Friday, March 02, 2007

Housing Affordability

Thanks to the NZ Herald I discover today that Parliament's commerce select committee has decided to hold an inquiry into housing affordability.

Now of course I hope that something good and practical actually comes out of this; like the removal of special treatment for the family home, recognition that the high interest policy leads to higher - not lower - housing costs especially for those in low income brackets etc. But somehow I doubt it.

And more importantly I doubt they will have the wherewithal to try and tackle the main issue with housing prices - people buying things they can't afford. Lets face it the main factor driving up the housing prices in New Zealand today is stupidity. And the complete lack of any willingness to compromise.

We conntinue to read about the lack of affordable housing in Auckland - which is just complete and utter tripe. It is still completely possible to buy a 3 bedroom house for $278,000 in Auckland within walking distance of the largest mall in NZ, the train station, 2 main bus trunk routes, on 700 square meters of land. Or at least I can guarantee that as of last September anyway...

What is the real issue; oh it's not in Remuera et al. And so it's outside where people are willing to look. And so the 'desirable' suburbs are so overpriced as to push the median house price to over $450,000. Note the difference?

Oh of course school zoning doesn't help this - but that really is the exact same issue, as both DPF and Cactus Kate have so eloquently blogged on before; it is the lack of willingness to actually look at both what you can afford - and more importantly what you actually need.

Do beneficiaries need to live in $1.5 million dollar houses in Orakei - by definition proximity to the city to reduce commute times isn't exactly a priority...

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