The housing dream

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, October 14th, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: housing - Tags: , , ,

The “Kiwi dream” is over – the housing crisis just gets worse and worse:

Housing affordability plummets across New Zealand

New research from Massey University shows the affordability of homes nationwide has dropped by 11.4% over the past 12 months …

Even worse news, The Home Affordability Report found the situation is expected to deteriorate, with mortgage rates set to rise. It’s compounded by a decline in the national average wage in 10 of the 12 regions surveyed.

The emphasis is mine, the “brighter future” is all National’s.

Whereas Labour would have built more houses, National’s policies are (as predicted) making the problem worse:

Investors move in as first-home buyers fold

Property investors are the big winners from the Reserve Bank’s mortgage restrictions, while first-home buyers are increasingly struggling to afford a house. …

… data from property analysis company CoreLogic has shown activity among investors who owned two or more properties had hit a 10-year high. Big investors with more than 10 properties were the most active, buying about two out of every five homes in August.

The emphasis is mine. 2 / 5 homes bought by big investors? Of course first time buyers don’t stand a chance. Oh – sorry! – investors disagree!

Wellington Property Investors Association president Jackie Thomas-Teague said there would be a good time for first-home buyers in future and there was no need to panic over “a dimple in the marketplace”. “Investors are not pushing up prices. They never do. I don’t think they are in competition with first-home buyers,” she said.


Westpac bank chief economist Dominick Stephens said the investor surge was predicted when the loan-to-value ratio restrictions were introduced. “Our view was it would have relatively little effect on house prices, as property investors would come in and replace the first-home buyers.”

And so it has come to pass – thanks National. With three more wasted years coming up, the Kiwi dream is over.

23 comments on “The housing dream”

  1. shorts 1

    The kiwi dream of owning a house has been over for many kiwis for a very long time…. which is a great shame, but not world ending – its the hideousness of the rental market and being stuck in that world for your life that is the real harbinger of doom for many and this is only going to get worse

  2. The kiwi dream was always the petty bourgeois aspiration to escape the working class.
    The workers dream was to rent an affordable house.
    The workers’ nightmare began when Sid Holland told workers they could buy their state houses in the 1950s.
    Ever since workers have been on the property treadmill of the banks.
    We wake up from the nightmare when we expropriate the banks and build thousands of state rentals.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Yep. As I said here:

      I’d just like to point out that home ownership is actually a bad idea both economically and socially. Much better to go for state rentals as a matter of course rather than as emergency housing. That way housing will always be affordable and available with the only exceptions being natural disasters.
      We’ve been conditioned to believe that owning a house is normal but it’s really not. Then, of course, there’s the fact that society has been structured in such a way as to be insecure for most people and owning a home feels more secure but it shouldn’t be that way.

      We need to change the socio=economic system that cuases the problems and the conditioning that sustains it.

  3. Mike 3

    I would be interested to know why in 2011 National included residential property in the Investor II category for residency? If housing affordability is an issue, why on earth allow this to be an acceptable investment for the purposes of obtaining residency?

    “Effective from 25 July 2011, an investment of at least $1.5 million in a residential property development now qualifies as an acceptable investment for the purposes of obtaining a residence visa under the Investor Category from Immigration New Zealand. The following conditions, however, must be met:

    1. The residential property must be a new development on vacant land

    2. Renovations or extensions to existing developments will not qualify

    3. All regulatory approvals in terms of building consents and resource consents (where necessary) will need to be obtained. The cost of the same will not be permitted to be calculated in the total investment sum

    4. The applicant must intend to make a commercial return in the open market, and

    5. Family members or anyone associated with the principal investor must not reside in the residential property development.

    The government has introduced residential property developments as an acceptable form of investment to jump start the construction sector in New Zealand.”

    • Tracey 3.1

      it is becoming clearer why this govt doesnt release/keep stats on the percentage of residential properties bought by foreign buyers… we are becoming one of the few western countries where it is still so easy.

      govt was clever with its number of people from overseas buying, rather than how many houses overseas fold bought as a total of our market, cos investors will have more than one.

  4. Tracey 4

    the bank economists, pimping themselves to the media as unbiased commentators, together with real estate agencies like barfoots in auckland are POWERFUL lobbyists. as long as they can by tables at functions that give them the PMs ear and other events the market in auckland will keep on keeping on.

    property press is a major advertising mag for vendors.

    tony alexander, chief economist for bnz, and pimp for them had this to say in the,most recent mag

    ” the election has been and gone, we know the result, and now its business as usual with a pro business government rather than a rag tag group of tax-raising parties.Does this matter for the housing market? No capital gains tax is a positive, and the outright majority toNational increases the chances of more red-tape being removed from the Resource Management Act.”

    Heartening for housing affordability and the low income earner, dont you think?

    He finishes by noting that Australia clamping down on foreign property buyers will divert some of those buyers to our market.

    “Worth keeping an eye on given that one factor driving higher chinese buyingof nz and australian property ( anecdotally speaking as there are no numbers) was the imposition of high stamp duties for foreigner buying some time ago in Singapore and Hong Kong.”

  5. Repeat after me. There is now housing crisis. There is a housing bubble engineered to keep an economy going. The economy no longer based on the sound economic principles of actually producing something other than milk powder. It is based on creating a housing bubble with mostly foreign buyers buying houses. No for living in but for the simple use of storing values. Bought with money printed out of thin air by central banks for their nearest and dearest.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1


      We haven’t ever had an economy based upon sound economic principles as the capitalist system doesn’t contain any principles at all. It’s all about accumulating the communities wealth while doing nothing.

    • les 5.2

      right on the money!Makes GDP look good.

  6. vto 6

    Why doesn’t the government do something that will genuinely help those that cannot afford to own their own home?

    Do they not see the immense benefit that is lost to society by keeping such a very large proportion in such a position?

    Or do they have other things they care about more?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Why doesn’t the government do something that will genuinely help those that cannot afford to own their own home?

      Because that would decrease profits for the rich.

      Do they not see the immense benefit that is lost to society by keeping such a very large proportion in such a position?

      Nope. They only ever see threats to profits.

      Or do they have other things they care about more?

      They only care about the rich.

  7. fambo 7

    That horse bolted a long time ago. An awful lot of New Zealanders had the opportunity at the last election to at least vote for parties that were sincere in looking for solutions. Instead they voted to not just close the gate, but permanently lock it from the inside, with the stable as their rented accommodation for the rest of their lives.

  8. b waghorn 8

    Building 10,000 homes a year was a brilliant policy . the head of master build said it could be done please keep that policy labour. There are plenty of cheap houses in provincial NZ we just need to find a way to create jobs there and encourage retirees to ditch the rat race and ho to the province’s.

  9. greywarshark 9

    No-one cares about anything any more. /sarc But that’s the way it seems. When National put the state house rents up to market rates there wasn’t anybody in Nelson making a big fuss about it. The churches nah. Yet housing is vital – a place to rest keep your stuff keep dry and warm have an address or you don’t exist, (big tree closest to the river doesn’t seem to cut it.) I suppose you could build a tree house and have a band of -laws who lived up in the branches like Robin Hood. Don’t know whether you would then be an outlaw or inlaw.

    Something that Brownlee could have done while wielding his tremendous powers in Chch is set up an insurance fund for people not able to get help elsewhere for people in dire straits. Limited but that would give them some assistance so they could do something about their houses, get on with some sort of life. Some have hardly been affected at all, some have and have managed to find a good alternative and are living well. Some need now compassion and help, not stony faced bureaucracy and walls of unyielding rules and argument.

    The floods in Chch have added to the woes from the direct earthquakes. From March 2014 Weekend Press. Valuers expected insurers to baulk at covering flooded homes and contents and banks to be reluctant to lend creating major hurdles for sales. An agent said the government should pay for homes to be raised on higher foundations and if this were done ‘ then they could sell just as happily’ as before. ‘There are solutions but something needs to be done.’

    I hope something has been done like that in the last six months. I fear that National has found a winning ploy. Do nothing and promise vaguely something, and there is nothing concrete or definite to criticise, Jam tomorrow, but don’t count on it.

    • kenny 9.1

      Last paragraph. I remember reading a story about the economy some 6 years ago along the lines that if the government (any government) had not had an economic policy of any form then the economy itself would have worked out just the same. Something like that anyway, can’t remember the exact details.

      Seems to have worked for National.

  10. greywarshark 10

    @ kenny
    It has worked for the people with money in National Party. Yes. Unfortunately it has been a detriment for the rest of us in the country.

  11. fisiani 12

    Why is it every time something is called a crisis the facts show the opposite a few weeks later.

    • vto 12.1

      oh you mean like raising the “terror alert” in Australia and here?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      Because it takes David Farrar a few weeks to massage and mould and twist the facts until they’re unrecognisable, and fit the message.

  12. dave 13

    the opposite side of the housing crises is debt new Zealand has one of the highest house hold debt levels in the western world it a huge miss-allocation of capital worse than the united states i think this explains it rather well

  13. les 15

    as renting becames even more prevalent,urgent attention to tenants rights is required.The landlord has too much power under present legislation.Even the W.O.F idea will struggle to get off the ground.

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