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The extraordinary MBIE-Treasury spat over KiwiBuild

The government plans to build 100,000 ‘affordable’ houses in the next 10 years. How much greater is the housing stock likely to be in 10, 15 or 20 years as a result? That is an analytical question. At its heart is the question of how many dwellings would be built anyway. The future housing stock is only larger to the extent of any difference. Macroeconomic forecasters, including the Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research,... Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
25 May, 2018

Foreign advice on foreign buyers

The International Monetary Fund has concluded its 2018 visit to New Zealand, checking with a broad range of stakeholders on how things are going here. Executive Director Oliver Hartwich and I were happy to share our views with them last week. We argued that the most pressing issue facing New Zealand is housing. In addition to the obvious problems caused by housing shortages, they also fuel xenophobia. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
20 April, 2018

The foreign buyer ban is an abomination. Bad in principle, worse in practice

There is not a shred of evidence the prohibition on foreign property buyers will alleviate the housing crisis. It is popu, argues economist Eric Crampton.One of the things that think tank chief economists get to do is have a yarn with travelling delegations from international organisations checking in on how things are going in New Zealand. One that we talked with this past month was puzzled about how New Zealand wound up with such an odd ban on foreign home... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The Spinoff
17 April, 2018
House sale

The taxing matter of outrageously high house prices

Could changes in 1989 to New Zealand’s tax treatment of retirement savings plausibly explain a significant portion of the subsequent sharp rise in New Zealand house prices?Andrew Coleman made the case that it could to a LEANZ audience in Wellington this week. He was careful not to argue that it did.He said other relevant factors were operating. These included higher per capita incomes along with lower inflation and lower real interest rates. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
6 April, 2018
Key in door housing

Less really is more

An Auckland apartment complex has just taken advantage of the new Unitary plan and opened without any carparks. The developers point out the proximity of public transport. This is a genuinely excellent example of bold thinking which appeals to, and can reveal, consumer preferences. Bravo! But, in a flight of fancy perhaps, why stop at car parks? I have always had a problem with kitchens. They are places that vegetables come from. Read more

Richard Baker
Insights Newsletter
16 March, 2018
Building house

Oliver Hartwich discusses KiwiBuild

The Government's flagship policy to deliver low-cost homes to first time buyers could be a fail on the affordability front, according to its own ministry officials. Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal KiwiBuild apartments and houses to be priced up to $600,000 in Auckland could still be well out of reach of their target market. Mark Sainsbury speaks to Oliver Hartwich about KiwiBuild. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Mark Sainsbury - RadioLIVE
26 February, 2018

Build the rules, and the houses will follow

The housing supply shortage is worse than expected. That makes it even more important that government focuses on the key barriers to getting more houses built. Perhaps counterintuitively, that may mean putting Kiwibuild to the side.  Last week, Phil Twyford announced the results of his commissioned stocktake on the housing crisis. The results are damning. The growth in housing stock since 2012 has been far too low. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
23 February, 2018

Rate runs on rental market

In recent years, the housing rental market has become New Zealand’s newest national sport. Complete with arm-chair critics and commentators. As competition for housing heats up, the tenants are on the back foot, the market is down on properties and politicians are failing to deliver strong policy. According to the TradeMe Property Price Index, weekly rents are 6.7% higher than December 2016. Yet, the Wellington Landlords are just getting warmed up. The government has been slow bowling on rental property policy. Read more

John McMahon
Insights Newsletter
2 February, 2018

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