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NRT: This is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, July 13th, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: capital gains, Economy, housing, tax - Tags: , ,


Reposted from No Right Turn
The median Auckland house “earned” more than a backbench MP last year:

New Zealand house sales and median prices rose in June, with Auckland’s median house price rising a record 26 per cent to $755,000 over the past year, amid signs that supply shortages and surging prices in the country’s largest city may be prompting buyers to look elsewhere.

The number of houses sold nationwide increased 29 per cent to 7,426 in June compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

This is what a bubble looks like: when your house “earns” a top-end salary just by existing. And its a perfect example of why we need a capital gains tax. If it had been earned honestly, that $156,000 would be taxed at the appropriate marginal rate (meaning 33% for most of it). The failure to plug this loophole allows wealthy property-owners to reap enormous incomes without paying a cent of tax on them. And that is simply wrong.

Meanwhile, those MPs with multiple Auckland properties are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

48 comments on “NRT: This is wrong”

  1. fisiani 1

    Capital Gains taxes do not stop housing bubbles in Australia or London, why would anyone think they would work in Mosgiel, Wairoa and Masterton and Auckland?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Are you pretending that’s the only policy available?

      Why? What possible reason would make you want to look so stupid?

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Who said they do not work elsewhere? Perhaps the situation would be even worse without one. Saying that there is a problem in X and they have a Y policy therefore the Y policy is a failure is silly in the extreme.

    • Brendon Harre 1.3

      Land value taxes might be more effective than capital gains taxes.

      In any case housing reform requires political will (sadly lacking from JK) and a combination of supply and demand reforms.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    “Laughing all the way to the bank” – not when the bubble bursts. They’ll be servicing $1M loans for $400k properties. Perhaps less.

  3. dukeofurl 3

    “One big Auckland real estate agency, where many salespeople are of Chinese ethnicity, was selling almost every single property throughout many suburban areas to people living in China, the insider said.

    In some cases, those buyers had a New Zealand connection “but it’s one group disenfranchising the other. It’s really taken off in the last 18 months. I’ve been studying the figures since October.”

    • Paul 3.1

      From the same article.
      ‘Mainland Chinese money snapped up at least 80 per cent of residential sales in parts of Auckland in March but were nearer 90 per cent in May, a whistle blower from the industry says.’

    • Phil 3.2

      t’s really taken off in the last 18 months. I’ve been studying the figures since October.”

      Erm… does not compute?

  4. vto 4










  5. Colonial Viper 5

    There needs to be an entire programme of steps designed to make buying and renting Auckland houses affordable again. Banning foreign ownership of NZ land, a CGT, strict lending limits on investment properties and disincentivising owning large property portfolios are just a few of what needs to be very many different measures.

    • Weepus beard 5.1

      Oh, so now you do want to ban foreign ownership.

      Make up your mind.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Maybe if you bothered to pay attention where I said on Jul 11:

        “I’m all for Labour proposing a gutsy and comprehensive ban on foreign purchases of NZ land. But they haven’t have they.”

        Auckland property buyers

        • Weepus beard

          I’m tired of you not seeing the wood for the trees.

          Twyford has opened a debate on a topic which is a serious problem for the young and working people of this country, but which has been silenced for too long.

          Some of you want to make this a race issue, and some of you want to make it about normal Chinese New Zealanders feeling uncomfortable at house auctions, but I think you all know this is about cheap foreign money coming out of a very unstable and very interfered with market in a country which hasn’t had an democratic election in its entire history.

          • Colonial Viper

            Mate I’m fucking tired of your bullshit. And your stupidity in believing that cutting out foreign buyers is going to make Auckland housing affordable again. When all it will do is slow down the rate of houses crossing the million dollar threshold.

            Face the facts, Labour have done this move to win votes from upper middle class kids who are finding that they can’t find nice houses at $700K any more, because of foreign buyers.

            This is nothing to do with helping a family trying to make ends meet on the average wage of $50K pa into their own affordable $300K home.

            And I didn’t make this a race issue, Labour did. Twyford had every opportunity to say this is about hot speculative money flowing in from overseas, China is

            The Auckland property bubble has been zooming up since 2001/2002 and now Labour decides its time to target the Chinese eh, when they are too gutless to even hold the line on their very own CGT policy.

      • adam 5.1.2

        Oh please Weepus beard – are you being smug or plain obtuse or something else?

        Seriously again with some people who are reading comments till they get to the bit they don’t like then turning off. What, can’t you face the fact a labour MP is a chauvinist small-minded twit?

        Newsflash – some labour MP’s act like their part of the Tory scum too.

        I like my left-wingers to not be racists thanks – that’s a right-wing virtue.

        • Weepus beard

          Mate, are you, here and now, calling Phil Twyford a racist?

          Please confirm.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’ll speak up. Phil Twyford played out a political strategy in the media that he knew would cause racial divisions and which would likely piss off Kiwi Chinese like myself. But like you and dukeofurl, he thought a bit of collateral damage was worth it.

            • Phil

              So… It’s OK for Twyford to be a little bit racist? But not too racist?

              • Colonial Viper

                Who the fuck knows. Obviously Twyford, Little and the advisors in the Leaders Office poured over the numbers, and the internal polling, and thought what the fuck, there is electoral upside here let’s just do it.

                I reckon they’ve fucked up and wondered off into the middle of a mine field but hey, these are smart guys, maybe they know better than me.

                • OMBE

                  “the internal polling, and thought what the fuck, there is electoral upside here let’s just do it”…….maybe that is the strategy, try and take votes off Winston First, and dont expect to retain the Chinese vote they currently have ? I wonder is that gem came from the Gould/Corban Gin Review ?

              • Sacha

                He’s a little bit pregnant.

  6. Clean_power 6

    The problem: Inequality. The solution: higher income taxes;
    The problem: Obesity. The solution: a fast-food tax, a sugar tax;
    The problem: Global warming. The solution: a carbon tax;
    The problem: Child poverty. The solution: higher taxes;
    The problem: House bubble. The solution: a capital gains tax.

    NRT seems to be believe that taxes are a panacea, a fix-it-all.

    • Paul 6.1

      Of course you believe in the trickle down theory and other zombie neoliberal doctrines that have been proved to have failed since the cult of Randian thinking took over the treasuries of western countries in the 1980s.

      Tax is a fair way of organising advanced societies.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Well government essentially has three major tools at it’s disposal to tackle a problem:

      1. Make a law or regulation to act as a legal disincentive

      2. Introduce a tax to act as a market disincentive

      3. Rely on education to introduce social disincentives

      You have mentioned four real problems, inequality, obesity, global warming and house price inflation to which govts have responded with various forms of taxation. If you want to argue that the either of the other two tools would have been more effective – I’m all ears.

      Or maybe you are really arguing for the only option in the Tory Toolkit – pretend there isn’t a problem and ignore it.

      • Paul 6.2.1

        He’s just a troll, here to derail, distract and derange those wanting to discuss topics rationally.

        • Clean_power

          I’m sorry Paul, but that seems to be your standard reply. You put the label troll on anyone who disagrees with you. A cop out.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.2

        Well government essentially has three major tools at it’s disposal to tackle a problem:

        That is of course the truth in the modern day of shrunken neoliberal government.

        In the 1930s and 1940s, if the Government wanted carbon sinks (forests), houses or steam engines, it built them itself.

        And if it was short of cash to do these things, it would issue credit to itself at no cost to pay for them.

    • Weepus beard 6.3

      Hey Clean_power. Imagine how many people would be still smoking if there were no tax on cigarettes and they cost $3.00/pack.

  7. Paul 7

    This is wrong…….

    ‘Mainland Chinese money snapped up at least 80 per cent of residential sales in parts of Auckland in March but were nearer 90 per cent in May, a whistle blower from the industry says.

    The Herald reported at the weekend Labour data that showed people of Chinese descent accounted for 39.5 per cent of the almost 4000 Auckland transactions between February and April.

    Yet Census 2013 data showed ethnic Chinese who are New Zealand residents or citizens account for only 9 per cent of Auckland’s population.

    The property insider – who wanted to protect their identity because they feared for their job – said the situation was much more serious than the Labour data suggested.

    The numbers should be more than doubled due to the weight of capital coming out of Mainland China, the whistle blower said.

    One big Auckland real estate agency, where many salespeople are of Chinese ethnicity, was selling almost every single property throughout many suburban areas to people living in China, the insider said.

    In some cases, those buyers had a New Zealand connection “but it’s one group disenfranchising the other. It’s really taken off in the last 18 months. I’ve been studying the figures since October.”

    “The Kiwis, South Africans and British have dropped out of the market because they just can’t compete with the Chinese. The people living in China buy the places the Kiwis are trying to get, then those places are rented out the next day,” the insider said.

    That showed the person is in an important position in the property sector with extensive access to information unavailable to the public revealing who the buyers really are.

    “We’re becoming tenants in our own country. It’s utterly outrageous. The Chinese are interested in Panmure, Ellerslie, Greenlane, Epsom, Remuera, the North Shore – not so much the west.”
    In some cases, a single Chinese resident was spending up to $15 million on Auckland properties and the higher the bidding at auctions went, the happier they were.

    “They simply don’t care how much they pay. It’s not related to the CV. If they pay another $400,000 more, that’s $400,000 they’re better off as it’s $400,000 they have shifted out of Mainland China. If they continue vacuuming up all the existing properties at the current rate of consumption, what will that do? The Chinese will outbid everyone at the auction. I’m sick of the phone bidder from Guangzhou. I’m relieved that someone at last is talking about this,” the insider said of Twyford’s data.’


    • Weepus beard 7.1

      This has to stop.

      Only ladder-kickers would disagree.

      • Paul 7.1.1

        Like pr, clean power, etc

        • Weepus beard


          • Enough

            No. You are wrong, Weepus. Not all “baby boomers” agree with the insidious actions – or rather inactions – of this odious government. The absence of an effective CGT, stamp duties and yes, death duties in this country is ridiculous. I’m deeply concerned about my kids’ inability to buy a home in their own country. And, I’m also aware of the many, many young people who see multiple property ownership as the route to success in life. Why wouldn’t they with the tax incentives available? It’s not an age argument, but a political, economic and fiscal one.

            • Weepus beard

              Apologies, Enough.

              I’ll amend to: National voting baby-boomers.

  8. Adrian 8

    I’ve been lucky enough to have just spent a few months in Europe and one of the joys was reading the Guardian when I could. London has the same problem with vast amounts of off-shore cash buying up rental housing and the issue was treated properly in well written whole pages there.
    One of the major reasons for this great influx of cheap money from China is that the Chinese Government plans for the renimbi to replace the USDollar as the worlds reserve currency. At the moment it can’t as there is very little asset backing for it, the Chinese sharemarket can’t hold a candle to the US ones, the banking system is rife with problems and Chinese off shore assert holdings are minuscule compared to the US, hence the billions being made available to domiciled “investors” to buy up real estate in the few countries stupid enough to believe in completely open markets.

  9. keyman 9

    baby boomer really have screwed the following generations pure greed nothing but greed we need to take revenge on them we are paying there fukin super as well while our will be cut

  10. G C 10

    People borrowing almost One Million Dollars for average, uninsulated, damp houses in Auckland reeks of ‘Tulip Mania’. NZ when compared to other OECD countries has extremely over priced housing.

    I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest demand for Auckland housing is tapering off though, so this craziness will continue. Eventually we will reach ‘peak house’. If the ball rolls backwards – people will be crying all the way to the bank.

    • Thom Pietersen 10.1

      I’m keen to put my savings into Waa waa dumbnuts bailout. It is what will happen.

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