Interminably rising house prices highlight Mayor's failure
9 October 2013
Interminably rising house prices highlight Mayor's failure to deliver a liveable city
"The figures released today by Quotable Value which show house prices in Auckland rose 13.6 per cent over the past year show just how badly the Mayor has performed over his first term," said John Palino.
"The Mayor has blamed Government, he's blamed growth, he's blamed tax, he's blamed Nimbys, he's blamed industry, he's blamed anyone and everyone in order to shift responsibility for this crisis away from the ultimate cause - the Auckland Council and the Mayor.
"The Productivity Commission's housing inquiry completed last year clearly pointed the finger at a number of areas, including tax, the building industry, global finance and contributing factors like immigration and demographics.
"But rounding out the list of the most significant factors were Council planning restrictions, council building restrictions and council development levies.
"We now know that it is these factors - factors controlled by the Mayor of Auckland - which are fuelling house prices.
"We know that because there is now a palpable and real disjoint between what is happening in the Auckland housing market and what is happening elsewhere. It's not possible to use tax, the building market or financial factors as the explanation for why house prices are high and rising in Auckland but not anywhere else except earthquake hit Canterbury.
"Blaming immigration and Nimbys only serves to underline the Council's failure to deal with pressures that are as much a part of Auckland as Rangitoto.
"The Mayor and the Mayor's inability to deliver real solutions for Auckland's challenges over three years is the reason why Aucklanders cannot afford to live in their own city.
"Rather than addressing the regulatory and cost impediments which have prevented housing supply from meeting demand, the Mayor told the city to wait until he had finished planning how people would live not just today, but everyday for the next 30 years.
"Now we know all that planning was flawed and has to be revised and meanwhile the only progress we've made on housing is a Government override of Council authority in order to get 6000 emergency units delivered.
"Aside from representing just half the number of units needed each year to keep Aucklanders housed, the Mayor hasn't rolled out the infrastructure necessary to support new development. This will slow delivery and keep prices elevated for longer, frustrating not just the Government but the Reserve Bank who may have to raise interest rates.
"Auckland is more expensive, less liveable and drowning in debt from just three years of Brown's leadership. We must have change inside the town hall before it is too late," said Palino.