Metiria speaks the unspeakable – house prices should fall

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, July 27th, 2016 - 134 comments
Categories: don brash, greens, housing, Metiria Turei - Tags: , , ,

I didn’t hear the piece, but on Morning Report today:

The audio is here: “The Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei explains why Auckland house prices need to fall by as much as 40 to 50 per cent over the long term to make them affordable for first home buyers.”

Expect Metiria and The Greens to cop a lot of faux hysteria over this one, but it’s the simple truth. To make houses truly affordable, either wages have to triple right now (not going to happen) or house prices have to fall. Various bankers and analysts have said so recently, even Don Brash – who set a more ambitious target:

Don Brash: Auckland house prices need to drop by up to 60 per cent

Former National Party leader Don Brash has backed calls for a significant drop in Auckland house prices, saying they may have to fall by as much as 60 per cent – and politicians who won’t admit that are “dishonest”.

Brash’s comments come after former Reserve Bank chairman Arthur Grimes suggested a 40 per cent drop in house prices was needed to tackle housing affordability.

Brash, Reserve Bank governor from 1988 to 2002, said house prices in Auckland and other parts of New Zealand where “just wildly out of whack”. …

Not often you’ll catch Metiria Turei and Don Brash in agreement!


Update:

134 comments on “Metiria speaks the unspeakable – house prices should fall”

  1. Pat 1

    lol….beat me to it…..some honesty at last, now will it force the conversation amongst the other politicians?

  2. weka 2

    Good for her.

    So how does this work?

    Has anyone done any work on how many people that is likely to affect and how? eg how many Aucklanders would lose their home? Lose their investment property?

    If you own a home and and paying off a mortage a drop in price is only a problem if you are wanting to move, right? Or borrow on the mortgage. Or does the reduction in value mean that banks can do other things? Is there protection for people with upside down mortgages?

    • BM 2.1

      If you own a home and and paying off a mortage a drop in price is only a problem if you are wanting to move, right? Or borrow on the mortgage. Or does the reduction in value mean that banks can do other things? Is there protection for people with upside down mortgages?

      Depends

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/338348/Negative-equity-when-property-market-slumps

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      No, Metiria herself has only “just started working” on the problem, so even she doesn’t know the answer to your questions.

      “If you own a home and and paying off a mortage a drop in price is only a problem if you are wanting to move, right? Or borrow on the mortgage. Or does the reduction in value mean that banks can do other things? Is there protection for people with upside down mortgages?”

      Generally as long as you make your repayments, the bank won’t call in your debt. But under standard mortgage contracts, they can call in your debt at any time they choose, for any reason (or whim). So there are cases where if you’re making your house repayments, but your business banking which is with the same bank goes sour, they may call in your house loan to recoup some of the business banking losses.

      But yeah, people are screwed if they need to move and have negative equity. It means when they sell the house, they have to front up with $$$ to the bank. If they don’t, the bank could get them declared bankrupt – and I believe that mortgage debt is one of the few that will survive bankruptcy proceedings.

      Basically if there were a large segment of the population with negative equity in their houses, it becomes a political problem, and the banks would probably have to come up with some sort of general way of dealing with the situation, eg allowing people to restructure their loans over longer periods, or take their negative equity with them to their next house.

      • weka 2.2.1

        thanks. So in general, for most people it would only be an issue for their home if they needed to move. That seems a price worth paying societally.

        What about investment properties? I guess the people who have them in Auckland and are sitting on them unrented would be in trouble. Hard to have too much sympathy there. And people who were relying on selling would be in trouble. Someone should figure out how big a problem that actually is.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          “thanks. So in general, for most people it would only be an issue for their home if they needed to move. That seems a price worth paying societally.”

          Well yes. But locking people in to their current houses has a depressing effect on the economy as a whole. One of the contributing factors in the American recession was due to the housing bust – lots of people lost their jobs, but because they had negative equity in their houses, they were unable to move to a new city in order to get a job. Labour mobility has been one of the strengths of the American economy historically, as they have a general attitude that moving to a new city to get a job is a sensible thing to do, so you do it if you need to. So it’s problematic if you need to move, and can’t.

          Labour mobility of that sort is probably less of an issue in NZ – most people would be moving to CHCH, Wellington or Auckland, which are the places that are most likely to have the negative equity situation arise in the first place.

          “What about investment properties? I guess the people who have them in Auckland and are sitting on them unrented would be in trouble. Hard to have too much sympathy there. And people who were relying on selling would be in trouble. Someone should figure out how big a problem that actually is.”

          Again, if you can make the repayments, generally the bank won’t call in the loan. If the housing market is in a slump, it’s not in the bank’s best interests to force sales, as that will only increase supply and drive prices down even further. It’s a sort of “mark to market” situation – it’s better for everyone to keep their houses off the market so they can keep a value on the books at a realistically determined price, rather than put it on the market and get a genuine price which is lower.

          Anyone who was relying on capital gains as their path to building wealth is of course in trouble if capital gains turn into large capital losses. I think most sensible investors stopped buying in the Auckland market 6+ months ago, except for the odd bargain (which typically are found through word of mouth or other contacts – not advertised on trademe or to the general public). But if you’ve got several investment properties, and they’re negatively geared (rental income doesn’t cover outgoings), you’re not actually in trouble so long as you can make up the shortfall. If you hold the houses for long enough, eventually they should become cashflow positive. The trouble is if rents start declining, in which case your cashflow positive horizon is pushed out even further. But in such situations, if you have multiple properties you may be able to sell 1 or 2 and shore up the rest by reducing your debt.

        • Rosie 2.2.1.2

          “thanks. So in general, for most people it would only be an issue for their home if they needed to move. That seems a price worth paying societally.”

          Yep. Works for me. Happy to see my house “value” fall if it helps cool the market and contributes towards making housing more affordable. Where do I sign up to say I support other NZer’s in their right to housing?

          NZer’s seem to have a thing about moving house all the time. It’s lie we’ve ants in our pants when it comes to buying and selling. When we bought our house four years ago we looked really hard for the right place for almost a year despite having to move to an area further away from the city and decent amenities because it was more affordable. We plan this to be our house for life until we are at an age where we need more supported living.

          • weka 2.2.1.2.1

            “Where do I sign up to say I support other NZer’s in their right to housing?”

            Ooh, that’s such a good point Rosie. Can I use that in a post? I can attribute it to your comment here with an active link, or not if you would prefer that.

            • Rosie 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes, of course you’re welcome to weka 🙂

              We need to start showing we’re on the side of our fellow NZer’s. If that means accepting that our house values go down then so be it. Personally it’s no skin off my nose. The value of the house means nothing to me. I’m not going anywhere.

              • weka

                Thanks! I’ve got another post in mind, about what housing is for, and your ideas fit perfectly.

                • Rosie

                  I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to watch this:

                  https://www.tvnz.co.nz/ondemand/the-new-zealand-home

                  but I’ve found it a fascinating series. The discussion is centred around architectural styles but it’s also strongly tied in to the social and political aspects of housing. Last week there was a focus on Labour’s state housing programme. Phil Twyford has been on the show a few times. It might be of interest if you are considering “what is housing for?”

                  Personally, I find the idea of housing as a commodity distasteful.

              • srylands

                Two points:

                1. If house vales go down by 20%, the psychological impact on those who recently bought will be immense. A couple saves 5 years for a deposit and suddenly they have negative equity. You think they will be angry?

                2. It is OK for you not to be going anywhere for the rest of your life, but lots of people need to. They move new places for new opportunities. People with negative equity are impeded from moving. That is bad for them and bad for New Zealand.

                • McFlock

                  If their house price goes down by 20% in the short term, they shouldn’t care because it was bought as a long term dwelling, not an investment property. It doesn’t actually affect them.

                • weka

                  1. If house vales go down by 20%, the psychological impact on those who recently bought will be immense. A couple saves 5 years for a deposit and suddenly they have negative equity. You think they will be angry?

                  The Greens have clearly stated their plan will protect recent buyers. Maybe you could inform yourself before commenting.

                  And it depends on the couple and what they paid. For every person pissed off about equity there will be others joyous that they can afford to buy a home.

                  2. It is OK for you not to be going anywhere for the rest of your life, but lots of people need to. They move new places for new opportunities. People with negative equity are impeded from moving. That is bad for them and bad for New Zealand.

                  Or it could be a good thing for NZ and individuals, as communities become more stable again and opportunities can be found locally instead of having to move away.

                  • srylands

                    “The Greens have clearly stated their plan will protect recent buyers. Maybe you could inform yourself before commenting. ”
                    ____

                    How are they going to do that? These people have mortgages with banks. So if you think I am uninformed please fill me in.

                    “Or it could be a good thing for NZ and individuals, as communities become more stable again and opportunities can be found locally instead of having to move away.”
                    ___

                    No. Making people less mobile because they are chained to a house is a very bad thing. You just have to look at the experience of the ChCh earthquake.

                    • weka

                      1. they haven’t published the plan yet. Have you read anything about this today?

                      2. you can assert that, but it’s just ideology until you make an actual argument.

                      I don’t see how Chch applies.

                  • srylands

                    ” don’t see how Chch applies.”
                    _______________________

                    Many people in Christchurch wanted to leave after the quakes. But they could not. They were tied to their houses by insurance disputes. All their assets were tied up. So they could not move on.

                    If a government creates a situation where people have negative equity in their homes, internal mobility will decline. In the last 20 years New Zealanders have been highly mobile. Populations have shifted in response to economic opportunities. Allowing that to happen requires people to have confidence in housing markets.

                    • Chuck

                      Regardless of the Chch example (which makes sense btw) the average number of years kiwis own a house has been approx. 5 years in 2000 dropping to 4.5 years in the mid 90’s then back to 6 years in 2012.

                      https://www.qv.co.nz/n/news-details/phoenix-78?blogId=65

                      Kiwis like to move…for a diverse range of reasons.

                    • weka

                      Having a highly mobile population is not a good thing, it destabilises communities.

                      Much of the high mobility has happened because the low wage, high unemployment economy has forced so many people to move. That’s a different thing than them wanting to, and it’s not a healthy thing for society.

                • Rosie

                  S. Firstly, the value isn’t going to drop 20% overnight.

                  Secondly, it’s a matter of personal views about housing. The example you use could be me. We saved forever and were lucky enough to have a relative pitch in to get us our first house. In four years our GV has gone up $30K. Real estate agents tell us we can get another $30K on top of that. It means NOTHING to us. Totally wouldn’t be angry about it. IF the value went down to what we paid for it, that would be fine.

                  If people have to move around for work they won’t lose out. People are only moving around for work now because they are being priced out of their home towns. They also might just have to think a bit harder about renting vs. buying to see what suits their needs.

                  • srylands

                    “People are only moving around for work now because they are being priced out of their home towns. ”
                    __________________

                    Really? Do you have any evidence for that? Because it is completely at odds with the evidence of the last 20 years.

                    People have been moving around New Zealand because of work opportunities. So people have been moving TO Auckland from other regions DESPITE higher house prices in Auckland.

                    • Rosie

                      Oh God. I really can’t be bothered with you S. It’s only been ALL over the news for the last 6 months. You know as well as I it started well before then. Prices of housing in areas south of Ak, e.g, Tauranga and Hamilton have rocketed, as people have have to move out of Ak.

                      One example. Relatives found themselves out of a home they had been renting for 12 years as the landlord put it on the market to take advantage of the price increases. The family of four are now paying an extra $70 a week for a house I’d be very reluctant to live in. It’s a big step down from the house they were happy in. The mother has had to take on extra hours just to cover the rent.

                      You talk about being angry. I’d be hugely angry if I were in their shoes.

                  • Chuck

                    Rosie go and educate yourself on the average number of years kiwis own a house please!

                    It does not support your comment of “People are only moving around for work now because they are being priced out of their home towns”

                    https://www.qv.co.nz/n/news-details/phoenix-78?blogId=65

                    • srylands

                      Rosie there is a vast literature on New Zealand internal migration over the last 20 years. It simply does not support what you are saying about the drivers of labour mobility… I am happy to send it to you if you wish.

                    • Rosie

                      I will certainly not do as you tell me you patronising bastard, Chuck. Same goes for you Slylands. Fuck off.

                      Sorry mods. Ban me. I’ve run out of patience in recent times and never normally respond to such commenter’s in such a way. I’d rather be banned than tolerate this bs.

                    • weka

                      Sounds well within the rules to me Rosie 🙂

                    • Rosie

                      Thank you weka. Apologies to fellow readers about my swears.

      • Nic the NZer 2.2.2

        Mortgage debts don’t survive bankruptcy.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1

          They do survive the bank taking the house off of the owner and selling it on the open market though if there’s any mortgage left after the sale.

          • Lanthanide 2.2.2.1.1

            Ah yes, that might be the nuance I was thinking of.

            You can be $100k in debt on a mortgage for a house you no longer own.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.2.2

          Yep, you’re correct. I had read some things that it didn’t, but looks like they were wrong, I was wrong.

          There was definitely a lot of talk about “jingle mail” in the US and how it doesn’t apply here; that seems to be if you cease to occupy the house, you can return ownership to the bank, and walk away from the mortgage entirely without any recourse. That definitely doesn’t exist in NZ.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3

        and I believe that mortgage debt is one of the few that will survive bankruptcy proceedings.

        Mortgage debt and any debt to the government will not be cleared by bankruptcy. This is, of course, unethical and is completely against the capitalist modus operandi that we’re told exists in that the people making the loans are taking all the risk. They’re obviously protected from that risk and all of it is put upon the people who, the capitalists tell us, aren’t taking the risk.

        Time to put that back the way it’s supposed to be.

        As to what should happen if the government collapses house prices as needs to happen. They simply offer to buy the house at the full value that the house was worth before the collapse. The people living then get a lifetime lease at 25% of household income. This would only apply to houses with mortgages that put the home owner ‘underwater’. Rental properties would not be covered and neither would houses that are freehold.

  3. mikesh 3

    Unspeakable? More like bleedin’ obvious.

  4. shorts 4

    wages should rise and house prices need to fall (blah blah blah), plus a bunch of other measures relating to houses as investments PLUS we need to stop importing people without having the infrastructure to support them

    I’m all for simple one concept solutions… but a “house prices need to drop by x” is as good at this point as saying nothing – its not a plan nor a solution, its a dream, a sound bite and one that will frighten the hell out of a huge number of people

    so todays housing news is we have a headline
    sigh

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    Clearly if the govt wants to take action on house prices it should first replace the dangerous OBR policy with a deposit guarantee. A 40% fall in prices over less than 5 years risks bank failures. This risk (the risk of bank runs) can be mitigated cheeply and effectively by a RBNZ deposit guarantee but is exacerbated by the OBR policy in place (depositors are encouraged to remove their deposits from any perceived as risky institution).

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      2% to 3% fall in nominal prices year on year over a decade gets to your 40% figure (once you factor in inflation and wage increases) with minimal pain.

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        Dont think anybody has a way to achieve that in practice however.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          There is that. Once a signal is given banks/investors may not walk to the exits, but run.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    In this Don Brash is actually right. If affordable housing is 3 to 4 times the average wage and house prices are presently 10 times the average wage then house prices need to fall 60% to 80%.

    Simple maths.

    • Graeme 6.1

      Or the average wage need to go up by 3 times. This is actually the real answer, as reducing the price by 50% just makes them twice as affordable for external buyers as well.

      • mikesh 6.1.1

        If wages triple then houses prices will increase further.

        • Graeme 6.1.1.1

          Same can be said for reducing house values, wages / employment will reduce through the loss of wealth / equity. It’s not so much the absolute value of housing the needs to come down, but it’s value relative to incomes, and there’s many ways of achieving that.

          Nirvana would be to increase incomes and supply together, along with other tools to hold values around or just below current levels, that way no one gets taken out.

          There’s plenty of European and North American examples of stable affordability so it can be done.

      • weka 6.1.2

        “Or the average wage need to go up by 3 times. This is actually the real answer, as reducing the price by 50% just makes them twice as affordable for external buyers as well.”

        Would you advocate for benefits to go up by 3x too?

        External buying can be restricted.

        • Graeme 6.1.2.1

          It’s not a one thing fix, or problem. The ratio of income and housing cost has got seriously out of kilter.

          We need much higher incomes, like I mean first world incomes, and the sort economy that goes with that. So yes benefits are linked to income, but I would hope that in growing a first world economy we’d have a first world society to go with it.

          We need heaps more houses, and houses at a simpler and less expensive level.

          We need much more focused immigration, focused on building incomes in our economy, not driving these down.

          And yes we need restrictions on who can own property here.

          But just reducing the cost property is just going to pour petrol on the demand fire.

          • weka 6.1.2.1.1

            Not really following that sorry. Did you mean yes, you would support 3 fold increase in benefits alongside wages?

            I agree that multiple things need to be happening (the Greens aren’t suggesting dropping house prices in isolation).

  7. James 7

    With the mou with the greens and labour it will be interesting to see if little comes out calling for house prices to fall as well.

    Can’t wait for them to campaign on this.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      It’s exactly for this reason that Little has not given a percentage that house prices should fall-he would be attacked by Key and friends in the election campaign for saying it ….”Labour wants people to lose 30% of their house value” etc etc

      Having said that I thought Little’s answer where he said house prices should continue to rise at only 2% a year was a bit pathetic. I think he should have said that the market would cause house prices to drift slowly down as housing supply issues were resolved and foreign buyers (speculators) were limited to new houses.

      As usual the Greens have a better grasp of the real issues and are more honest in putting their point of view than both Labour and the Nats-nice one Metiria

      • Brutus Iscariot 7.1.1

        Yes, it was pathetic. Under Little’s scenario an affordable price-to-income ratio MIGHT be achieved…in say 25-30 years?

        • srylands 7.1.1.1

          No. Under Little’s scenario of 2% nominal growth in house prices annually, affordable house prices will never be achieved.

          Andrew Little does not have a clue what to do and he will never beat John Key on the housing debate.

          Chris Trotter nailed it in May. Auckland home owners are already mentally spending the money. The 55+ couples are planning their retirement in Northland with $3 million in cash in their pockets.

          http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2016/05/homes-are-where-votes-are.html

          Little can’t just say “build more state houses” and beat up on foreigners. He needs a full plan. The NZPC has now released two reports on housing affordability and urban land supply. I have never heard Little refer to these reports. Why not?

          Lastly, Labour should promise to over haul tenancy laws. Many Aucklanders will be renting forever. So give them security, like German tenants. Couple that with decent compulsory super so that they have a good retirement nest egg.

          It would not be hard for Labour to hire 3 or 4 smart people to help put together a comprehensive housing and retirement savings policy. It would only take a month. Until he does that he is, and looks paralysed. Scared shitless of upsetting those that have enriched themselves.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      That’s why they signed a MOU, and not a formal coalition agreement.

      • Roflcopter 7.2.1

        It was also a “no-surprises” and a “we won’t agree to disagree” agreement… therefore Labour and Greens are joined at the hip on this announcement.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1

          1. It wasn’t “an announcement”
          2. That’s your personal opinion. What matters is the opinion of the average voter

        • weka 7.2.1.2

          “It was also a “no-surprises” and a “we won’t agree to disagree” agreement… therefore Labour and Greens are joined at the hip on this announcement.”

          Not quite. It was a no surprises agreement, and a ‘we agree to disagree’ one. So they’re not joined at the hip.

  8. Corokia 8

    Metiria said we need a capital gains tax (I agree) but IF house prices fall then investors wouldn’t be making a capital gain so there would be no tax collected.
    I think we need to stop owners of rental properties from claiming tax advantages against their other income. Currently you can call improvements to the rental an expense and then reduce the tax you pay on your main income.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Metiria said we need a capital gains tax (I agree) but IF house prices fall then investors wouldn’t be making a capital gain so there would be no tax collected.

      The point of taxes is not simply to collect revenue; it is to guide economic activity, encourage wanted activities and discourage unwanted activities.

      • Jones 8.1.1

        Actually CV, in this monetary system i think the point of taxes is to provide assurance to the banks lending to the Government that the Government has the ability to meet their interest payments.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      They need to introduce ring-fencing of losses from rental properties so the loss can’t be used to offset income earned from other sources, only against future rental income from the property itself.

      “Currently you can call improvements to the rental an expense and then reduce the tax you pay on your main income.”

      Depends what you mean by “improvements”, but if things are genuine improvements to the rental (like a renovation or a redecoration that goes beyond maintenance and counts as an upgrade), then it counts as capital expenditure not an operating expense. Capital expenses can’t be offset against your other income to reduce your tax.

    • Anno1701 8.3

      we also need an inheritance tax to stop the “landed” gentry ” hoarding wealth inter generationally

      • srylands 8.3.1

        Could I ask you a few questions?…..

        At what rate would you set the inheritance tax?

        Would you exempt spouses?

        Would you exempt spouses of property owners if the property is held in trust?

        How would you deal with those who inherit Maori land?

        What do you think might be unintended consequences of an inheritance tax?

        Are you advocating that the labour party should adopt this as policy?

        • Anno1701 8.3.1.1

          ” if the property is held in trust? ”

          if it were up to me , trusts would be banned for any non-charitable causes

          :Would you exempt spouses?”

          no-one would be exempt

          “How would you deal with those who inherit Maori land?”

          see answer above

          “What do you think might be unintended consequences of an inheritance tax?”

          dont care, cant make an omelette etc….

          “Are you advocating that the labour party should adopt this as policy?”

          dont care WHO adopts it , and dont seriously expect any party to do so, i mean NZ is a tax haven after all

          it would be “banded” with higher value estates attracting a higher “band” of taxation, maybe have a small “heirloom” exemption for items where inter-generational family ownership can be established ( great grand mums diamond ring etc…)

          I would also have a “mansion” tax as well, lets say any individual privately owned piece property over a value of somewhere around 2.5 million

          • Enough is Enough 8.3.1.1.1

            Do you actually know what a trust is?

            How would you deal with this situation if all trusts were banned?

            Johnny is 2 years old, his parents die in a car accident. They owned a Family Home in their own names (no trust) and had a modest amount of money in the bank.

            Upon Mum and Dad’s death would it be better that little Johnny now has legal ownership of the home and the cash, so that he can smash it all on his 7th birthday celebrations; or

            would it be better if an independent third party looked after and had a legal obligation to protect those assets until Johnny grows up at which stage legal ownership transfers to Johnny.

            I would go with the latter option but that would be impossible if all trust were banned.

            • Anno1701 8.3.1.1.1.1

              see my “omelette” comment above

              call me harsh if you like….

              Im well aware of how trusts operate

              in-fact if ind it an ironic use of the word “trust”

        • Brutus Iscariot 8.3.1.2

          I actually see an inheritance tax as the most equitable form of taxation,

          Inherited wealth is the most egregious example of an un-earned windfall.
          There is no moral argument to which a person can lay unfettered claim to the wealth of their parents. They have contributed in no way to its creation.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Gutsy move by Metiria, very well done on leading the way.

    • BM 9.1

      Handing National an out right majority at the next election.

      Thanks Metiria.

      Bet you would have heard the groans from Fraser house when she said this.

      • weka 9.1.1

        So NACT’s rich investor mates will decide to not vote Green, and undecided people who are struggling with housing wil decide to vote Green.

        • BM 9.1.1.1

          No what it means is that, any one that owns a house or has any money invested in property, , won’t vote greens or labour.
          That’s a fuckload of people and they’ll all turn out to vote in 2017.

          I just can’t believe how politically dumb Metiria Turei is, greens need to get rid of her she’s a total liability.

          Labour must be kicking themselves in the nuts for doing that MOU with the greens.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            She said what needed to be said. A politician with some principles and some thoughts about things more important than re-election.

            BTW I think that about 1/3 of the population will agree with her. Although I would have said that a 25% drop would be quite enough, mixed in with a 25% rise in ordinary incomes 🙂

          • weka 9.1.1.1.2

            lol, look at you, BM, with the political concern trolling.

            I know this is a strange concept for you, but there are still voters in NZ who care beyond their own pockets.

            • srylands 9.1.1.1.2.1

              “I know this is a strange concept for you, but there are still voters in NZ who care beyond their own pockets.”
              _________________________

              yes of course, but not enough for National to lose Government over house prices – indeed it is quite the opposite. If you own a $3 million house in Auckland you don’t want Miss Green Party co-leader to wipe out $1 million of your equity. And if you don’t own a house, but your parents own a $3 million house you will be watching your inheritance.

              I admire your sentiment but you are being naïve. Wander around Pakuranga or Kelburn this Sunday and do a quick poll.

          • adam 9.1.1.1.3

            You are talking about the people who already vote BM. These people are not the non voters. And I think they will vote who they find is principled and honest, which may well just be the point.

            • BM 9.1.1.1.3.1

              You’d have to be an utter fool to base any sort of election strategy on the non-vote.

              And I think they will vote who they find is principled and honest, which may well just be the point.

              Lol at such nonsense, they might drag their sorry arses off their couches if you promise them enough free stuff, that’s about it.

              The flip side of that you push everyone else who does already vote towards National, stupidest political strategy ever.

              • weka

                The Greens whose vote trend has been steadily rising the whole of their existence vs dude on the internet who doesn’t like their politics. I think I know who’s better placed to know what is best for the Greens.

                • BM

                  10% is their ceiling and they’re only at 10% because Labour is so useless.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You know the Greens got over 11% of the vote in 2011?

                    • BM

                      I rounded down.

                      In 2014 they got 10.70%

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah they only got 11.06% in 2011.

                      Maybe 11% is their ceiling.

                    • adam

                      No if over into 11% and into 0.1-.99 percentiles, then ceiling must be 12%.

                      Sheesh BM you’re onto a winner there mate.

                    • BM

                      Wow, 1% break out the party hats !!!.

                      Out of interest I had a look at Labours vote

                      2008 796,880

                      2011 614,936
                      ————————————————————————-
                      Greens vote

                      2008 157,613

                      2011 247,372

                      The gain for the greens was at the expense of Labour, no gain for the left block.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not to mention the Labour activists who have migrated to the Greens.

                  • weka

                    “10% is their ceiling and they’re only at 10% because Labour is so useless.”

                    Look at the trend over time.

                    • BM

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Party_of_Aotearoa_New_Zealand#Electoral_results

                      1990 124,915
                      1999 106,560
                      2002 142,250
                      2005 120,521
                      2008 157,613
                      2011 247,372
                      2014 257,356

                      For 20 + years the green vote was pretty much static.
                      That all changed in 2011 when Labour really started to fall apart and a large chunk of their voterbase deserted them.

                      What it looks like to me is that the ex labour voters couldn’t vote National so many voted green instead.

                      Once Labour starts to get its act together I’d expect to see the green vote return to its normal 5-7% range.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @BM:
                      “Once Labour starts to get its act together I’d expect to see the green vote return to its normal 5-7% range.”

                      Which is a silly thing to say, because Labour would take more votes from National than they would the Greens.

                      Also, knowledge of climate change and the environment in general has improved a lot in recent years, so it’s silly to think their vote share would drop to the levels it used to have, when actually the electorate is more informed and more caring about Green policy positions than they were in the past. That makes the Greens more relevant now than ever.

                    • weka

                      “For 20 + years the green vote was pretty much static.”

                      Or, they doubled their vote over the time they’ve been in parliament.

            • srylands 9.1.1.1.3.2

              Dude you are dreaming. Email that line to labour Party HQ and suggest it as the election strategy!!

              • adam

                That labour be honest and principled. Yeah tried that with national, did’nt work so well. You think labour will pick it up?

                Where as the Greens, they do honest and principled well. So no need to email them.

            • Chuck 9.1.1.1.3.3

              Ah the missing million strategy.

              “And I think they will vote who they find is principled and honest”

              If the Greens think they can engineer an orderly decrease in house pricing over the long term (say 15 – 20 years) they are being DISHONEST.

              But hey it will be interesting to hear how Metiria explains this when they come up with the detail.

          • srylands 9.1.1.1.4

            She is absolutely right.

            The problem is that no Government will engineer any drop in house prices. The Labour Party will never repeat what she has said today.

            So we are left with the risk of a disorderly price fall.

            National will just be hoping that the bubble does not burst in the next 12 months.

            I have never met a home owner that wants their house value to fall substantially. I expect to see National north of 47% continually in the polls in the next few months. This Green pronouncement will just firm up that trend.

            • James 9.1.1.1.4.1

              “The Labour Party will never repeat what she has said today.”

              But National will.

              They will ask Labour do they agree with the Greens – after all there is this big deal MOU – are they on the same page or not?

            • Jones 9.1.1.1.4.2

              That’s right. As Das said on Keiser Report this morning our Governments have become NIMTO’s… Not In My Term of Office. It will only correct through a crash.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1.1.1.4.3

              “I have never met a home owner that wants their house value to fall substantially.”

              True, we have never met to my knowledge. But I would be happy for my property price to fall if it improves the lot of most NZers.

          • Nic the NZer 9.1.1.1.5

            Labour is more than capable of kicking themselves in the nuts without the Greens help. You only need to look as far as the last election platform to see that.

      • b waghorn 9.1.2

        Yes you’re probably right. I had a guy tell me its labours fault that he can’t by another house because he doesn’t have the 40% deposit. If the left getting blamed for shit they didn’t do imagine the shit they’ll get for floating radical ideas.

      • Anno1701 9.1.3

        “Handing National an out right majority at the next election.”

        same old tired lines

        dont you bored of trotting out the same crap day in day out ?

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.4

        Someone will have to hand it to the Gnats cos they won’t win it on their own – and if they don’t do something about housing they’d be better off not winning it.

  10. Corvidae 10

    This cuts at the very soul of capitalism. Watch all those enamoured by capitalism joyfully explain why this ‘won’t work’ based in the many necessary illusion. Firstly this erodes capital. Secondly it will destroy the ‘incentive’ to build more houses. Profits down! Undeserving people getting stuff! Babies will die! Hospitals and schools will close! And then they’ll invoke some ghost of the ‘failure of communism’, demonised due it stopping the rich from being all that they want to be.

    Of course let’s all ignore that indeed it will fail. Housing and property is controlled by profit, not by need. That’s why it’s failing now, and why this will fail – the reason is the same. Unless you recognise that safe and healthy housing is a right and not a privilege (or a money making scheme) this won’t be ‘fixed’. The term ‘affordable’ shouldn’t be used. We can supply not only good but sustainable housing. The problem we are told is that we can’t ‘afford’ to.

    The answer to the question ‘who’s going to pay for all this’ is ‘we all are’. Some us already are.

  11. Sabine 11

    Did anyone see the press release in the Herald about Ray White yesterday?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/82465472/ray-white-signs-deal-with-lianjia-as-it-launches-into-china

    nope? Well there are now an estimated 260 million Chinese Citizens err Buyers that will now see what properties are up for sale.
    Anyone really think that the Kiwis have any idea what is going to happen to them.

    I am very sorry but the house prices are not going to come down, for that you would need a change in government fristly, and secondly a population that actually cares about its country, its fellow citizens instead of just going ‘she’ll be right’ if I am right.

    so nothing is gonna happen.
    Your country has been sold of.

    • James 11.1

      Quick question to people on here who own a house?

      How many have refused to go to Auction and set a price only which they think is “fair” as opposed to getting the most people are willing to pay on the day?

      How many have refused to sell it to an investor?

      How many have refused to sell to somebody based overseas?

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        i rent.
        i never wanted to buy a house in Auckland as that is not the place i want to retire in.
        friends of mine have sold their house to a couple of friends for way less then they could have gotten in an Auction, but they wanted their friends to be able to have a house.
        i have now purchased a house in the middle of the country, in fact a few of us (friends) have bought houses in a struggling community in the middle of the country and we are no investing us and our money in that community.

        however dear James, the point stands that you can’t compete with a few hundred million chinese or other foreigners. No Kiwi can.

        And just for the record, i don’t have an issue with the house prices per se, well at least in Auckland – it being the biggest city etc, but i have an issue with any government that refuses to correctly regiment and regulate the rental market. Full stop there. And sadly that is the issue, shit rentals, crap insulation, crap carpets, crap kitchens, bathrooms with pet slugs, badly closing doors / windows, and then renting to cover the mortgage. Rent should only cover the space rented, not the value of the land and house. The flipping of houses that are tenanted should not resolve in the tenant loosing the house. And so on and so on and so one.

        But I am sure you or any other of your dear mates will quickly come and tell us that if we increase the rules and regulations in regards to rentals rents will go up and gasp won’t anyone think of the poor people that now can’t afford a home anymore. Well my dear friend, no one gives a shit. And eventually this will happen to you or someone you know and ooops ……nothing can be done, go live in a ditch and if you really need a rental go see winz. I hear they are doing a stellar job.

      • Anno1701 11.1.2

        “Quick question to people on here who own a house?’

        no intention of selling, your questions are redundant

        it is my family home, not an investment vehicle…

        • Sabine 11.1.2.1

          this.
          so much this.

          the home i have had the pleasure to purchase has been lived in by the same person since 1947. She has now gone into a retirement home. The village is a bit desolate, houses are run down, but they all have good bones. Together with friends we have now bought each a home, a community garden is being established and we are looking forward to investing us into the community.
          Cause home. You know. Homes for people, not properties for investors.

          oh btw. i would not even be able to buy a window frame for the money here in akl.

      • Ch-ch Chiquita 11.1.3

        We refused an auction and sold our house via personal contact without an agent at all. The agent and auction would have cost us about $25,000. Thanks but no thanks.
        We would have refused an overseas buyer as we believe people should have some social responsibility, on top of the fact we would be selling off our childrens future.

  12. save nz 12

    In a closed economic system that would be great – in fact houses would not get over 4 times the median average. But we don’t live in a closed world, the government has an active immigration policy to keep adding more people into this country to compete for jobs and houses and create a situation that “appears” under control economically at a glance.

    By making current taxpayers underwrite the new immigrants for superannuation, new infrastructure and housing, new motorways, health, education and travel and so forth – it is creating a much worse situation than just the housing for the future. In fact unless NZ somehow gets a brain and starts making active choices to create jobs outside of dairy and property there is not going to be enough money soon to run social welfare. So welcome to USA or China everyone, where there is no safety net!

    The government has been keen to get rid of social welfare – now the left is helping them by not running the numbers on migration and predicting what is going to happen in 10, 20 and 30 years time with the increased population but static growth. How will we pay for all the borrowing? We are already selling off the country and Bill English still can get out of deficit with all his rampant borrowing.

    And as for all the ideas for Labour, education grants for all, money for kids etc. So if we get 5700 new people per month that will also be entitled (as far as I know) for all the goodies being handed out? By the time the election is called another 69,000 per year (roughly the size of a large town in NZ) will be imported in and no doubt eligible for the grants immediately or when they get full residency.

    How the hell can we afford it, when we can’t even afford our own people a house or hospital bed?

  13. save nz 13

    My prediction is that house prices may not fall at all. Bad news around the world may mean people come to NZ to shop for investments. Apparently they might even start charging people in the UK to put savings in the bank. So nobody with cash will want that, so where will they go if you have too much cash to put under your mattress ????

    Unless somebody tightens up the ability for non resident investors to buy here, and people to become residents here, goodbye home ownership for Kiwis as through low wages we become tenants in our own country.

  14. save nz 14

    There is no doubt that it was a good idea after the global financial crisis to increase migration, but after a few years the government should have tweeted the criteria to bring in skills for the new economy and migrants who were expected to live here, make a profit, pay taxes and employ Kiwis to stimulate the economy.

    Instead they let anyone into NZ, whether a farm worker, fruit picker, restaurant manager, care giver, property investor or offshore workers. Aged parents of the above migrants. Companies never bothered training everyone as they had a supply of cheap, workers who were available to them.

    Companies got lazy and standards dropped – no one picked up that the steel was substandard, the concrete was wrong, the plumbing substandard, the broadband did not work fast at all. It became acceptable for telecom to have a 1 hour wait to connect to a service operator and you get nowhere for your troubles. Instead of becoming a first world country we have slipped into the third world.

    Standards have dropped in real terms from 30 years ago. But I’m not sure if any of the politicians can be bothered understanding what has happened without putting in their own ideology filters to fix it.

    The UK allowed anyone in the EU to be able to work in the UK without any protection for their current residents jobs. Austerity was forced in on social welfare to pay for it all, and Brexit is the result of the publics idea of a fix.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      and Brexit is the result of the publics idea of a fix.

      No, BREXIT is the only option that the ordinary publics were given by the elite.

  15. Corvidae 15

    Who will pay!!??
    We have the drugs to save your life, but you can’t afford them.
    We have a house but you can’t afford it. We have another that is damp and cold but you can’t afford that either. Want to buy a used car … ?
    We have healthy food that will improve your health but you can’t afford it.
    We could teach you things that may result in you discovering wonderful things but you can’t afford it.
    We could pay you more for working harder than we do but who’s going to pay for that?
    You could have a happy rewarding life but who will pay for that?

    Isn’t it great that the unchallengeable unquestionable ‘economy’ is doing so much for so many! That’s what I love about capitalism – we’ve achieved so much for those that ‘deserve’ it. Money is so enabling!

    • srylands 15.1

      Really? You think that New Zealand is a hell hole? New Zealanders are richer and happier than they have ever have been.

      Consistently, about 60% of New Zealanders think that the country is moving in the right direction. 30% hold the contrary view:

      http://www.roymorgan.com/morganpoll/new-zealand/nz-government-confidence

      This confidence rating is very high by international standards.

      In Australia the confidence rating is about 50% (at best)

      http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/australians-think-country-headed-in-the-right-direction-roy-morgan-polls/news-story/e06f4dcfcbcb1a9d9d75ed7d7c1346e6

      In the USA it is 24%!!

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track

      I suggest that you read more about the links between policy and prosperity. I would recommend this excellent New Zealand based blog:

      https://utopiayouarestandinginit.com/

      • save nz 15.1.1

        Of course NZ is the land of milk and honey if your parents are millionaires from Asia, middle East and so forth and you get given money to buy up property and assets here.

        Who would not be confident in that!

        Here are a few examples of happy people migrating here. Millionaire couple from Asia come to NZ, buy up property and put their kids in School here. Since neither speak english, Dad ‘splits up’ with wife and goes back to Asia, Mum goes on DPB as abandoned wife, 20 years later is now getting a pension and more family coming in with Kids from Asia to live here and go on social welfare as they have no job. The NZ educated secondary and tertiary kids are grown up and living offshore and buying up million dollar NZ property for family members on welfare to live in. They pay no tax in NZ. Instead NZ tax payers seem to be paying the rich but unemployed migrants to live here.

        Scenario two, restaurant manager comes to NZ, but being on low wages he and his family qualify for working for families, accommodation supplement, community services card etc.

        Scenario three, migrant youth gets $200,000 from parents as a marriage present. Spends his days playing video games.

        I just not sure why the left seem so non committal on rampant migration too. It is costing $125,000 just for infrastructure per house alone, why would you want to import more people when the houses which current taxpayers are subsidising are just going to rich new migrants, there is high unemployment, no housing stock and after 30 years no benefits from migration but a lot of problems being caused.

        Somethings wrong!

      • Garibaldi 15.1.2

        We are heading in the right direction if you want to either crash and burn, or drive over a cliff .Those are our choices unless you are a 0.01%er .

      • Anno1701 15.1.3

        “https://utopiayouarestandinginit.com/”

        Farcical libertarian spew im afraid

        i almost stepped in that, you owe me an aplogy !

      • Anno1701 15.1.4

        “You think that New Zealand is a hell hole? New Zealanders are richer and happier than they have ever have been.”

        Expensive food
        Expensive rent
        Expensive to buy a house
        Shitty public transport that never comes on time
        Overcrowded and congested
        Terrible traffic
        Problems with violent crime
        Problems with drug and alcohol-related violent crime
        A massive gap between the rich and those living on the streets or in parts of south auckland.
        A chaotic and disorganised healthcare system with overstretched GPs and expensive medicines.
        A comparatively low average wage compared to other western countries
        Apathy to world events and global turmoils going on in other parts of the world
        The paranoia and hypersensitivity of local people when ever anybody criticises New Zealand.
        The lack of access to a variety of consumables and every day items
        The lack of diverse music culture here: On any given night in Melbourne or Berlin or London (all of where I’ve lived before) you can find every kind of music being played in pubs or venues all over the place. Not so in New Zealand
        Poorly made clothing and shoes that is sold for exhorbitant prices, sometimes with a mark up of 200% even though it is clearly low quality and made in China.

        it’s possible to have a much higher quality of living in Poland – a former part of the Soviet Union compared to a so-called developed nation like New Zealand.”

        The now confirmed massive amounts of tax evasion here – and not surprisingly, the New Zealand media kept quiet about it and nobody in New Zealand really talks about it.

        The anti-intellectualism of the media – the media only show stupid reality shows or fluffy news, there is no real current affairs program to talk about issues affecting every day people. There is no media outlet that properly holds anybody to account.

        yep godzone green land allright….

        • srylands 15.1.4.1

          I must just be lucky to be surrounded by happy and contented people I guess.

          I am not taking the piss saying that.

          The young people I meet are generally happy and ambitious. They are planning their OE or have returned and are brimming with ideas.

          The 30s and 40s folk are working away. They have happy kids in good schools. They are attentive parents.

          The 50s and 60s folks I see have wide interests, cultural sporting. They go boating or tramping. They have good relationships with their adult kids.

          So I don’t see a sea of bitter people whinging about your long list.

          Sure we would all like cheaper housing – I agree.

          The other things in your list are small country stuff.

          The tax evasion thing is a myth.

          So when I am down town on Friday night and the place is heaving – and I mean heaving – with thousands of contented revellers, I will circulate your list to the mates for a laugh.

          And seriously, if you think that you would be better off in Poland, then go.

          • Anno1701 15.1.4.1.1

            “And seriously, if you think that you would be better off in Poland, then go”

            see my “The paranoia and hypersensitivity of local people when ever anybody criticises New Zealand.” comment above for clarification

            “The tax evasion thing is a myth.”

            thats subjective….

            Your easily pleased,

            unsophisticated tastes i suppose !

            however my definition of “success & happiness” involves a little more than paddle boarding and paddingtons on a friday night….

            Im glad your happy tho, warms my cockles !

  16. Ralf Crown 16

    Two things need to happen. Prices of homes fall some 75% to become realistic. All these speculators need to be removed from the home market. Homes are to live in, not an investment object.

  17. Macro 17

    Am currently staying in Baldivis south Perth. Perth is a city with a population around that of Auckland – true it has a far greater land mass at its disposal but essentially it occupies around the same area as Auckland and the houses and and lifestyle is very similar.
    However there is a major difference.
    In the local shopping mall there is a sign saying something like this:

    “Paying more than $295 per week in rent?
    For that money why not move into a new house?”

    Yes a weekly mortgage of $A295 ( around $NZ340 per week) buys you a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom 1 car garage house.

    A 4x2x2 4 bed 2 bath double garage home which I know personally having lived in it for several months and currently empty – a short walk from the mall library medical centre and schools and right next to a park (all houses here are about 3 mins walk from a park) and in very good condition – has a market value of $275K – 325K.

    The section sizes are all around 400 sqm – not big – but the provision of numerous parks and trees where children can congregate and play and families meet means that the community is encouraged and there is adequate room for young bodies to exercise.

    These house are all on a bus route to the local rail station from which trains run at 10 min intervals to the CBD – a ride of around 35 mins.

    The solution is simple – we just need to start building houses – and if the private sector won’t do it then the government has too.

    And the second part of the solution is to provide decent public transport so that people will be able to move to these houses

  18. The Real Matthew 18

    Did Metiria state what policy the Green Party has to enact this house price change or was this a case of saying what people want to hear?

  19. Pat 20

    If nothing else the Greens have flushed Labour out….Labour can’t pretend to represent the interests of working NZers with Little’s statement.

  20. Observer Toke 21

    .
    “..and the doctor said, as he took his fees, there is no cure for this disease” RF Hilaire Belloc – Cautionary Tales.

    Housing is pretty serious stuff. If a household cannot afford to pay a mortgage then they will have to rent.

    If they cannot afford to rent because they lack the income; then they will live where they can. On the streets; in cars; in mobs, in parks.

    They may get a loan from Paula Bennett to rent a motel room, at a cost of $200 or more per night. The cost of course must be repaid to Paula.

    I must say with all the words about housing and homeless, Paula is at least doing something practical for her clients. She has also offered people money to get out of Auckland.

    It is a pity that people who need to rent housing frequently do not get enough pay from their employment to pay the outrageous rents.

    You would think that the opportunity to fix this invidious circular nightmare of ridiculous housing costs; ridiculous rental costs and very low wages would be the makings of a Government. A challenge. A wonderful opportunity to give a realistic Bright Future to NZ citizens.

    But Unfortunately, we have a bunch of trickle down delusional dullards called National, Act, Maori, and United Future demonstrating their complete uselessness.

    John Key the Wall Street strutterman and comedian at large, has at least said anybody with a problem should go see Paula. However, the wretched people will likely find her at auctions selling off houses she doesn’t want. To investors. Not to citizens.

    Lets give it up for our retarded National Shylocks.

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