September 2014. Another 17 Special Housing Areas were revealed in Auckland, under the plan to accelerate new home building – only two of them outside the suburbs. Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown announcing the special housing. Link Photo: Radio New Zealand
### NZ Herald Online 9:15 AM Monday Jan 19, 2015
Property: Mad truths on home prices in Auckland
Auckland housing affordability has worsened and it remains one of the 10 least affordable big cities in the world. Auckland’s surging housing market is now only slightly cheaper than London but pricier than Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Perth, Brisbane and Boston.
█ The latest Demographia survey (1.74 MB), released today, compares prices with incomes in 378 cities, including 86 with more than one million people.
Auckland is one of the most unaffordable places due to its high house prices and low incomes. […] Now, the median house price has climbed to $613,000 and income to $75,100, giving a multiple of 8.2 and maintaining Auckland’s top 10 spot for unaffordable major cities.
Property Council chief Connal Townsend blamed Auckland Council’s planning regulations. “We’ve got houses more expensive than LA. How is this possible? A dump in Pt Chevalier demands a million dollars, which gets you a mansion in Beverly Hills. We’ve reached the point of madness.”
Survey authors Hugh Pavletich of Christchurch and Wendell Cox of the United States criticised the Government and Auckland Council for failing to ease affordability by vastly increasing housing supply via the Housing Accord and its 80 Special Housing Areas, but said the situation was bad in other areas too.
█ Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said housing affordability problems went back 25 years but the Government was planning additional reforms this year, particularly around the Resource Management Act.
Analysis: So … what can be done?
Auckland is extraordinarily expensive relative to incomes and rents but the solutions need to be broader than what Demographia argues on land supply, writes Shamubeel Eaqub, principal economist at the NZIER.
Auckland Housing Accord (2014)
Under the terms of the accord approved between the Government and the Auckland Council, a total of 39,000 new homes/sections are targeted for approval over the next three years. Not all of those 39,000 have to be found specifically through the accord, as the figure includes all developments that might be approved in Auckland during that period. Link
Graphic via interest.co.nz [click to enlarge]
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:18, January 19 2015
Auckland in world top ten for housing unaffordability: report
By Laura Walters
The co-author of a survey which found Auckland house prices exceeded those in Los Angeles says housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless”. The 11th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey classified Auckland as the ninth least affordable major city in the world. Auckland is the 14th least affordable city out of all 378 cities surveyed, and has been rated as “severely unaffordable” in 11 surveys done – less affordable than Los Angeles and the Gold Coast. “It’s just not on, is it? The social injustice of the whole thing’s just dreadful. It’s screwing up people’s lives big time,” said Christchurch-based Hugh Pavletich. When the cost of housing exceeded three times people’s incomes it showed there was a “massive problem” with infrastructure financing and land supply, he said.
NZ HOUSING AFFORDABILITY DROPS
While Auckland’s house prices were extremely high, Tauranga-Western Bay of Plenty, Christchurch and Wellington were also seen in the survey as “severely unaffordable”. Palmerston North-Manawatu and Hamilton-Waikato were “seriously unaffordable”. There were no moderately affordable or affordable markets in New Zealand, according to the survey. “Housing affordability has declined materially in New Zealand’s three largest markets over the last decade.”
Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said the high prices of New Zealand houses had a lot to do with the tax regime being favourable to home ownership and property investment compared with other forms of saving or investment.
Todd Property Group with Fletcher Residential – Stonefields is a 110 hectare development at Mt Wellington, located, only 8km from the Auckland Central Business District and next to the established eastern suburbs of Ellerslie, Meadowbank and St Johns. Photo: panoramio.com
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr