Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Housing affordability not so bad

Housing affordability not so bad

Demographia's latest survey of housing affordability paints a depressing picture for New Zealand. But is it as bad as Deographia make it out to be?

Demographia is an American organisation based in St. Louis, whose principal and sole owner is Wendell Cox Consultancy. Wendell Cox is a long time opponent of urban densities and uses Demographia to highlight his beliefs.

Demographia developed a "medium Multiple" system to gauge housing affordability, which divides the medium house price by the medium income. Demographia then determined that a house price greater than 3 times the medium household income was unaffordable.

Using this definition, only 14 (16%) of the 85 areas around the world that Demographia researches are affordable, making 84% unaffordable. Of the unaffordable areas, 34% are moderately unaffordable and 49% are either seriously or severely unaffordable.

The New Zealand multiple is 6, which according to Demographia is twice the affordable level.

Andrew King, Executive Officer of the NZ Property Investors’ Federation, points out that the Demographia definition has been criticised as being too simplistic and not taking into account the cost of borrowing and other housing costs.

“A commonly accepted guideline for housing affordability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% of a household's gross income”, he says. “Using New Zealand's median household income of $70,616, the national median house price of $425,000, floating mortgage interest rate of 5.75% and making some assumptions on insurance, rates, repairs and other costs, then the annual cost of the NZ medium house is about 43% of the medium income.”

King agrees that this is still high, but it is not as unaffordable as the Demographia survey would suggest. Additionally, one of the main reasons for the high annual cost of housing is that we like big houses and bigger houses cost more. "If we want more affordable houses then we need to reconsider the size of our houses and think smaller" he says.

However there are many other aspects affecting the high cost of housing in New Zealand. These include the cost of materials and labour, a desire by homeowners for bespoke housing, increasing regulation and the size of council fees to build new houses. If New Zealand housing is to become truly more affordable, all these aspects need to be addressed.

“An aspect of housing affordability that has also been raised is the comparison between rental costs and the costs of owning your own home”, says King.”An NZPIF study of December statistics shows that it is currently $134pw cheaper to rent the average NZ home than it is to own it, including coming up with a 20% deposit of some $85,000. Rather than demonstrating that homes in NZ are too expensive, this study shows that rents are too cheap.”

Massey University’s Home Affordability Study also demonstrates that affordability isn't currently as bad as it is made out to be. The study’s affordability index level is currently at 20.3, exactly where it was in September 2003 before four years of high price rises. By the end of 2007, when NZ housing became increasingly unaffordable, the affordability index had reached 33.9.

“The reality,” says King “is that housing isn't really so unaffordable now, but with demand pressures and expected interest rate rises, affordability is likely to get worse before it gets better”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news