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Time for Nick Smith to listen up

Phil TWYFORD

Housing Spokesperson

Auckland Issues Spokesperson

13 October 2013       MEDIA STATEMENT

Time for Nick Smith to listen up

With newly re-elected Auckland Mayor Len Brown adding his voice to those calling for first home buyers to be exempted from mortgage lending restrictions, it is time for Housing Minister Nick Smith to sit up and take notice, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Mayor Brown’s mandate – a whopping 55 000 vote majority – gives him a platform to advocate on behalf of Aucklanders with the Beehive. Housing and transport are Auckland’s two big challenges. After his success turning the Government around on the City Rail Link, it is great that the Mayor is now taking up the cudgels on housing.

“He is quite right to remind the Government that the Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions are locking first home buyers out of the market. Combined with spiralling house prices – up 18% in Auckland over the last year – it is a toxic cocktail.

“Labour is critical of the weak affordability provisions in the planned special housing areas. We are worried the result will be row upon row of McMansions instead of the affordable first homes Aucklanders need.

“But if LVR lending restrictions don’t exempt first home buyers, the policy is doubly ineffective with the way left clear for speculators to snap up the McMansions anyway.”

ENDS

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