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"Demographia Urges Quality Housing Research"

"Demographia Urges Quality Housing Research"

Auckland City Council released a short five page report on housing costs this week, indicating that costs are in excess of 80% more than they are in Australia. The Council has since admitted it got its sums wrong, suggesting now that costs may be 50% higher.

Industry groups responded by indicating that the pricing differences are significantly lower than the revised Council estimates. Demographias initial research suggests that New Zealand housing costs are in the range of 20 -30% higher than Australia's.

"This shonky research by the Auckland City Council highlights the urgent need for quality housing research in New Zealand" said Hugh Pavletich, co author of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. The 2007 3rd Edition Survey was released last month.

The Demographia Survey found that housing within the major urban markets of New Zealand overall is 6 times household incomes, with Auckland 6.9, Christchurch 6.0 and Wellington 5.4.

The international standard for affordability is that housing should not cost more than 3 times household incomes.

"New Zealand is well off the mark "said Mr Pavletich, adding "It's about time politicians within both central and local government started acting responsibly with this issue, as the social costs of this crisis, simply cannot be allowed to continue.

The New Zealand Planning Institute strongly supports the Demographia Survey and is urging Councils to treat housing affordability as seriously as environmental sustainability.

In response, Demographia congratulated the New Zealand Planning Institute and set out the steps to be followed in restoring housing affordability over a reasonable time.

Demographia again urged the Reserve Bank and the Centre for Housing Research of Aotearoa New Zealand to urgently assess the degrees of housing stress within every local authority and significant urban market. This should mirror the Demographia approach, as recommended by the United Nations and World Bank, clearly illustrating the trends over the past 20 years.

The Reserve Bank and CHRANZ have been asked by Demographia to research New Zealand housing construction costs to ascertain how they compare with similar markets and also the pricing differences for raw land around our urban fringes.

ENDS


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