The Housing Question in Dunedin

house-037By Jen Wilson

In early 2014  Finance Minister Bill English boasted that the government’s  new housing policy would see “the biggest changes in state housing since it was invented”.  He was not talking about the vastly increased dividend that the government demands from HNZ ($215 million net  in the 4 years up to 2013), or changes to the in the threshold for state housing assistance so that only the most urgent cases are now eligible. Nor was he referring to the fact that all  tenants  including the elderly and disabled would have their tenancies reviewed and if ineligible, would be required to find alternative accommodation. No, the really exciting announcement for Bill English was the intended  sale, for approximately $5billion, of 22,000  state houses, to private social  housing providers.  [Read more…]

Chinese are not to blame – a New Zealand Housing Crisis

Cartoon by Vincent Konrad

Cartoon by Vincent Konrad

By Joshua O’Sullivan

Auckland and Christchurch are in severe housing crises due to a lack of supply among other things. In Auckland, according to Fiona Rotheram in The Listener, the average house price is now $776,729 as of February and is at its highest since before the global financial crisis. An Auckland house now worth $1,000,000, earned $2200 a week last year just from rising prices. The average increase in valuations of housing in Auckland rose 13% last year.

If these numbers seem ludicrous it’s because they are. Out-of-control house prices have massive effects throughout the economy and for working class lives. Auckland and Christchurch are anomalies; the rest of the country has had mild to low growth in prices. Christchurch real estate is buoyed by a lack of supply due to the earthquake destroying the housing stock. Auckland is another story. Auckland‘s supply issue is due to a combination of factors: property speculation and lack of central planning. [Read more…]