Parnell Ponzi; When are National going to Act on Housing?

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, July 15th, 2015 - 176 comments
Categories: accountability, China, Economy, housing, john key, Steven Joyce - Tags: , ,

Now that we know the extent of non dom involvement in our housing market, the Government needs to act. Instead, all we’ve heard from the Nats is laughable holier than thou posturing on race and a variation on the usual whine that Labour did it too.

However, on the latter matter, Labour recognised there was a problem late in the Clark Government. The 2008 Housing Report was a comprehensive look at the state of the property market. The election later that year ended any possibility of change as a result of the survey.

On the former, the National Party (and their dependant contractor Act) have zero credibility in that area. Kiwi not Iwi, Orewa, Hone Carter anyone?

But, to move on, National need to pull finger and end foreign speculation today. They have the ability, but do they have the will power?

There seems to be a consensus that the figures presented by Labour on the weekend are reasonably accurate. If so, it’s clear that there has been a rapid rise in offshore sales. The BNZ’s Tony Alexander said just two years ago that his analysis was that 9% of buyers came from offshore nationally, with 11% of Auckland house buyers coming from offshore.

Aleaxander’s figures suggested that in nationwide sales, people from the UK were most represented, with 18%, followed by China with 15% and Australia with 14%. In Auckland the Chinese were the biggest individual group, with 19%.  Labour’s figures show that those demographics have skewed significantly toward China.

We now know that foreign non dom purchases have rocketed and are seriously distorting the market, shutting out local residents. This needs action, not bluster. However, all Steven Joyce can offer is that official statistics will start to be taken from October. However, it appears, he intends to keep the results secret, so that’s no help at all. Even Fran O’Sullivan is calling bullshit on that weak response*.

What National need to do right now is declare a temporary moratorium on sales to non-residents. Stop the sales dead. Now.

Then put legislation through that echoes the Australian system, where overseas investors can only put their money into building new houses. Because new houses is the issue. That addresses the supply side of the equation, which underpins the NZ housing crisis. When they are less houses than there is demand for them, prices rise. Only lifting the supply can stabilise prices.

If National don’t want to write their own legislation, they can borrow from the opposition. All three parties are committed to ending foreign speculation. They all have similar plans ready to go. National should recognise this situation for the nationwide problem it is and approach it on a cross party, collegial basis. That’s the leadership New Zealand needs.

The second thing National needs to do now is commit to building truly affordable housing. Not half million dollars, middle class affordable, but affordable to the minimum wage, fire at will Kiwis that National are entrenching as an underclass. We have the workers, we have the timber. All we lack at the moment is the willpower in Cabinet.

It is a national disgrace that our home ownership rates are at an all time low. If we are not to become tenants in our land, John Key and his cronies need to put the interests of New Zealand ahead of their personal fortunes. Sure, it’s great for Key that his personal portfolio of McMansions is rocketing in worth, but it does the rest of us no favours at all.

The market is failing us, John. The Parnell Ponzi scheme must end. It’s up to you to show real leadership. Kiwis are angry. Soon they are going to turn that anger on you. If you don’t act you are going to be chucked out next election. It’s that simple.

 

*Edit: Fran O’Sullivan has been raising the stats issue for some time. See her comment below. TRP

176 comments on “Parnell Ponzi; When are National going to Act on Housing?”

  1. Bob 1

    “Now that we know the extent of non dom involvement in our housing market”
    Really TRP??? Do you know the Real Estate Agency whose sales were utilised? Do they specialise in helping to set up new Chinese immigrants when they arrive in NZ? Do they have a predominantly Chinese sales force that target Chinese buyers?
    We don’t KNOW anything from Labour’s publicity stunt, but you seem to have taken the figures as gospel.

    I agree that there should be a register of foreign buyers at minimum so we can track sales to see how bad the issue is, but taking these numbers as gospel opens up a whole can of worms. Imagine the outcry if Slater was able to check beneficiary details for ‘Pacifica sounding last names’ or ‘Maori sounding last names’, would you take those figures as gospel also? Or see it for the ridiculous, racially based politicking it actually is?

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Fair old stack of hay you’ve dressed up there Bob.

      No-one has said the Labour party figures are gospel. Everyone accepts the methodology is less than perfect. But equally no-one has been able to demonstrate why they must be hopelessly wrong either.

      Your comparison with Maori is beyond silly. For example if the govt refused to record or report ethnic breakdowns in prisons – and Labour released a survey based on ‘Maori sounding surnames’ to indicate that Maori were probably grossly over-represented – would you be huffing and puffing about racist profiling?

      • Bob 1.1.1

        “No-one has said the Labour party figures are gospel”
        Read TRP’s first line of this entire post again “Now that we know the extent of non dom involvement in our housing market”, TRP seems to KNOW something now thanks to Labours fudged numbers, so at the very least TRP IS taking them as gospel.

        “Your comparison with Maori is beyond silly. For example if the govt refused to record or report ethnic breakdowns in prisons – and Labour released a survey based on ‘Maori sounding surnames’ to indicate that Maori were probably grossly over-represented – would you be huffing and puffing about racist profiling?”
        I wouldn’t be huffing and puffing, no. The same way I haven’t been huffing and puffing about Labours latest numbers, I would simply ignore them until I spot the ignorant taking them as gospel, THEN I would start huffing and puffing.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          TRP is making what is called a ‘reasonable assumption’. Real people in the real world do this all the time in order to get things done.

          Demanding perfect data is usually just a form of paralysis by analysis.

          On the other hand – seeing as how you are so clever with data – how about you provide information you can demonstrate is better?

          • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1

            Exactly, the school decile numbers are ‘calculated’ by assigning people an income based on what street they live in.
            Instead of looking at surnames they are using ‘street names’ , its an accepted calculation technique. But on an individual level of course it doesnt match a particular household.

            • Bob 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That is based on accurate information from the latest census, not a guess based on some sales from a random Real Estate agent!

              • More than 4000 sales in a 3 month period, scientifically analysed. You may not like the results, Bob, but the maths stands up and the implications for NZ are clear. Just as an aside, most political polls use a sample base of less than a thousand, so 4k plus is more than just a guess.

                • Bob

                  From one company! It’s like saying, 100% of Skinny mobiles sales are Pre-Paid, so the entire country only uses pre-paid mobiles, it’s bullshit!
                  Who are the company? How do they operate? What % of their sales staff purely target Chinese buyers? It IS a fucking guess!

                  • Nope. It’s an analysis of the firm’s sales in Ak over a 3 month period. It’s very specific and the parameters are as well defined as they could be. I note your not calling out the BNZ’s Tony Alexander, who came to a similar conclusion two years ago. Is he just guessing, too?

                    • Bob

                      “Nope. It’s an analysis of the firm’s sales in Ak over a 3 month period.”
                      Yes, ONE firms sales, are you saying all real estate companies run the same way? Was it this Real Estate company? http://www.propertyasia.co.nz/aboutus

                      “It’s very specific”
                      Yes, VERY specific, Danny Lee and John A Lee are both specifically Chinese…cos Labour thinks they specifically sound like they are Chinese

                      “parameters are as well defined as they could be”
                      This is the most accurate statement you have made, they COULDN’T be well defined, but we kind of defined them…as well as we could

                      “I note your not calling out the BNZ’s Tony Alexander”
                      HE AGREES WITH ME!!! “It is probable that the true proportion of Auckland houses being sold to Chinese investors located offshore lies somewhere between 5% and the 39.5% estimated this weekend based upon surname data from an unidentified real estate agency’s sales from February to April. The vacuum of accurate information means formulating policy to address rising concern about foreign buying of NZ houses is extremely difficult” – See more at: http://tonyalexander.co.nz/#sthash.Ak1419oB.dpuf

                      “Is he just guessing, too?” FUCKING YES!!!! He even stated that! We need a register of foreign buyers so we can have any form of accurate data, at the moment you and Labour are both showing how incompetent you are when it comes to statistical analysis by taking one companies sales numbers and extrapolating them over an entire industry, push for a foreign register, RELEASE SOME FUCKING POLICY but DON’T try to suggest these numbers are anything more than a guesstimate based on anecdotal evidence.

                    • You’re really struggling with this stuff, aren’t you? Alexander is an analyst. He doesn’t guess, he analyses data. That’s what Labour and the Herald did, too. You can’t wish away the results, no matter how hard you try.

                    • You_Fool

                      To be fair to labour Bob, their ham-fisted analysis did take into account that names were not 100% accurate in predicting nationality. The surname “Lee” was given a 40% probability of being ethnic chinese.

                      Also given the sales firm is a large % of the auckland market is is reasonable to say that they are probably a decent cross section of the market and not some specialty firm.

                      Also the data, whilst not perfect, is not too bad and it can be implied that there is a severe foreign investor problem in Auckland. yes we need better data, and yes Labour needed to present it better, but Rob Salmond showed the correctness of the assumptions better.

                      A group of 9% (chinese) of the population brought 40% of the homes
                      A similar group (in terms of socio-economic standings, monetary equity, etc) making up 6% (indian) of the population brought 9% of the homes. Something weird is happening with the first group, and it is reasonable to assume that offshore investment could be responsible. Especially since the same ethnic group is known to do the same in other countries.

                      There still needs to be real data on the issue and National need to do something about getting this data and making it available to analysts who can determine the actual issue and then policy can be formed to counter the issue. And yes this should have been done sometime over the past 10 years, but that doesn’t excuse not doing it now.

                  • Skinny

                    It’s not plucked out of their arse Bob and your deliberately side stepping the reason why a crude form of analysis is being employed.

                    I suggest you take a listen of some common sense on the real debate;

                    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Is-Winston-Peters-allowed-to-say-I-told-you-so/tabid/506/articleID/91230/Default.aspx

                  • Tracey

                    B & T isn’t just one firm in Auckland, it is THE firm in Auckland (based on its own advertising). It boast “500” Chinese agents, and recommends you use their chinese contacts including in china if you want to achieve the highest possible price in Auckland. This is from their own advertising material.

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70263555/barfoot–thompson-fires-employee-who-leaked-sales-data

          • Bob 1.1.1.1.2

            “On the other hand – seeing as how you are so clever with data – how about you provide information you can demonstrate is better?”
            You really have a reading comprehension issue don’t you? Read my post above: “I agree that there should be a register of foreign buyers at minimum so we can track sales to see how bad the issue is”, I can’t provide that information because it isn’t available, I have pushed to have a register of foreign buyers with my local MP and am telling others that are complaining to do the same, I am doing something practical rather than making unsubstantiated claims based on flawed data.

    • Sean Carroll 1.2

      Below is my reply to Bryce Edwards’ recent opinion piece in The NZ Herald, now your blog. Regards, Sean Carroll.

      Hi Bryce, I have felt moved by your blog (Political roundup: Labour’s dangerous racial politics). Its strident attack on Labour’s calling for strict controls on investment in Auckland land and property by non-residents seems shallow and only based on the fear of ‘racism’. You may be happy to see ‘investment’ of hot capital in Auckland property from overseas. I don’t. It is ‘investment’ that does nothing for the growth of our economy and is totally distorting the market but does shut out home ownership for my children’s generation in their own city. Disgraceful.
      The comfortably off middle class liberal’s bandwagon of ‘racism’ doesn’t stick. Get a better grip on the logics of the situation, read Bryan Gould’s piece (Banks fuel housing market by ‘creating’ money), think about the laws of demand and supply and then consider the soon to be actioned release of many billions of dollars of private Chinese investors’ capital. Then consider the big picture of China and the USA trying to stake their claims and muscling up in the Pacific and Asia. Think TPPA. We are bit players in a big game. The least we can do is look after our own as best we can. We’ve sold most of our infrastructural and business assets, do we also hand over our land and dwellings as well?
      By the way, my children are half Chinese and half Irish Kiwi. Yes, my wife of 40 years agrees with what I am writing. She is Chinese and is not stupid, she is brighter than some of the opinionated bloggers that infest modern media. Get over your childish middle-class affectation, ask why this negligent administration did not start gathering purely accurate data two years ago when Auckland’s prices starting ramping up. The Labour move was clumsy, no doubt, but at least it highlights the need for good data. It also is making a stand for the New Zealand resident and citizen, my children and their many peers of many heritages. Who are you making a stand for?

  2. Fran O'Sullivan 2

    TE REO PUTAKE – “Even Fran O’Sullivan” – Give me a break I was writing about the need for comprehensive statistics months ago and have consistently been on the Government’s case.

    [Fair enough, Fran. I’ll put an edit in the post shortly. Any thoughts on the need for the Government to intervene? TRP]

  3. weka 3

    Where does the term ‘non dom’ come from?

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Just a short-hand for ‘non-domicile’ or non resident.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Yes, but I’m asking where the term comes from. No-one I know uses it. Is it a real estate thing?

        • ScottGN 3.1.1.1

          I think it came from the UK weka. Where whole suburbs of London have been priced into the stratosphere, hollowed out with empty properties as non-domiciled (for tax) money has reshaped the British capital.

          • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1

            No it isnt .
            Non Doms ARE residents, its their income thats considered non dom for tax purposes

            • ScottGN 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes that’s right. I was just suggesting to weka that the term (whatever it’s technical meaning) had come to us from the UK. The fact that we seem to have changed the definition in NZ to non-resident buyers is another matter.

              • dukeofurl

                In some cases here they have residency but effectively live and work overseas ( but the children go to school university here).
                Often because in China if you live in a big city your children cant attend school in that city unless YOUR parents were born in that city too.

            • Henry Filth 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Domicile and Residency are different.

        • joe90 3.1.1.2

          Yes, but I’m asking where the term comes from.

          1970’s tax exiles.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tax-exile-the-refuge-of-britains-richest-nondoms-781521.html

    • The first I was aware of the term was in a UK context, weka. It referred to wealthy people who wanted to minimise the personal tax they paid and who moved to mainland Europe, particularly France. As long as they kept a house in Europe and limited the time they spent in the UK, they did not have to pay the higher UK tax rates. I think the first time I saw the term it was in reference to Led Zep, who abandoned the UK in the late seventies. A similar arrangement for businesses also means that companies like Facebook can avoid tax on the massive earnings they make in the UK, because they are nominally based off shore.

      Here’s a good example:

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/budget-2015-david-camerons-australian-6050630

      • dukeofurl 3.2.1

        TRP, you are a bit back to front here.

        “he was abolishing the permanent entitlement to the non-domicile loophole that has let wealthy families live in Britain without paying tax on their overseas income.

        The LED ZEP was another situation where their income from British sources meant they lived overseas. They might have a ‘bolt hole’ in UK but legally dont live there

        • te reo putake 3.2.1.1

          Cheers, duke, spot on. Lynton Crosbie is an example of how distorted the policy has become; you don’t even need to live off shore to be treated as if you do.

          • dukeofurl 3.2.1.1.1

            I think we have our own kiwi UK ‘non dom’ in Sir Douglas Myers!- Im sure there are others

      • weka 3.2.2

        Interesting. Ok, so this is not the situation we are in in NZ and I’d suggest that it’s a confusing term to use and inaccurate. There seems to be lack of clarity around residency vs non-residency buyers, and the term non dom muddies that further.

        • te reo putake 3.2.2.1

          Don’t agree, weka. It’s a reasonably common term and I think its meaning does cover this situation as well. Non doms live in one country and profit in another. Certainly anybody reading this thread will now know what it means, if they didn’t before. And it’s quicker to type than non resident and sort of rhymes, so it’s functional and memorable!

          • dukeofurl 3.2.2.1.1

            Interesting that Key who is in Hawaii now , is a ‘non dom’ there:

            ‘From the wide, shady “lanai” deck of John Key’s $5.6 million Maui holiday home, the view of the Pacific Ocean and Wailea Beach is sweeping….
            Below is the gated community of Ho’olei, part of the Wailea Beach development on the southern side of Maui – 600ha of world-class resorts, 2000 condominiums and 500 private homes, three championship golf courses, a dozen world class restaurants, countless pools, several luxury spas and the 12-court Wailea Tennis Club.
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10550376

          • weka 3.2.2.1.2

            This conversation demonstrates that people don’t know what it means 😉

            “Non doms live in one country and profit in another.”

            Ok, so are you including NZers who live overseas but rent out their home in NZ?

            • te reo putake 3.2.2.1.2.1

              Me personally? No. I’m talking about investors who have no links to NZ.

              • Bill

                So you’re relaxed if somebody like Michael Faye was to own hundreds of properties and slews of farmland?

                See, this is where I think people simply aren’t drilling down to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the problem. We have an economic system that concentrates wealth and poverty. That concentration will inevitably lead to a few owning the majority of what can owned. Typically the ratio is around 20/80 – ie, 20% of those owning property own 80% of all property. That then suggests a very rough ratio of 1/50. As I commented elsewhere, that ratio is observed across many different systems and situations – it’s widely used as a rule of thumb in engineering and shows up in stats for global wealth accumulation, property ownership, commenting on ‘the standard’…etc.

                Deal with that (the ‘natural’ outcome of the market economy) and the overseas investor problem is solved simultaneously.

                Don’t deal with that and all you’re reduced to favouring one set of unscrupulous and/or selfish bastards over another set of unscrupulous and/or selfish bastards.

                • No, I’m not relaxed about it, Bill. It’s part of why I’m a socialist. But there is an immediate issue to deal with, so I’m writing about that.

                  • adam

                    I’m with bill on this one. I’d also like to point out why the housing bubble can’t be stopped – jobs. The Tory idiots have no plan – so the bubble is keeping a hell of a lot of people in work. If we stop the bubble, so to will a whole lot of jobs. I’m sure quite a few Tory MPs are having chest pains over that one.

                    This is the usual Tory form in their ideological committee to purity. It like letting Torquemada run you economy. It might look good for a few minutes – but basically you just ripping the guts out of society, which will take years to recover from.

                  • Bill

                    If 80% of all property will be in the hands of 20% of property owners, then what is taking foreigners out of the equation going to achieve?

                    I’ll tell you. Not a lot. All it will do is ensure that the 20% are NZ residents or citizens. The other 80%, and those who don’t own property, will be in the same boat that they are today.

                    What you and others are suggesting by ‘dealing with’ what you all see as an ‘immediate issue’ merely scales the lofty heights of hopeless deckchair shuffling.

                    • Far from it, Bill. There is an immediate problem that needs dealing with. I’m all for other structural changes, but if the heat isn’t taken out of the Auckland market ASAP, the whole country is going to be affected. It’s already spreading to the Waikato and the BOP and is distorting the markets there. If there isn’t intervention, there will be a generation rising who will never have a realistic chance of buying a house, nationwide. Alternatively, there may be a crash which will leave tens of thousands of Kiwis saddled with debts that are secured against properties that no longer have sufficient value. Either option is bad for NZ and, like climate change, we need to act now.

                    • weka

                      “I’ll tell you. Not a lot. All it will do is ensure that the 20% are NZ residents or citizens. The other 80%, and those who don’t own property, will be in the same boat that they are today.”

                      Yes and no. There are issues with overseas owners rather than residency ones that don’t exist otherwise and irrespective of the ratios/percentages. I agree with you that the debate isn’t going deep enough, and that it’s a huge problem to just deal with this at the level of ‘it’s China’s big bucks that are the problem’. It looks to me like Labour want to protect the NZ investor class.

                      trp, “There is an immediate problem that needs dealing with.”

                      I can’t seen any reason why Labour can’t deal with that issue at the same time as putting it in context, other than that Labour don’t want the context that Bill is talking about. It’s just economic tinkering.

                      “but if the heat isn’t taken out of the Auckland market ASAP, the whole country is going to be affected.”

                      Sorry mate, but it’s already in the rest of the country and has been for some time. I’ve talked elsewhere about what’s happened with rural land, but we all know that housing prices have been skyrocketing for decades now. What’s happening is that the current squeeze is affecting a certain percentage of the population in a harder way, but we’ve had a very long period of time of housing becoming more and more unaffordable (buying and renting), everywhere. The underlying reasons for that need to be addressed rather than just popping a bit of air out of the Auckland situation for a while.

              • weka

                “I’m talking about investors who have no links to NZ.”

                Then why are you using the term non dom, which you have just defined as someone who lives in one country and makes profit in another, and you’ve given the UK example which is specifically about citizens and how they make money? I’m not trying to have a go at you here trp, I just think there is confusion throughout this debate about what people are talking about and it’s going to help if we are clear what we mean.

                For instance, I’m still unclear if it’s a problem for NZ citizens/residents who are Chinese imigrants to bring in money from off shore to buy property in NZ. Or to gain citizenship and then live overseas and do the same. Feel free to replace Chinese with nationality of your choice of course, and understand I am using that example because that’s been one of the problems. People assume it’s about the Chinese in China, but I’m not yet convinced that that’s all that’s being discussed here.

                • Well, I’m clear about it and I explained where the term came from in answer to your question. The term isn’t going away and it’s reasonable to use it. But specifically, what I want stopped is investors with no links to NZ buying existing property. I think the Oz example is one way to do it. That still allows them to park their money here, but it helps grow the housing stock too.

                  • weka

                    “But specifically, what I want stopped is investors with no links to NZ buying existing property.”

                    Non-domicile – usually abbreviated to non-dom – status is a unique quirk of the UK tax system not shared by any other country. It allows ultra-wealthy individuals to be born, raised and reside in the UK, but still pay far less tax than a typical UK citizen, perfectly legally.

                    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/apr/07/non-dom-tax-status-living-working-paying-tax-uk

                    It’s not just you, Paul used it the other day too and it didn’t make sense. But hey, don’t let a little thing like effective communication get in the way.

                • Bill

                  I agree that the term ‘non-dom’ is been misused here.

                  Or maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I merely missed the focus on NZ citizens buying houses but who were dodging NZ tax by claiming to be domiciled elsewhere. Must have been all that hullabaloo about Chinese investors that wot did it. 😉

          • Paul 3.2.2.1.3

            I use the term all the times.
            It’s from the UK

  4. weka 4

    “Then put legislation through that echoes the Australian system, where overseas investors can only put their money into building new houses.”

    Who owns those houses and who owns the land they are built on?

    • vto 4.1

      The Aussie system is almost as useless.

      Forget the aussie system, just go straight to banning foreign ownership. Like China does ……………….

      Like China does

      Like China does

      Like China does

      (wtf do we beat ourselves up so much over something the Chinese do themselves ffs?)

      • Galeandra 4.1.1

        Because we signed a FT deal with China that prohibits restrictions on capital investments?

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          So how does China do it then given they are the other part of the FT deal?

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            The FT agreement specifically allows existing laws to continue as is, although has a dishwater weak term that the signatories will “progressively act to remove such existing laws”.

            • vto 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Figured as much, the tricky tricksters

              • Tracey

                don’t blame them, blame OUR negotiators

                • Colonial Viper

                  Labour Government led negotiators.

                • Colonial Viper

                  FTA with China “Just the beginning” – Helen Clark

                  BEIJING – New Zealand’s landmark Free Trade Agreement with China is “just the beginning” of a relationship which offers both nations significant benefits, Prime Minister Helen Clark says.

                  Speaking after the signing ceremony in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Miss Clark said it should not be treated simply as a clearing of tariff barriers.

                  “We should see it as a platform for growing the value of what we do in China,” she told reporters tonight.

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10502506

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      Mostly its apartments

      • weka 4.2.1

        who owns them and the land they are on?

        • Macro 4.2.1.1

          The sub-divisions I worked on where these were being built were overseas investors almost without exception. But how are we to know the full extent of the problem unless we have proper statistics? So good on Phil Tywford for asking the hard question- and sad so many have been on his case since.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            ok, maybe this is an idiot question, but when overseas investors build houses here, do they own the house and the land once the build is finished? i.e they can rent it out, or on sell it etc.

            Ditto land in subdivisions.

            • Macro 4.2.1.1.1.1

              They sell – but weka – the money does not stay in NZ. Like our overseas banks – the profits are shipped out.
              Take the Hobsonville sub-division. The land was released from the crown (a little used RNZAF airfield you may recall) Jim Anderton was instrumental in having it rezoned for housing. who bought it and who developed it? Australian developers. Plenty of NZ firms could do that sort of thing and NZers provided the manpower and the machinery. But the people behind the development weren’t NZers they were Australians, and the profit went out of this country over the ditch, just like our bank profits. And i worked on other subdivisions from other overseas countries. I’ve talked about the property I sold in Coatesville to an overseas buyer. 17 acres, now land banked, on a through road between Kumeu and Albany. 1/2 an hour on a good day from Auckland CBD (1 1/2 hours on a bad day). Idea for subdivision sometime in the future except its green belted and long may it remain so. If it ever was subdivided you can bet it will not be by a NZ firm.

              • weka

                Thanks Macro, that’s what I assumed but some people are so keen on the foreign investor thing for new housing that I thought I might be missing something. I can’t see that letting people from overseas build houses here and flog them off is a good path to go down. If there’s a profit motive and the profit goes overseas and that’s alongside a whole lot of new houses being bought and sold, doesn’t that just keep increasing prices?

  5. s y d 5

    “Kiwis are angry. Soon they are going to turn that anger on you”

    Sadly, I don’t think the (middle class) anger will be turned onto those who should be held responsible.
    The anger will be redirected and turned onto those who aren’t responsible but who are easily identifiable. I don’t think this is going to end well for anyone, except perhaps the speculators, whoever they may be.

    The same problem is now being exported out of Auckland and into the regions of NZ. The anger there will be directed at Aucklanders…..

    • weka 5.1

      When some Aucklanders are bragging about the Chinese paying more when they buy property, you know something is seriously wrong with this country. I also think that middle classes are blinded by their own portfolios and don’t even see how insane this situation is.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11478724

      • Macro 5.1.1

        I believe that the only thing propping this corrupt government up is the continuing price bubble of the Auckland Market. The sheeple don’t want to know anything else – so long as their house continues to grow in value at a rate more than they can earn in a year. National will do nothing about this because they know the people are happy. This is the brighter future they promised. Of course the whole thing will come crashing down in the end (and young NZers are being locked out of their birthright)- but by then Key will have his knighthood and be living in luxury in Hawaii.

        • Paul 5.1.1.1

          He’s hoping the Ponzi scheme will last till he’s signed the TPPA

        • David H 5.1.1.2

          Which in it’s self is a joke on Key, because the Yank’s don’t recognise knighthoods.

        • Lindsey 5.1.1.3

          My bit of Kingsland (bought in 1981) has gone up in value in the last valuation by about 9 times what I make in a year. That is ridiculous. My land “earns” 3 times what I do.

          • Tracey 5.1.1.3.1

            My bit of Mt eden is now going up by about 700 bucks a day… a DAY!

            CRAZY shit…

            Also, how leveraged are the aucklanders in their mortgaged homes? I would love to see those stats… what percentage of these rising value homes do we all actually own and how much is the banks?

            My neighbours just sold their property for 2.15m

            I went to open homes and the auctions. II remain staggered at the number of couples with children under 5 looking to buy homes of this value? here do they get the money?

  6. vto 6

    The government wont act – accept it.

    If they did house values would slump overnight with consequent carnage….

    …. to them politically.

    The unfortunate thing is the damage that this pressure is causing to our economy and our communities, which is considerable.

    High house values are bad for New Zealand. There is no benefit to high house values

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Better still all Key has to do is remain smugly silent while the left eviscerates itself as usual.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Well I don’t know about that…

        I suspect that beside the actual issue at hand Labour has in fact played a political hand designed, like Brash’s, to garner some other electoral support that it doesn’t normally attract. Little has been bold and really stepped out there with the party. It is, really, politically a big roundhouse smack to the side of the head of National and the wider electorate.

        I suspect very strongly that Labour polls will rise off the back of this

        So Key has a problem and he can’t sit smugly silent. Imo.

        • ScottGN 6.1.1.1

          Speaking of Key. Where the bloody hell is he?
          I suspect the Nats will try and pull off their usual token effort a la swamp kauri and zero hours to try and look like they’re doing something while not doing anything at all.

        • Pat 6.1.1.2

          the polls will not change until the pocket is emptier

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        Labour ran from its CGT… what will they really do? IF we accept their revelation and framing of the housing data was well thought through, what constituency were they appealing to?

        1. first home buyers?
        2. parents of those who would be first home buyers but aren’t?
        3. Zenophobes/racists?

        Anyone else?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          Labour ran from its CGT… what will they really do?

          Nothing new, that’s for sure. They might refer to some old policy from the start of 2014. But they aren’t going to head any further left in terms of economic sovereignty.

          And they aren’t going to do a thing to make Auckland housing affordable for the average worker on $50K pa.

          Nor are Labour going to suggest clamping down on foreign hot money flows in general.

          This is all about winning red meat votes.

    • David H 6.2

      And when the bubble bursts, what sort of carnage will there be then?

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        the very wealthy will but all the bottom priced properties and the cycle will begin again

  7. Roflcopter 7

    “What National need to do right now is declare a temporary moratorium on sales to non-residents. Stop the sales dead. Now.”

    Have fun trying that in the face of violating CER and other existing trade agreements.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      or have a land tax, or a stamp duty or all of them

    • Mark 7.2

      You still here. I thought you had gone home to mummy to have a cry.
      At least come up with something new when manage to put two words together.
      The same old line of we can’t do anything due to trade agreements has been circumvented repeatedly by other countries. It is not difficult so change the old worn out record.

      • Roflcopter 7.2.1

        Stopping sales dead is not circumvention…. try and keep up Mr Shadow.

        • Mark 7.2.1.1

          You mean like having a five year residency clause for people to be able to enter the property market. Couldn’t possibly do that within the FTA with China could we, fuckhead.

          • Roflcopter 7.2.1.1.1

            Nope… Labour made sure of that.

            • Mark 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Time you went and read it again fuckhead. Phil Goff will fill you in if want him to. Any conditions on investment must cover everybody which opens the door for restrictions of all varieties. Which is exactly what the Chinese do.
              You might have to get mommy to explain it to you. It might be above your pay grade.

              • Roflcopter

                Labour proscribed our terms, China proscribed theirs.

                Labour and China agreed to those terms, even though they’re different, and they signed an agreement.

                It would be awesome to have Phil Goof go over what Labour signed up to, why don’t you jump in a canoe and paddle off overseas to find him.

                • Mark

                  Go back and have another read fuckhead. I know being a sewer rat makes it hard to concentrate but do keep up. Its bad enough having to deal with fuckheads but thick ones are especially tiresome.

                  • Roflcopter

                    Look, I know reading and comprehension isn’t your strong point, and you really, really, really think it’s easy to change the agreement, even though you haven’t read it…. at all.

                    But it’s not.

                    Have another go…. *thumbs up*

                    • Mark

                      Once a fuckhead, always a fuckhead. But its the unbelievable arrogance that stands out the most from all your little insignificant posts.The arrogance is just dripping off every comment.
                      One thing that did interest me was that a right wing fuckwit knows Phil Goffs whereabouts. Jason will not be impressed at your slip up

                    • Roflcopter

                      Not like it’s hard to work out, since Twyford is currently Acting Spokesman for Ethnic Communities….

                      I guess Goff forgot to brief Twyford that the role is about promoting ethnic diversity in NZ, and not marginalising groups through racial profiling.

                      That you didn’t know that says more about you, are you always this stupid or is this a special occasion?

                      [Righto, you two. Cut the abuse and debate the issues. TRP]

  8. Smilin 8

    National- the market will sort it -yeah right the all power moderator -what do you need a govt for- thats right to sign away our sovereignty
    I heard somewhere the is a clause in the present free trade agreement that obliges us to accommodate Chinese commercial interest in the way they are practiced now

  9. maui 9

    National will sort it like they do with other issues lately. Ban on foreign land ownership will come in during 2019, although if a foreign buyer visits NZ at least once within 2 years of buying the property they will be deemed a “visiting buyer”, and all perfectly legal. 😉

    I wonder too that National probably doesn’t want to piss off their super-rich and just plain rich overseas mates by excluding them either. Then there’s the countless links that National MPs have to overseas businesses and business people. Would not go down well…

  10. greywarshark 10

    The second thing National needs to do now is commit to building truly affordable housing. Not half million dollars, middle class affordable, but affordable to the minimum wage,
    This point is sometimes forgotten when there is strong talk about needing housing. It is what housing, where?

    There were housing woes in the 60s-70s with large areas of city low-cost suburban housing with few shops, poor transport, no community amenities. This present gerfuffle represents another slide back to the past with all our achievements and learnings thrown out. Our library of intellectual repository seems to have vanished as if it had been burnt and we start again, dumber not wiser.
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/suburbs/page-5

    So Lifewise general manager Moira Lawler said her staff were increasingly seeing people in work and students without housing, as well as the traditional beneficiaries.
    “The minute they have work they lose their benefits, but there may be some time before they get their first pay,” she said. “Or they think they have work but it turns out that it’s a casual job and there’s no work this week so they don’t pay their rent and they get in arrears, so there is still this mess.
    “Some students have come here to university who think they have accommodation lined up and either it’s unaffordable or they couldn’t get anything to start off with.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11465703

    Some current facts and an anecdote that shows how aspirational people have difficulty being happy even when they have good fortune (ie looking for an apartment with sea views for $400,000).
    How many stories in these apartment buildings? Another 5723 apartments in 87 buildings are in the “active development pipeline” and set to be completed by late 2018. This represents a 20 per cent increase in apartment stock – to 32,000 apartments in 480 buildings.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11466270

    I am worried about quick fixes of over 6 stories high-rise apartments which if allowed, will cause social dysfunction, mental problems, and slums for existence not living.
    Got population growth requirements and set boundaries preventing expansion.
    Build up, right? To a certain extent yes, but not above the fifth floor, says world-renown architect Jan Gehl. “I would say that anybody living over the fifth floor ought generally to be referring to the airspace authorities. You’re not part of the earth anymore, because you can’t see what’s going on on the ground and the people on the ground can’t see where you are,”
    http://www.sustainablecitiescollective.com/bloomingrock/561536/7-reasons-why-high-rises-kill-livability

    Auckland CC in this PDF document refers to apartment buildings being up to six storeys in settings out of CBD but I cannot see a a height proscription at a quick readthrough.
    Note jargon – Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings (“THAB”)
    aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies

    But small can be okay.
    http://transportblog.co.nz/2015/01/09/apartments-affordability-and-ikea/

    Living in the city ain’t so bad Che Fu

    Living in the isolated or lonely suburbs.
    Sister Pauline O’Reagan and two compatriot sisters went to live in a community house in Aranui to support the rather unfriendly suburbs. This is a piece on alternative communities, and she is mentioned in the Christchurch section.
    http://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/alternative-communities/

    • Tracey 10.1

      and they have to be STATE owned houses otherwise all that will happen is they will be tipped back into the market in a few years at higher prices.

  11. Shona 11

    Time for a SNAP ELECTION

  12. Paul 12

    Peter Calder writes a brilliant article in the Herald.
    ‘Why we’re right to be angry.’

    Excerpts…..
    ‘But if they were trying today, they couldn’t do it. In the year to May, the average Auckland house price went from $502,100 to $616,500. It jumped by a quarter or, in raw dollars, by more than twice the average salary.
    That’s absurd. It’s obscene. And it makes me bloody angry, because my daughter has watched that average figure climb, all the while wondering whether her dream of home ownership is evaporating before her eyes.
    Competing at auction with developers and investors, local and foreign, either well-heeled or exploiting tax breaks and leveraging off massive paper equity or both, she’s like a toddler kid fighting a heavyweight with one hand tied behind her back.
    Now 29, she was born into a house her mother and I had just bought for $68,000. It wasn’t much; a bit run-down, on a south-facing slope. But it was in a suburb that has since become fashionable.
    In those 29 years, inflation has been 136 per cent. If house-price inflation had been the same, her birthplace would have an asking price now of about $160,000. Last time it sold, more than a year ago, it fetched more than $1 million – an increase of about 1400 per cent. Presumably you could add at least a quarter to that now, too….
    I’m angry that people I used to call friends, who worked in high-paying and productive jobs, some of them advancing the interests of the socially disadvantaged, now ruminate in semi-retirement, devoting a few hours a week to maintaining their property portfolios.

    I’m angry that simple-minded liberals cry “racism” when this newspaper publishes figures that suggest – no bolder claim than that is made – that Chinese buyers are exerting a powerful influence in the property market. I’m angry that debate has become about xenophobia rather than whether non-resident foreign investors from whatever country you care to name are crushing our young people out of the market.

    I’m angry that the Housing Minister dismisses the figures as flaky rather than instituting an inquiry to establish whether they are valid. I’m angry that the Government, far from shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, is wondering where the door is, or rather denying the existence of doors.

    We have betrayed a generation and generations to come and I’m angry as hell about that. In just 15 years of this century, we have destroyed one of the great achievements of the last one: making New Zealand a place where anyone who wanted to could have their own place to call home.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11480908

  13. Tiger Mountain 13

    the Nats may be snookered on this one, they crave foreign direct investment and relax at night listening to the sound of the freest capital flowing in and out but; if they intervene it will urinate on on the China FTA and if they don’t pop the bubble and start housing people they will experience problems of a different kind–and about time too

    the Nat inner circle will likely know very well where the figures are trending, they seem to know down to the last empty state house and unpaid fine what the underclass are up to, they just won’t come clean yet on who is buying all those properties that often remain empty

    • infused 13.1

      If you pop that Auckland housing bubble, NZ as a whole is going to be in for one hell of a rough time.

      I imagine the reason for not moving quickly on this is exactly related to the above. Something needs to be done that’s not too drastic.

      • te reo putake 13.1.1

        Hence the title, infused. Like a ponzi scheme, everything looks sweet as long as there’s a constant inflow of money. But once the flow dries up, the real nature is exposed.

        So the Nats are stuck. If they do make positive moves that stabilise house prices, they risk exposing the middle class to the downside of negative equity. And that won’t be pretty. Dunno if you know the film Withnail and I, but one of the characters, Danny the drug dealer, riffs on the choice you make when you are being lifted off the ground by a balloon; let go early and possibly get hurt falling or hang on grimly as it rises. How long do you reckon we can hang on?

        • infused 13.1.1.1

          Yeah, I’ve been saying this for the last year or so… I think the effects would be greater than the recession.

          If you don’t touch it, I think economically there wouldn’t be any negative issues for another 2-3 years.

          However, it’s like Greece. By getting the bailout, they are going to get fucked harder in 3 years time than now, and so will the rest of the world because of it.

          I think everyone’s trying not to slip back in to recession again.

          You can apply a CGT, but I don’t think that will do the slightest bit of difference since it has a lag effect and people will just hang on to property to litigate it.

          You cannot outright ban foreign buyers as this will send our dollar plummeting, break the fta and most likely pop the bubble.

          I haven’t thought it through much more than that to be honest.

          I support a ban on foreign ownership for residential hosing, but it’s something that should have been put in place 15-20 years ago.

          • Paul 13.1.1.1.1

            I fear the horse has bolted on this as deregulated housing market has been skewing prices for 30 years, when compared to income inflation.
            Nevertheless, better late than ever.
            There is going to be pain and it can’t be avoided.
            Wait longer and it’ll only be worse.

          • Weepus beard 13.1.1.1.2

            You cannot outright ban foreign buyers as this will send our dollar plummeting, break the fta and most likely pop the bubble.

            And what is bad about any of those things?

            Let’s not forget where this “hot money” comes from…

            It comes from a nation that doesn’t have democratic elections, or even elections of any sort.

            It comes from a country which practices summary executions.

            It comes from a country which silences dissent.

            It comes from country which has a weak human rights record.

            It comes from a country whose government does not hesitate to interfere with banking and equity markets.

            It comes from a country with weak, or non-existant labour protection laws.

            It comes from a country that has grown fat off the western world’s lust-filled desire for cheap goods that don’t work produced under the all of the above mention conditions.

            • infused 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Everyone says dropping the dollar isn’t a problem… well it is.

              I buy most of my cloud services from the US and AU since that is the only place to get them. Any drop in price, increases my costs. Like what has happened recently. That added 20% to my pricing instantly, which then gets passed on to my customers, who pass it on to you.

              As with computer hardware, there has been an increased cost by around 30% in the last two months.

              A dropping dollar is *not* a good thing.

              The only people who benefit are exporters. Everyone else suffers.

              China is china’s business. They don’t give two shits what you think, or any govt thinks.

              In 10 years time, Africa will be the new China. Rinse and repeat.

              • Weepus beard

                I’m an exporter.

                Win for me, lose for you.

                That’s life mate, so suck it up.

                • infused

                  You really added to the conversation. Well done.

                  • Weepus beard

                    It’s ironic those of you who demand small, hands-off government squeal like stuck pigs when conditions become less favourable to you.

                    You’re so quick to shove your trotters out, like the people you so openly despise, pleading for hand outs and government intervention on the currency when it dares to trade at proper levels.

                    So funny.

              • lprent

                I buy most of my cloud services from the US and AU since that is the only place to get them. Any drop in price, increases my costs. Like what has happened recently. That added 20% to my pricing instantly, which then gets passed on to my customers, who pass it on to you.

                All importers of goods and services will be hurting in the same way. But it is really only an issue if you aren’t exporting. Most of the firms I have been working with over the last decade have survived the rapidly moving and usually excessive NZ exchange rate. Consequently, they sell to customers overseas who are relatively price-insensitive, with goods that are largely made in the same currency that they get paid in (ie offshore manufacturing), with all of the value being in the intellectual design and software – which is done here.

                Meanwhile importers have been having a great time profit wise. I’d suggest that you don’t raise prices too fast unless you have a substantial intellectual property advantage in the technology or market knowledge. Otherwise you will find that your customers get very price sensitive in hurry. I’ve been through a few of these turnabouts. It always amazes me how fast people change what they spend on.

                You need to look to your cost side. I’d suggest that you start looking around for local suppliers on the local network. Or even set up your own on the local (cheap) network as a side business.

                Or shift your marketing and possibly start exporting your service in the same or similar currency as your suppliers.

                This is what people in a market economy have to do.

                • infused

                  Sounds to me like your customers are not telling you the real story. Considering I sell to pretty much every vertical there is.

                  It’s an issue for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s your cost of living that goes up as a result. If wages are not rising, you can’t sit there with a straight face and say it only hurts importers.

                  ‘intellectual design’ lol… jesus. That aside, importers haven’t been having a great time price wise. Margins are low as hell and it’s a price war in every industry. You need to realize that New Zealanders expect gold standard services and products, but never want to pay for them.

                  I’ve already raised prices. You think I’m going to eat a 30% rise in cost on a service with a 5% margin? Welcome to the real world.

                  Your looking for goods locally does not apply to me. I cannot source VMWare hosting licenses anywhere except overseas. I cannot get Microsoft SPLA licensing anywhere but overseas. I cannot get virtually all my cloud licensing anywhere but overseas, and is highly susceptible to exchange rate fluctuations.

                  All other hardware and software is imported. As you are well aware, most of this sort of stuff has a 3-5% margin.

                  There’s not much point exporting what I do, as it’s cheaper to deliver it to overseas clients by overseas suppliers. Overseas suppliers cannot sell to New Zealand because of things like latency, laws, etc.

                  • Tracey

                    do you lower your prices and reward your employees when the dollar is really high?

            • David H 13.1.1.1.2.2

              Apart from the Executions and Human rights it sounds just like NZ.

          • keyman 13.1.1.1.3

            infused is right the horse has bolted its a mess and fucken john key government is responsible fuckin john key said it was only 1 percent that government should resign now there fuckwits and they need to go

          • Tracey 13.1.1.1.4

            we have created a vicious cycle for ourselves… every government since the late 70’s.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.2

        I imagine the Gnat plan is to pop the bubble next time they lose an election. Poison pill.

  14. johnm 14

    No they don’t have the guts, in your dreams mate.

  15. Sabine 15

    just came across this

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11480908

    quote: In the year to May, the average Auckland house price went from $502,100 to $616,500. It jumped by a quarter or, in raw dollars, by more than twice the average salary.

    That’s absurd. It’s obscene.

    snip;
    ‘m angry that simple-minded liberals cry “racism” when this newspaper publishes figures that suggest – no bolder claim than that is made – that Chinese buyers are exerting a powerful influence in the property market. I’m angry that debate has become about xenophobia rather than whether non-resident foreign investors from whatever country you care to name are crushing our young people out of the market.

    I’m angry that the Housing Minister dismisses the figures as flaky rather than instituting an inquiry to establish whether they are valid. I’m angry that the Government, far from shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, is wondering where the door is, or rather denying the existence of doors.

    We have betrayed a generation and generations to come and I’m angry as hell about that. In just 15 years of this century, we have destroyed one of the great achievements of the last one: making New Zealand a place where anyone who wanted to could have their own place to call home.

    read it, its a good rant. And maybe those that cry racism read it too.

    • Paul 15.1

      This is the part some on this site should read and then think hard!

      “I‘m angry that simple-minded liberals cry “racism” when this newspaper publishes figures that suggest – no bolder claim than that is made – that Chinese buyers are exerting a powerful influence in the property market. I’m angry that debate has become about xenophobia rather than whether non-resident foreign investors from whatever country you care to name are crushing our young people out of the market.”

      • weka 15.1.1

        Some of the best authors and commenters on ts have raised the issue of racism. Do you think calling them simple minded and writing off their whole argument is going to be useful?

        “I’m angry that debate has become about xenophobia rather than whether non-resident foreign investors from whatever country you care to name are crushing our young people out of the market.”

        I’m angry too. It’s really a pity it had to go down this way. People denying that there are any racism issues at all are part of why it did.

        • North 15.1.1.1

          Some of them are bursting at the guts to be ‘immaculate’. Which is to say ‘morally perfect’. I believe it is these ‘some’ who are morally flawed. Why ? Because to lust to demonstrate ‘moral perfection’ by invoking the abusive charge “Racist !” is all about them. It’s indulgence in which they sweet talk themselves and rage at the deficient and impure remainder. It’s showboat stuff. All the worse for the cheap, hectoring aggro’ of it.

          • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1

            some of us can walk and chew gum.

            Auckland house prices have been rising since before the “chinese invasion”… uk and south african invasion (but they look like us so it’s harder to “tell”).

            There is absolutely a race component to all this and how it has been framed AND the foreign ownership has to be addressed.

            Labour could have framed it thus…

            Auckland has a major problem. It suits this government to keep house prices high cos it keeps some people happy. If that bubble bursts so does GDP. A responsible government would be collecting statistics long before now, t enable decent analysis and workable solutions. We have been forced to analyse whatever we can get our hands on, with such tools as are available to us. This government is allowing this to turn into an “us and”chinese” situation when it is actually a much wider problem. we want them to collect the best data so that what we have isn’t used to unfairly blame and stigmatise one group in our society.”

            But they didn’t.

            house purchased n Morningside Auckland 1991 for 145k
            sold in 2001 for $410k

            house purchased in 2001 for 540k in Mt eden

            valued in July 2014 at 1.38m

            NOT all of those rises are because of Chinese or Chinese alone…

        • Tracey 15.1.1.2

          exactly… no mention of uk, south arican and other foreign buyers… hollywood types included all bumping up prices… but singling out just the Chinese isn’t racist? On Planet Key they at least pretend to care about racism.

        • Sean Carroll 15.1.1.3

          Below is my reply to Bryce Edwards’ recent opinion piece in The NZ Herald, Regards, Sean Carroll.

          Hi Bryce, I have felt moved by your blog (Political roundup: Labour’s dangerous racial politics). Its strident attack on Labour’s calling for strict controls on investment in Auckland land and property by non-residents seems shallow and only based on the fear of ‘racism’. You may be happy to see ‘investment’ of hot capital in Auckland property from overseas. I don’t. It is ‘investment’ that does nothing for the growth of our economy and is totally distorting the market but does shut out home ownership for my children’s generation in their own city. Disgraceful.
          The comfortably off middle class liberal’s bandwagon of ‘racism’ doesn’t stick. Get a better grip on the logics of the situation, read Bryan Gould’s piece (Banks fuel housing market by ‘creating’ money), think about the laws of demand and supply and then consider the soon to be actioned release of many billions of dollars of private Chinese investors’ capital. Then consider the big picture of China and the USA trying to stake their claims and muscling up in the Pacific and Asia. Think TPPA. We are bit players in a big game. The least we can do is look after our own as best we can. We’ve sold most of our infrastructural and business assets, do we also hand over our land and dwellings as well?
          By the way, my children are half Chinese and half Irish Kiwi. Yes, my wife of 40 years agrees with what I am writing. She is Chinese and is not stupid, she is brighter than some of the opinionated bloggers that infest modern media. Get over your childish middle-class affectation, ask why this negligent administration did not start gathering purely accurate data two years ago when Auckland’s prices starting ramping up. The Labour move was clumsy, no doubt, but at least it highlights the need for good data. It also is making a stand for the New Zealand resident and citizen, my children and their many peers of many heritages. Who are you making a stand for?

          • weka 15.1.1.3.1

            Thanks Sean, that’s a good letter and I think your final sentence sums up the unease that many people on all sides feel about sovereignty.

            A few things I’ll disagree with. For the most part, the people here on ts that have been naming racism also believe that overseas investment is a significant problem. I doubt that you could characterise their arguments as middle class, although some of the people making them are middle class. Some aren’t, some are people who have never had the option of buying a house even before this latest round of property prices going mad.

            Some of the people naming racism have been asking for the debate to go broader to include looking at the very issues you raise of why we are in this situation (globally and locally). Those people tend to have analyses that are too scarey for the middle classes.

            My own view is that some of the people supportive of what Labour did are middle class and they want their middle class aspirations protected. Removing Chinese money from Auckland property market isn’t going to make housing affordable for the people that most need it.

            I still hold some hope for Labour, but please bear in mind that they are not against foreign ownership. They want to stop non-residency buyers of existing housing, but they also want to encourage overseas investment in building new housing. Who do you think owns those houses when they’re built? Who sells them and who makes money off that?

            AFAIK Labour have no intention of banning overseas ownership of land in general.

  16. Charles 16

    When will National do the right thing? You mean, like, admit they’re greedy wreckers, that it was all an extended moment of shared insanity, and disband as a political party? FAIK, National’s M.O. is to do the wrong thing at every opportunity. That’s why they call it The Right.

    • Paul 16.1

      Once the TPP has been signed

    • keyman 16.2

      national should be named an organized crime gang gen x and y have had there futures trashed by the key mob we don’t wont to rent we want the same as the baby boomer’s we want fuckin justice

  17. feijoa 17

    I seriously think the racism card has the stink of National all over it. It has the nasty aroma of Crosby Textor .
    It was the weakness in Labour’s position (focus on race), which they were able to exploit and have used to distract from the main issue (access to housing), and brilliantly divide the left

    • Sabine 17.1

      i don’t think it is working tho.
      those that are offended are in general offended with Labour. Like Labur is not doing enough, Labour is not Labour enough, Labour this and Labour that.

      Bollocks.

      The reason National is screaming racist is to get Labour to back pedal, hoping that the purity brigade within the left leaning sector of NZ society will get all upset, clutch their pearls and cry repent ugly sinner repent.

      I am personally thinking that Labour did the right thing. As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omlette without cracking a few eggs.

      Eggs were cracked and now we are making omlette. The issue, the rumors, the anecdotes, the hush hush voices that have been saying the same things now for at least two years…namely that we seem to have outside influence taking over our residential, commercial and rural real estate property market seems to be correct.
      (and not only in Auckland, CHCH or Wlgtn, but also Whangarai, Whakatane, Tauranga, etc etc)
      Now lets move on and do something about it. Or as National would have, lets do nothing, the market will look after all and kumbaya.

      Your choice.

  18. leftie 18

    Why would National do the right thing for the people and the country? that has never been their intent, so don’t hold your breath for change. National have a private agenda to complete, and will maintain the status quo at all cost.

  19. Ad 19

    Good post TRP.

    Maybe it took the ethnic explosion to really break this debate open (don’t like saying that).

    I don’t want the Nats to fix this – it’s their sole political weakness. Exploitable all the way to 2017.

    • Tracey 19.1

      I think you are right and I think LP playe don that. You have been calling on whatever it takes to get back in power Ad, Perhaps they have started doing as does the Monkey.

  20. Karen 20

    Excellent article from Simon Wilson on how to deal with home ownership problem.

    http://www.metromag.co.nz/editors-blog/the-property-challenge/

  21. Skinny 21

    The witch hunt is over the bonfire lit and the guilty fired. National donator and profiteering rich friends act swiftly;

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11481506

    • Weepus beard 21.1

      Haha. Now the “leak” has been framed as a crime, without being a crime, because no law has been broken, but it’s now seen as a crime, nonetheless.

      • Skinny 21.1.1

        Just hope there isn’t a connection with a lawyer if so there is distance between any with links to Labour or there could be a complaint to the law society.
        Bit off topic but will share anyway;

        Fortunately a former president of the law society who knew all about facing racism, being an adopted Chinese refugee has long retired and passed on, bless him. He once offered his holiday beach front property in Takapuna to a good friend of mine who son was in hospital in Starship. Anyway when my Maori friend his wife and family turned up a neighbor came running over making accusations of breaking and entering and racist remarks of your kind. The president was very angry when he heard and forced the neighbor to write a full letter of apology. I got the full story by the dear old boy and the racism he faced in his life it was quite the story.

    • Tracey 21.2

      “HouGarden
      Our partnership with HouGarden puts your property in front of the Chinese market. Your property is advertised on the website, giving you exposure to non-english speaking audiences.

      Visit the HouGarden website
      http://www.barfoot.co.nz/about-us/our-partners

  22. Observer (Tokoroa) 22

    To: Phil Twyford and Andrew Little

    There is one thing that gets repeatedly overlooked when it comes to Housing in New Zealand.

    The ignored thing is the New Zealand Dollar. As of today $1.00 NZD will get you 0.67 American cents.

    The $1.00 NZD will get you 0.61 Euro cents

    The NZD will get you a dismal 0.43 cents against the British Pound.

    If an English investor were to purchase a $million home in New Zealand they would pay only $430, 00 for that $million Dollar home.

    An American would pay $670,000.

    A person from any of the Euro Countries (including Greece) would pay only $610,000 for their New Zealand $Million Dollar home.

    A New Zealander would pay a whole $Million Dollars for the million dollar home. The housing market favours the high currency overseas investors.

    The New Zealand born and bred person is drowning in a low wage, low dollar environment. No Government should allow the New Zealander to be so disadvantaged.

    Run TV adds to point out exactly what overseas investors are doing to us! And what the end game will look like for all wide eyed hard working Kiwis.

    • lprent 22.1

      Your currency/country maths sucks.

      The median income in the NZ is about $NZ 28,500 in 2013
      The median income in the UK is about £17,600 in 2013
      The median income in the US is about $US 51,939 in 2013.

      You need to factor income in the countries to look at relative purchasing power. Similarly look at the relative property prices as well.

      Then you tend to find that the relative factors usually largely balance out.

    • keyman 22.2

      thats why the housing market side lined locals long ago it has no relevance to this economy or real income levels in this economy largest bubble in new Zealand history with potential to take down the whole economy

    • Lanthanide 22.3

      Given the amount of real estate in the US and the sheer diversity of economies there, I highly doubt there’d be many Americans investing in NZ property for speculative purposes. You can get 30-year fixed mortgages in the US, for example, and no-recourse loans.

  23. Lara 23

    I don’t think allowing foreigners to buy NZ land with new houses built on them is an answer. It’s not working in Australia, so it probably wouldn’t work here.

    It’s not working because it creates a loophole, and loopholes will always be exploited.

    And even if it did work, we’re still selling our land to people who don’t live here and probably never will!

    In the case of China the CCP has loosened restrictions on moving money out of China. With their record of interference the people there rightly don’t trust them, they have a long history of confiscating money and assets. So people want to move money out. And NZ is a safe parking space for their money, with no CGT, no stamp duty and relatively cheap property prices.

    NZers own nothing, no allegiance to foreigners. We need to be looking after the people who live here first. We don’t owe them the right to buy our property. Whether it be new or old.

    And if we allow foreigners to buy new houses then thats STILL houses owned by foreigners, which cannot be owned by NZers! And may not even be available for rent by NZers.

    And still. Not one political party has a policy of zero sales of NZ land to foreigners. Not one has the guts. If one did, I’m betting it would be hugely popular!

    Anyway. Like I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure the market will sort it out. Our property market, particularly for Auckland, has all the hallmarks of a typical bubble. And the thing about bubbles in markets is they all pop eventually. Every. Single. One.

    It won’t be pretty. And I wouldn’t want to be an over leveraged Auckland property owner when it pops.

    • Tracey 23.1

      Lara

      I was reading an article this week from a guy in China and he said when they loosen things up, and they will, our property market will explode! Trying to recall where I read it.

      NZF will appear on this soon… or keep powder dry til election time… but clocking in to populist views is their speciality.

  24. Weepus beard 24

    Well said Lara.

    Zero residential property ownership for non-citizens.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Yep. (Slight edit: Citizens and permanent residents should be allowed to own NZ land).

  25. Observer (Tokoroa) 25

    see my post above:

    Correction: If an English investor were to purchase a $million home in New Zealand they would pay only $430, 000 for that $million Dollar home. That is because a British Pound is much higher value than our $NZD.

  26. Mike Steinberg 26

    Apparently you can’t actually buy your own property in China so it is no surprise there is a huge amount of money flowing into property markets including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    Former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell has also pointed out two of the main factors in the housing crisis are NZ’s relatively high inward migration levels (which goes back to the mid 1980’s) and restrictions on supply of property. Both are the result of policy choices and could be altered if politicians were so inclined.

    http://croakingcassandra.com/2015/07/14/offshore-demand-for-houses/

  27. Stuart Munro 27

    I think that the real villains are the real estate sector.

    These ‘foreign investors’ left NZ alone for decades – why are they here now? Because the real estate folk went out and got them. They like to pretend the sellers are to blame, that they are greedy. Sellers only expect the market price – they don’t rig the market.

    The Key government, bless them, barely have an idea in their heads. They allowed this stupidity, but were incapable of designing it.

    The mens rea lies with real estate companies – riddled with fraud, chronic tax evaders, as greedy as scum like Key.

    I imagine a forensic audit of National would reveal a significant pattern of real estate company contributions. And Auckland is paying for it.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      I think that the real villains are the real estate sector.

      including the banks

    • keyman 27.2

      there is massive off shore money printing going on backed by nothing created from nothing looking for a home buying assets at any price at zero interest rates and only the 1 percent get it

      • Colonial Viper 27.2.1

        Yep – what Max Keiser calls “interest rate apartheid.” If you are a privileged financial insider, you get access to money at 0% or 1%.

    • Lara 27.3

      It’s only relatively recently that the Chinese Communist government allowed their citizens to move money out of the country.

      The CCP controls China pretty tightly.

      And this is why we have hot money flowing into NZ from China.

      • Tracey 27.3.1

        Ever wondered how many of the Chinese Government own here too, to get their own money out?

  28. upnorth 28

    True story

    Modest house good section sold in Auckland last month for under $960k. CV $910k QV range $1-$1.1M

    Seven bidders in the room of which 3 were asian in appearance only. Rest european in appearance. True identity unknown but it sets the scene.

    The 3 asians never bid at all – house passed in at $900 but three of the european people stayed for a multiple bid after auction.

    Question – who out bid who?

    Remember house passed in under CV so no late ramping up bids.

    Question – if this is an exemption to the Twyford rule – why did the house pass in…all articles I read in the Herald of crazy house prices and photo of broken down crapped out houses selling 50% over CV or $300k in more than a year after purchase by……europeans.

    Not one article have i read on front page of houses like above selling never once been of Sam Wang Li (made up name) giving an interview of why they paid over the top.

    Happy to be corrected

    • Tracey 28.1

      Agents have told me that their chinese client do not like to place the first bid but once bidding starts they don’t want to lose out… so some agencies “plant” a first bidder to get things going.

  29. Observer (Tokoroa) 29

    To: Lprent

    When you convert $NZD to Euro – as when you travel to Italy or Germany – you will find that you will have to outlay more money in order to pay for accommodation, food and goods.

    Why? Because the $NZD has less value than our dollar. One Kiwi dollar, buys you 0.61 cents Euro.

    Why do you deny that?

    The New Zealand Treasury, factors in the exchange rate so that a resident receiving Superannuation say from Australia or Britain has their payable pension equalised to New Zealand pension. In other words, Treasury devalues the super of the Australian or Brittain person.

    Do you deny that Treasury does that?

    When it comes to house buying, the British person can and does use the higher value of the British Pound to pay less than half of what a Kiwi would pay.

    Do you deny that?

    I have never said your words SUCK. Please treat me with a modicum of courtesy too.!

  30. Observer (Tokoroa) 30

    To: Lprent

    Perhaps from your home in New Zealand you may have purchased a book say from Amazon USA.

    Amazon will require you to pay in $USDollars. You will have worked out that your cost for the book is approx 33% more expensive if you pay for it in Kiwi Dollars – (current exchange rate differential between USA and Kiwi.)

    Why do get so angry when this is pointed out to you?

    Nevertheless, I am one of many who values the extraordinary work you do in the Standard.

    Observer Tokoroa

    • Grey Area 30.1

      I don’t follow your reasoning/maths either. There seems to be an underlying assumption that colours what you are expressing. The Amazon book in my understanding is not “more expensive”. It just has different relative values. In my understanding the book is not more expensive – it just costs US$10 or NZ$13.30 depending on where you pay for it.

      Same applies to foreign property investors in NZ. The foreigner still has to pay in your example the equivalent of NZ$1 million even if they use 450,000 pounds. It doesn’t cost them $450,000. For that to be true it seems to me every other relevant factor – comparative costs of living, buying power of the local currency, income levels and comparative incomes for the same job etc – would need to be equal so that the disposable income or ability to serivice a mortgage was identical, despite the different economies and currencies.

      I don’t deny the foreign buyer has an advantage but I don’t think its as simple as saying they are paying half as much (or whatever).

  31. ScottGN 31

    I’m sure nobody will much surprised to learn that Stuff somehow neglected to let their readers know that the author of an opinion piece strongly critical of Labour’s handling of the issue was, according to Bryce Edwards, a National Party aligned blogger.

  32. G C 32

    The correction will come – people in the market have gotten too greedy.

  33. Observer (Tokoroa) 33

    To : Grey Area

    I would rather buy a New Zealand property or business, with the British Pound than a Kiwi dollar.

    That’s all I am saying. The maths is not at all complicated really. No matter which way you look at it.

    Cashed up persons from other lands which have higher value Dollars, are in a position to cast quite a shadow over our assets including housing.

    I am pleased that you can see who has the advantage Grey. Thanks for debating.

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