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Greens Wrong On Solution To Housing Affordability

Greens Wrong On Solution To Housing Affordability

Press Release by ACT Leader John Banks

Sunday, February 24 2013

Green co-leader Russel Norman’s response to ACT’s Freedom To Build policy shows he clearly doesn’t understand basic economics, says ACT Leader John Banks.

The Green Party today claimed that ACT’s Freedom To Build policy would not address the real issues faced by New Zealanders on housing affordability.  This is wrong.

“High prices reflect lack of supply.  The ridiculously high land values we are seeing in Auckland are due to the artificial shortage of residential housing and the RMA is the key culprit” Mr Banks said.

“In 1980, the ratio of median house price to median income was around two to one – today it is 5.3 to 1.  The primary cause of the problem is the Resource Management Act.

“Since its introduction 23 years ago it has become a 900 page job and investment destroying machine.  Red tape, restrictions, vague language, and urban limits have driving up the price of land, causing house prices to soar.

“Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Auckland where land two kilometres inside the Metropolitan Urban Limit is 8.65 times more expensive than land two kilometres outside it.

"ACT’s Freedom to Build policy would restore the presumption that land owners have the right to develop their property, so long as they are respecting the like rights of their neighbours.

"It will also address the RMA’s often conflicting provisions which lead to uncertainty, ever increasing costs, and the tipping of power into the hands of local authorities rather than land owners.

“The Green’s idea of solving the problem uses taxpayers’ money to subsidise a select few into a home.  It would lift demand even further without doing anything to free up the supply of land and would make land even more expensive.  

“It might make the Green’s celebrity backers and other wealthy supporters feel wealthier, but it won’t help those who don’t yet own land.

"Home ownership is becoming an unattainable goal for far too many New Zealanders and it’s the RMA that is holding them back.  ACT believes it’s time we reintroduced the Freedom To Build,” Mr Banks said. 

ENDS

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