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No winners in National’s housing crisis

Housing Spokesperson

No winners in National’s housing crisis

There are no winners in news today that housing affordability has deteriorated again, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Massey University’s Home Affordability Report shows a decline in affordability of 7.6 per cent over the past year due to rising house prices in Auckland and Canterbury. It also shows rising interest rates are hitting homeowners all over the country.

“Just as alarming is news that consent numbers are falling. Building consents in the critical Auckland market have dropped again, raising doubts about the Government’s strategy to speed up these approvals. Auckland had 611 in the last month (including apartments) down from 697 the month before. This is also lower than the same time last year when 628 dwellings were consented.

“Housing is a lose-lose right now. Everyone is getting it in the neck because of National’s failed housing policy:

• Aucklanders face rocketing house prices.
• Cantabrians have to deal with sky high rents because fewer than 1000 of the 12-15,000 houses needed have been built three-and-a-half years after the quakes.
• First home buyers are shut out by loan-to-value ratio 20 per cent minimum deposits.
• Homeowners are forking out thousands of dollars a year on mortgage repayments due to rising interest rates.
• Homeowners in regional New Zealand are losing equity in their homes. Real Estate Institute data shows prices in Taranaki down $10,500, Manawatu/Wanganui down $9500, Nelson/Marlborough down $3625 and Southland down $22,500.
• Parents and grandparents watch while their children and grandchildren give up on the dream of home ownership.

“It is time the Government rethought its housing policy. Its refusal to crack down on speculators or actually build affordable houses has allowed the crisis to get away on them. Its policy of tweaking the planning rules and hoping the market will build enough houses has failed.

“Labour will fix the housing crisis by building 10,000 affordable starter homes every year for a decade, tax speculators through a capital gains tax that excludes the family home, reform monetary policy to lower interest rates, and incentivise Councils to promote more building through a National Policy Statement on affordable housing under the Resource Management Act,” Phil Twyford says.

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