National’s leadership on home ownership

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, July 16th, 2015 - 55 comments
Categories: housing, john key, national - Tags: , ,

No need to worry about low levels of home ownership, National is here to lead. Here’s Key’s speech on the issue:

SPEECH: NZ Contractors Federation

Today, I want to talk in some depth about the declining rates of home ownership in New Zealand. … It wasn’t so long ago, in the 1990s, in fact, that New Zealand had a high level of home ownership compared to other countries. Not so anymore. We now have what has been described as the second worst housing affordability problem in the world.

Make no mistake; this problem has got worse in recent years. … This decline shows no signs of slowing. In fact, on current trends, the crisis will only deepen. Home ownership rates are predicted to plummet to 60% within the next decade. And one of the biggest factors influencing home-ownership rates over the next 10 years will be the difficulty young buyers will have getting into their first home.

This problem won’t be solved by knee-jerk, quick-fix plans. And it won’t be curbed with one or two government-sponsored building developments.

Instead, we need government leadership that is prepared to focus on the fundamental issues driving the crisis. National is ready to provide that leadership.

National will look for long-term solutions based on a sound understanding of the economic forces that have led to the contemporary low home-ownership rates.

Those forces can be grouped in two categories.

The first is demand-side. Sadly, in 2007, thousands of young New Zealanders have resigned themselves to never owning their own home. Since 2001, saving a deposit for a house has become increasingly difficult for too many of them.

Even though unemployment has declined, having a job hasn’t been enough to enable people to buy their own house. In 1999 a median-priced house cost just over 6 times the median wage. By 2006 it cost 10 times the median wage.

The second and most important reason for the home affordability crisis is one of supply. It explains why houses have become so unaffordable for so many people. Quite simply, not enough new houses are being built in New Zealand. This is a recent phenomenon. In many parts of the country, increases in demand for housing are now outstripping supply.


Over the past few years a consensus has developed in New Zealand. We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.

This is an issue that should concern all New Zealanders. It threatens a fundamental part of our culture, it threatens our communities and, ultimately, it threatens our economy.

The good news is that we can turn the situation around. We can deal with the fundamental issues driving the home affordability crisis. Not just with rinky-dink schemes, but with sound long-term solutions to an issue that has long-term implications for New Zealand’s economy and society.

National has a plan for doing this and we will be resolute in our commitment to the goal of ensuring more young Kiwis can aspire to buy their own home.

As you may have guessed, that speech was from way back in 2007. So how are we doing after seven “long years” of National’s leadership and action on the “fundamental issues”? Not so good:

Home ownership rates drop

New Zealand’s home ownership rate is now the lowest it has been for 64 years, Statistics NZ says.

(Note that the Stats NZ numbers quoted don’t match Key’s – where did he get his?)

Gosh, why did National fail so badly? They’re so good with the economy, aren’t they?

55 comments on “National’s leadership on home ownership ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “They’re so good with the economy, aren’t they?”

    Of course, they’re good at marshalling the numbers and the accounting tricks to get everything to line up and maximising the black numbers while minimising the red.

    Not so good when it comes to dealing with humans and basic human requirements like shelter, though.

    They manage the economy for the sake of the economy. Not for the sake or benefit of humans.

    • Peter 1.1

      …. so true … they manage by numbers ….. they don’t get out of bed thinking about the consequences of their policies on our society …….. what’s good for me must be good for everyone else is the philosophy. An interesting bunch of people on the Right.

  2. Rob 2

    So good with the economy yeah right
    Time for that tui or is that a glass of milk!!

  3. Chch_chiquita 3

    Why isn’t this speech splashed all over the MSM with a demand for his resignation?

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    National’s Rock Star Economy :

    @NZQandA : Rock star economy? Yeah, ROCKS for the less wealthy and wealth for the STARS!— Clem Geo Pin (@clemgeopin) May 16, 2015

    • Phil 4.1

      There are few things on the internet as sad as seeing someone shill their own tweet. It’s a short step from this to ‘like’-ing your own Facebook posts.

  5. Skinny 5

    The ad men will be working on the foreign owned banks new 50 year mortgage campaign advert as I type.
    I’ll give them a catch phrase they can use;

    “When you take out a mortgage with us we aren’t just partner for life so are your children.”

    • Clemgeopin 5.1

      mortgage (death pledge)


      From Anglo-Norman mortgage, Middle French mortgage, from Old French
      mort gage (“death pledge”), after a translation of judicial Medieval Latin mortuum vadium or mortuum wadium, from mortuum + vadium or wadium, of Germanic (Frankish) origin, from a root *waddi, wadja.

  6. red-blooded 6


    Do you mean something like, “…a partner not just for your life, but also for your children’s”?

    • Skinny 6.1

      You got it stickler lol.

      • Hanswurst 6.1.1

        Not trying to flame, but I don’t think it’s being a stickler. That sort of thing makes comments impenetrable once they get much longer than three sentences.

  7. leftie 7

    Just like John key’s forked tongue, (read it and be sick), 2007 Press Club speech on democracy, and freedom of political expression in his attack on the Electoral Finance Act , John key was lying his head off.

    To say one thing but do another has always been the way John key operates.

    <a href="

  8. Sable 8

    Its the same issue Australia had when Howard was in office. They solved the issue in par by limiting foreign ownership to new developments and not allowing the purchase of existing property. It did work in part but the issue then became one of enforcement which they claim to be currently clamping down on:

  9. Saarbo 9

    I get sick of hearing about “supply side constraints” being the reason for the Auckland housing crisis, of course we are going to be having “supply issues” when we are trying to satisfy the “investment housing demands” of people living on the other side of our planet. Lets deal with this issue first.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Why not deal with Kiwi property speculators who own 10, 20, 50, 100 houses first?

      Too politically difficult?

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        Because the justification for overseas investors buying houses in NZ is less than the justification for Kiwi property speculators buying houses in NZ.

        Overseas investors can buy properties in their own country first. Kiwi property speculators are doing that.

        So, lets resolve the problem that is both easier to solve, and has less justification for existing, and then turn our attention to the kiwi property speculators.

        • Colonial Viper

          Well, 14 or so years after the start of the Auckland housing bubble I guess we should be doing something, anything.

          • Lanthanide

            Yes, so again, lets start with the easy things, before we try and handle the difficult things, get bogged down and give up?

            • Colonial Viper

              In 6-8 years time, a typical Auckland house will be $2M (if the bubble doesn’t burst). So what ever we want to try, and we should do it all, and we should do it now.

              • Weepus beard

                and we should do it all

                Halting all immigration is in there. You advocate doing it all so you must advocate that too.

                • Colonial Viper

                  the way i would do it is this: you get immigration points for real investment and settling in the regions. if you are heading to Auckland: it is twice as hard.

                  • cogito

                    “settling in the regions”

                    Like Dargaville? Like the couple of secondary school teachers who were brought out to teach at the local High School with the promise of a fantastic lifestyle? They lasted TWO DAYS and were on the next plane out again.

                    …. Or the bright young primary school teacher who arrived in NZ to start a new teaching job in an “idyllic location”. Was in Mangamaire. You know where that is? The poor teacher thought she’d landed on then dark side of the moon.

        • Chooky

          +100 Lanthanide

        • Saarbo

          Yep, agree.

          Kiwi speculators need to be dealt with too.

    • Keith 9.2

      Nick Smith needs this straw man and has to say its supply because its hurting National. The alternative is to tell the truth and admit they really couldn’t give a shit!

      • Brendon Harre 9.2.1

        +1 to National not giving a shit. All their housing policies have been tokenism.

        Supply (in the up and out directions) is part of the problem. As is demand -investors targeting capital gain, foreign investment, immigration…

  10. irascible 10

    When you are a weather cock PM you suffer from convenient short term memory loss and never ever have to admit that you lied.

  11. Keith 11

    It certainly suits the National voter demographics to have lowering home ownership, because they have become the “Rentier” class. Keep the “muppets” (as I heard one woman refer to first home buyers) out of the buyers market so they have to rent and the Rentier can make plenty of money out of them.

    Honestly given how bad Auckland’s housing market is, not to mention other areas, surely no government could be so inept so this has to be Nationals intent!

  12. Sabine 12

    oh well no worries

    all will be well.

    nothing to see here
    nothing at all

    look over there
    phil twyford and the labour party are racists.

    But other than to say he felt “totally relieved” and it was a “huge misunderstanding”, Mr Liu declined to comment on the assault charges dropped last month after his partner and her mother recanted their statements to the police.

    The prosecution catapulted him into the spotlight when the Herald revealed Government Minister Maurice Williamson called police to make “sure somebody had reviewed the matter to ensure we were on solid ground as Mr Liu is investing a lot of money in New Zealand”.

    This led to his resignation as a Minister a few months before the election.

    Mr Williamson also lobbied for the political donor to be granted New Zealand citizenship because of his potential investment and cut the ribbon at the opening of the refurbished Boulevard Hotel with the Prime Minister John Key.

    Four years later, Mr Liu says the potential of the site of the former Carlton Bowling Club is about to be fulfilled.

  13. Mrs Brillo 13

    A man with a plan. And that plan was, apparently, to sell the country to foreigners bit by bit for the modern day equivalent of axes and blankets (hold the muskets).

    NACT government + rapacious real estate agents + offshore speculators = Perfect Storm.

    • Liberal Realist 13.1


      You could add (specifically to the ‘man’s plan’)
      sign the TPPA
      Fuck off to Hawaii for a planet key vacation
      Then off to the new job at the Fed for more pillaging

  14. old school 14

    As far as our National corporation guided governance is concerned,the housing market shall find its level playing field as the market dictates,therefore allowing their Minister to tamper with a soft hand and turn it on the market.

    However,the slaved worker remains at a low of not only affordability of saving for a deposit for a home,but also at a rate of affordability to pay a rent.Now that minimum pay rate the market does not dictate as it is dictated by the governing Government and A MINIMUM wage rate of $20.00per hour,may recall the 50!s 60!s70!s days of a hourly wage rate of affording joining the Kiwi dream of home ownership.

    • aerobubble 14.1

      Min wage will hurt jobs. NO. Its just pathetic how ignorance of the subject matter let’s simplification reach such ludicrous levels. Although Hooton isn’t he just is brought and paid for. Take pollution, the west has caused the carbon pollution, now China is supposed to stay poornd not add to the carbon crisis, but here’s Hootons analysis, that China is worse than us, China will never reach our car ownership levels, we,be collective gotten carbon happy, and Hooton thinks, knows that’s okay, really!

      Too many of the issues in nz have invited twerps like Hooton on to make the right look over simplistic and justified in doing as little as possible. Classic govt talking head. Nine to news should chuck out Hooton and Williams who just let’s Hooton rock his meaningful distractions passed him.

  15. NZBC 15

    The issue has been needlessly racialised.

    The fact is there is no cultural peculiarity of the Chinese that has led to this issue, if indeed overseas Chinese investment is a significant part of this problem.

    It is simply a macro-economic issue, and the Chinese, simply due to this particular stage of their economic development, are the ones with spare cash.

    Spare cash will try and find investment vehicles and it is for the NZ government to legislate against this if this is not in the best interests of the country. So the fault lies with the government, not with the Chinese investor.

    In fact the issue could be thus reframed :

    “Greedy kiwi homeowners shutting out their fellow countrymen from home ownership by selling out to foreign interests”

    The source of the money, or the race of the person with the money should be irrelevant.

    However Labour has stirred shit up so that many New Zealanders are going round with “the Chinese the Chinese the Chinese” bouncing round inside his head – the “Chinese” are the problem.

    This is something whites are typically spared.

    The fact that a disproportionate number of people who screwed up the world economy in 2008 were white does not have people going round thinking that crash was a ‘white’ problem.

    Yet only someone completely blinkered could deny that many see this latest housing crisis as a ‘chinese’ problem.

    Again what about the greedy local homeowners –many of them baby boomers, and many of them white.

    And I want to ask this – you want to sell your house —some local offers you 500 grand. Then an overseas Chinese offers you 650 grand, say. How many of you are going to reject the overseas offer? What would your typical NZr do? Be honest now.

    Actually- we well know the answer to this question —if the extent of offshore acquisition of NZ homes is as Labour would have you believe.

    • cogito 15.1

      “And I want to ask this – you want to sell your house —some local offers you 500 grand. Then an overseas Chinese offers you 650 grand, say. How many of you are going to reject the overseas offer? What would your typical NZr do? Be honest

      Personally, I would either
      1. sell my house privately and thereby keep some control on who I sold it to or
      2. I would give clear instructions to the real estate agent about who I would be happy selling to.

      I would want my house to go to a good kiwi family.

  16. Mike Steinberg 16

    I suspect that National hold the view that neo-liberal view that high immigration levels and overseas investment drive economic success even though they are pushing house prices out of reach for a significant proportion of the population. Ex-Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell has pointed out those demand factors along with restrictions on supply unsurprisingly have resulted in high prices.

    As Reddell points out the inward level of migration could be reduced to take the heat out of the market. It’s something Minister Michael Woodhouse could implement, but presumably holds the same view as MBIE and Treasury?

    Reddell has made OIA requests regarding official advice on the economic impacts of current inward migration levels.

    “I have had Official Information Act requests in for some time with Treasury and MBIE for copies of advice to ministers on the economic impacts of immigration, and on the target level of permanent residence approvals. As is customary with government agencies, the responses to the requests have both been extended/delayed. These aren’t particularly time-sensitive requests, but I will be interested to see what the departments have had to say. MBIE is well-known to be strongly pro-immigration, and I have heard reported that current Secretary to the Treasury (himself a temporary migrant) recently reiterated in private a view that “immigration is good; it is as simple as that” (repeating the tenor of comments in a speech earlier this year). Perhaps, but let’s see the argumentation, in the specific context of New Zealand, and in the light of cross-country economic history and experience.”

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Ex-Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell has pointed out those demand factors along with restrictions on supply unsurprisingly have resulted in high prices.

      The willingness of banks to lend ever larger amounts of money on exactly the same house needs to be heavily curbed.

  17. old school 17

    And the Kiwi view,just basic $20 a hour for our labour home slaved payment,or are we just like some text book this is how we read its to be.This is our knowing,what is your excuse to care,what is your protection number,is not that the way it is.Pin numbered for your pride,value and care Is social care the care knowing,or the numbers secret.

  18. old school 18

    Labour wanabe government,yous have lost the roots to your knowings birth.

    • Thom Pietersen 18.1

      Utter, complete BS – Workers party, supporting workers rights, including housing, and getting a fair share from the monied elite. What’s changed in those roots? This is a rightful move back.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        Labour has always been a pro-capitalist pro-ruling class party – to a greater or lesser extent.

  19. Paul 19

    Martin Bradbury speaks truth to power.

    ‘The only reason National are calling this racism is because they don’t want any scrutiny of their own contacts with China. Jenny Shipley, Don Brash, Ruth Richardson and Chris Tremain are Director’s of the China Construction Bank, Judith Collins interaction with Chinese Officials to help her hubbies Chinese Company, Oravida, to gain more Chinese money is now a thing of legend, and Maurice Williamson’s love affair with Donghua Liu saw him become Liu’s personal handyman when doing up Liu’s batch and heavying the Police to drop domestic violence charges.’

  20. old school 20

    What parargraph was your page turn to,is not that the idiocy of the labour intelegent numbered knowings belief,just dare.

    Hows the houses heat,is the rivers flow upsetting the draft of our homes care.What is your name,what political party do you say you are from.

  21. old school 21

    The debt of my capitalist progress shall decide my owning and stand.Dare let the socialist knowing germinate.

  22. Melanie Scott 22

    Boy, Old School seems to have put some words in a shaker and just typed them as they came out on his/her snakes and ladders board. I can’t think of any other explanation for the pot porri above. Alternatively his/her keyboard is on something very whacky.

  23. Smilin 23

    Recently 850gs in 20 min for a house auction do the math one bloody big bubble

  24. National has a plan for doing this…

    To be fair, back in 2007 people hadn’t figured out yet that Key baldly lies about stuff like this. By the time he was claiming to have a plan to end whaling in the southern ocean, the punters had learned to ask “What plan? Tell us your plan.”

  25. Smilin 25

    Old school you are senile go back to school and learn some grammar

  26. old school 26

    What is your PIN number.Got you insulting.What care.

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