just riding the speculative wave and the government is doing nothing about getting that speculation out of the market and free it up to get people into homes.” …

National’s response? They have given up:

The Housing Minister Nick Smith says those who promise to end land banking have a better chance of getting to the moon.

Terrific. We need leadership and we have National. Completely useless. Good luck NZ.

29 comments on “Land banking – National gives up on housing crisis”

  1. Ad 1

    This is sinking this government and will clear them out good and proper.

    Make no mistake the scale of the challenge for the next government though. It’s not a one-term fix. And will have massive pain an shouting from all those who had speculated upon perpetual house rises.

    May not go the full Steve Keen, but next term is going to be all about the work.

  2. DH 2

    I’d like to know why they keep using the median wage and house prices as a guide to housing affordability. They’re not directly related. The two factors which determine affordability are the deposit and the mortgage repayments.

    In 2008 a $300k mortgage had repayments of $557 per week (30yr at 9%)

    Today a $475k mortgage has repayments of $557 per week. (30yr at 4.5%)

    The point is that housing isn’t all about price. It’s more about cost. The above two examples had very different house prices but they cost exactly the same (except for the deposit)

    • Sabine 2.1

      and then your interest changes and you are fucked. At a 9% interest rate you could have hoped for a declining rate at some stage, at the current low rates you can only hope and pray that they don’t go up any time in the future.

      but then, its all the same innit?

    • Actually repayment rates still need to be compared to the median wage and living costs still, because people need to be able to afford the mortgage and have enough spare to live on and to save for emergency expenditures.

      The average house in Auckland is pretty difficult to afford even for a double-income median full-time wage couple. (ie. they’re higher than the actual median, because we’re excluding part-time workers) If prices drop by 40%, then things start to get affordable for them, but they’re still out of reach of most people on a single median income.

      There’s also the issue that you can really only project costs like that for fixed-rate mortgages. Nobody knows what’s happening with flexible or semi-flexible ones.

  3. Keith 3

    In Newmarket and elsewhere this weekend the number of shops for lease was quite staggering, just like in a recession. Victoria Park is a ghost town largely devoid of businesses. Now I don’t exactly know why but an educated guess says it has a lot to do with lease costs and conditions but also the fact that private debt is so high, and growing, that there is less and less discretionary money to spend.

    This property market bubble is a nightmare in so many ways not publicised by the corporate media.

    • Sabine 3.1

      land banking does happen in the commercial property market. Heck Westfield Malls was once on of the largest holder of commercial property in Auckland, they pretty much owned all of Broadway in New Market.

      Its simply that no one can afford to pay the leases anymore, that plus rates, insurance (landowners and that of the business itself), GST etc etc and it makes no more sense to actually rent any of these spaces.
      Consider as well that Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, K-Road, Newmarket all are scheduled to go up up up and you know that it makes no sense to rent these shops. Keep them empty, wait for the unitary plan to kick in and build Office Towers and Chicken Cages for workers. Believe me much happiness will be found in the building of the slums of NZ.

      As for the future slums of NZ , sadly i have absolutely no confidence in NZ Architects, Developpers and builders to build anything else but slums and they don’t seem to want to build anything but slums. Profit is the motive and cheap cheap cheap is the way to go.

      Landbanking, its pays better then going to the Moon.

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    Now that Auckland house prices have gone well past what most normal people can afford anyway, maybe it is time to hope/watch prices catapult into the stratosphere. The faster and higher they go the more they will undermine this government. Most New Zealanders will watch as the market keeps on rising with only speculators in New Zealand and overseas buying and get angrier by the month. Hopefully angry enough to vote this government out at the next election.

  5. EE 5

    I think one of the stories here is what little difference sped-up, short=tracked planning permission makes to solving the lack of housing. Obviously the RMA has very little effect on whether developers build or not.

  6. Scott 6

    Labour and the Greens have done well at painting this as a central government problem, but that is only half of their task. To turn that into votes, they also need to present a credible alternative – how will they fix it.

    I heard Twyford on the radio this morning saying that the government should lease a load of homes and then on-lease those on an affordable basis to people who need them.

    That has two problems. It ignores that the Government is already doing that, in effect, by way of subsiding rents. But more importantly it begs the question of where you expect the people currently living in the home to move to.

    If Twyford gave as much thought to his solutions as he does to his hyperbole, then this issue might actually matter to the next election. It is hard to believe that a full, including you family home, capital gains tax is not a part of the answer, but Labour have for some reason painted them self into a corner on that topic.

    • Nick 6.1

      @Scott….are you accurate in your assessment of Phil Twyfords statement…..I feel like he has a pretty good range of information to make such statements….do you ? ……I think theres some discount tickets to the Moon still available for Natz fans

      • Scott 6.1.1

        Can you explain how will the government renting a home and subleasing it out will help? Mr Tywford did not do so, and I don’t think he can – it is just made up on the hoof stuff with no substance.

        At most it will simply replace one family who were able to pay the rent, with another family who might not have been able to afford the market rent. That may be seen by some as a good outcome, but it is certainly no solution to a shortage of rental accommodation.

        • Sabine 6.1.1.1

          if the government rents long term that will help a great deal. As it is everyone can get kicked out on a two weeks notice irrespective of how much Accomodation Supplement the Landlord receives from winz.

          So Phil Twyfords solution would add some sort of stability to the market to a market that currently offers no security other then two to three month notice period.

          You also seem assume that for the State to lease a house some family will first have to be kicked out. This is correct insofar as it is what the current National Party led Government of NZ is doing.
          The State is kicking out tenants from State Houses to board these up, keep them empty, let them fall into disrepair to then sell the same houses off to developpers. I would assume you also have an issue with this? How is that Tamaki Housing development going? How many of the displaced Tenants that used to live there are now not living there anymore and could any of these afford the new million dollar mansions build there?

          While Mr. Twyford and the Labour Party have been talking about building houses, repairing State Houses and removing the boards from boarded up housing to re-introduce these empty houses to the Housing Market again.

          See, by doing nothing much Mr. Twyford would at least address the issue but then as Nick Smith says, if you want the moon you have got to be land banking and there is nothing He, Nick Smith could do about it. 🙂 Mind, Mrs. Bennett is equally useless in addressing this problem, and lets not speak of Mr. Bill English who collected dividends for the last few years from Housing NZ, in short has his mismanaged Budget bloated up by the poorest of NZ…..namely the tenants of Housing NZ , while not re-investing a single dollar to a. upkeep state housing and b. building more state Houses.

          so yeah, lets again count the many ways Phil Twyfords solutions would do nothing, like really really nothing, much like Nick Smith does nothing.

    • Well, if there are actually unoccupied homes in the region, I guess Twyford’s comments make sense. But I have a feeling you’re right that he’s not really considering that.

      I think ultimately the answer is that developers aren’t interested in building affordable housing at the moment, so the government needs to step in and be the developer of last resort, and do a massive state house building program in high-price areas, and then add some lease-to-own program in order to put downwards pressure on accommodation costs. And that needs to be done as part of a wave of measures to depress real estate speculation.

  7. Nick 7

    ShonKey will navigate that moon rocket….except he cant remember where he is going, because no-one informed him, although hes comfortable with that….English has budgeted the amount of fuel in the rocket, sort of……Parata has the support of the ‘Special Education Association’ so good with future learning …… Brownlee took the wrong security door and missed the flight…..Dr Zachary Smith is Lost in Space …..and the rest of the Natz are in the hold, converted into a new Sky City Casino….

  8. alwyn 8

    I wonder when Phil Goff will subdivide and sell off his “land bank”? He might need to get the zoning changed but a Mayor ought to be able to arrange that.
    Should make him a very wealthy man. Room for 300 – 400 houses I would think.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    “Affordable” housing, is defined in the special housing area legislation as below 75 per cent of the city’s median house price.

    This is ridiculous. $750,000 isn’t affordable.

    The median house price in Auckland, at 31st July 2016, was $825,000.

    75% of that is $618,750, not $750,000, which is 75% of the average.

    Still not affordable, but 17% less than the figure you calculated.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/charts/real-estate/median-price-reinz

    • Hahaha relative measures are a problem for poverty, but perfectly fine for determining housing affordability… hmmm…

      That deserves an answer in Question Time, IMO.

  10. Righty right 10

    These young families need to be protected from entering this bubble you can’t call it anything else it’s a dangerous bubble and the nats are to blame Auckland has become a casino where ponzi finance is being played out .the nats have miss managed the economy created a monster there terrified there caught headlights .the cost to society is horrific
    I will say it again when this pops the damage caused to the economy will be unprecedented it gen x and y that will take the hit .
    John boy will desert the sinking ship all you can do on a personal level is shed debt asap if possible

  11. Kevin 11

    Nick Smith and his ‘reverse midas’ touch applied to yet another portfolio.

    Although this time I think that is the reason why he was given housing.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    The practice of buying up land with the intention to sell or develop it in the future when it has increased in value is legal, but Labour Party leader Andrew Little said it was insidious.

    This is the type of thing that land taxes can prevent.

    “People are just riding the speculative wave and the government is doing nothing about getting that speculation out of the market and free it up to get people into homes.”

    It’s National – they encourage rich people to get richer by bludging off of everyone else.

  13. TC 13

    National has no intention of sorting this out as their policies and actions show.

    Tax havens, no cgt, migration for cash, kill healthy homes act, screw akl over, dont address leaky homes/schools caused by their last turn at the wheel, flog state houses etc etc

    • Jones 13.1

      The Nats know a crash is coming and they’re simply enabling their cronies to maximise their revenue in the time there is left, hoping like hell the crash doesn’t happen while they’re in Government.

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    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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