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Urban growth contributes to housing affordability

1 February 2006

Urban growth and lifestyle contribute to housing affordability

Auckland City has embraced the benefits of the urban growth strategy to meet the future needs of a land-squeezed city.

Councillor Richard Northey, chairperson of the Economic Development and Sustainable Business Committee dismisses the view that intensification is the cause of Auckland city's high ranking in the recent Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

"Coastline and neighbouring city council boundaries surround Auckland city, leaving us in an interesting predicament," said Mr Northey. "In the Auckland region generally it is international demand and price levels for coastal and lifestyle land that is pushing up land prices, not the Auckland regional urban limits and growth strategy. Without addressing growth in a planned way, demand will exceed supply which will force housing prices up," said Mr Northey.

Providing opportunities for additional housing in a city where boundaries are constrained helps to maintain housing affordability," said Mr Northey. "Our growth strategy ensures we protect our open spaces and reduce urban sprawl that otherwise would contribute greatly to infrastructure and roading costs, and roading congestion."

Another factor contributing to the need for additional houses is demand for different housing types such as apartments and townhouses that is due to demographic change. The key one is the shift from largely living in family units, to an increase of single and couple living.

"What we have now is a range of housing and lifestyle choices that was previously unavailable and that's something worth celebrating," said Mr Northey.


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