Auckland Housing

May 17th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I get mad when I read this:

A report by the Housing Shareholders Advisory Group in 2010 found there was a 70,000 house shortfall across the country.

The say yesterday’s announcement is ”just a drop in the ocean”.

Co-leader Metiria Turei said the housing crisis was ”a ticking time bomb”.

”We urgently need to increase the supply of housing to cover the 70,000 house deficit we have in New Zealand. At this pace it will take decades.”

Families were struggling with high-cost, low-quality, overcrowded housing while some families didn’t even have housing, she said.

And why do we have high-cost low-quality housing in Auckland especially? Because the Greens and others steadfastly campaign against the one thing which could massively lower the cost of land, and hence housing. That is to increase the urban limit.

The Greens are against this because that means people living further out will drive those evil cars more. Now that is a reasonable point of view to have – that getting rid of cars is more important than affordable housing.

But hell when you then come out all upset over the cost of housing, well go bloody look in the mirror.

Personally I regard making housing in Auckland more affordable as far more important than trying to force people out of their cars. The Greens do not however. Their solution is to keep land prices high.

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29 Responses to “Auckland Housing”

  1. flipper (4,232 comments) says:

    All the more reason DPF to rein in Local Governmernt and to return the RMA to from whence it came by eliminating all the planning industry’s case law.
    As the late Owen McShane often said (and justified): “It is the case law and the planning industry that has prostituted the original good intent of the RMA”

    The planned revision of Local Goivernment will be crucial.

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  2. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    I agree putting a ring fence around Auckland growth & expansion is not the answer. Are you sure it is the Green Party that is driving this though?

    Urban Sprawl worked for me when I lived in Auckland. Lived in Mount Eden, worked in East Tamaki industrial zone.

    It took me 45 minutes to get to work in the morning, but at least I was rolling the whole time. People travelling in the opposite direction (living in the burbs, going in to town to work) appeared to be just a solid stationary traffic jam most of the time.

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  3. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Actually the solution is for the government to build high quality, low cost housing near public transport hubs within the urban limits to fill the gap the speculators, land bankers and assorted other private parasites and cost shifters won’t. The state is the only actor capable of responding to the failure of the market on the scale required, and as an added bonus a government housing program would act as a powerful stimulus to the Auckland domestic economy.

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  4. Longknives (4,889 comments) says:

    But Turei is a self-professed “Anarchist”!
    Why would an ‘Anarchist’ wish to rely on the government (that they despise so much) for anything?
    Just wondering….

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  5. Simon Lyall (60 comments) says:

    Over half of Auckland households are just 1,2 or 3 people. Many of them would be perfectly served by small, cheap ( less than $300,000 ) houses/units/apartments close to the city (or transport hubs). Not everybody wants to pay $600,000 plus for a 3-5 bedroom house an hour’s drive from town

    Unfortunately the planning rules prevent high-density building in built-up areas too. Not to mention the portion of the population who has an instinctive hatred of anything that is not a “house” on a 1/4 acre section (even if somebody else is living in it).

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  6. nasska (11,822 comments) says:

    fish_boy

    …”the solution is for the government to build high quality, low cost housing near public transport hubs”….

    Seems to me that something like this was tried in the 50’s & 60’s. From memory it was called state housing & has resulted in graffiti covered slums such as seen in South Auckland, Porirua & the Hutt Valley.

    Any other suggestions?

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  7. tom hunter (5,095 comments) says:

    Why blame the Greens and their ilk for taking full advantage of the RMA and Local Government legislation?

    Is it really their fault – or does the fault lie with people who either put that legislation in place or who refuse to do anything practicable to change it?

    Still, I can see why that might present a terrible political problem. If one frets about the photo of a beer-bong imbibing health official then it must be truly horrifying to contemplate a picture of JK adding one more shovelful of aggregate on top of a concrete and asphalt Gaia coffin stretching from Albany to the Bombay Hills.

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  8. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Where id i say the housing had to remain government OWNED? I just said government BUILT. Let’s re-create the state advances corporation to make low interest loans (our foreign own banks would hate that), build low cost, high quality, medium density apartments in family sizes – 130 square metres and up – around transport hubs (baby boomer rentiers and land banking speculators would hate that) and then have mixed ownership models, some on lease, some on housing corp rent and most sold at or near to cost to young families looking for a cheap new home that won’t condemn them to twenty five years of mortgage semi-poverty or see them exiled to the distant urban fringe.

    Fringe housing also costs the taxpayer huge amounts in indirect subsidies for private land developers. Why should the taxpayer have to pick up the cost of new schools, roads, public transport (if any) and other infrastructure when developers will pocket the profits? And what happens when petrol hits $2.50, $3.00, $3.50 a litre and up and it becomes economically unviable slums for low paid workers to try and commute from from these distant suburbs?

    [DPF: We actually have the lowest interest rates in 40 years at the moment. That is not the issue. Also I’d point out that artifically low credit is what helped lead to the global financial crisis, so I’m not so sure repeating that again is a great idea]

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  9. mavxp (492 comments) says:

    I agree with fish_boy, but perhaps without the emphasis on the state doing it all. Firstly, or in tandem, the transport corridors need to be in place, whether for buses or trains, with park and ride facilities in the ‘burbs. Then build intensive housing near these transport hubs.

    The problem with Auckland is that it spread beyond the infrastructure’s capability to support the increased traffic. Decades of under investment has meant an inefficient network. All the arguments over roads vs. rail are not addressing this main problem, because it is very difficult to play ‘catch up’. The road network was never envisioned to take the volumes of cars it now takes, and public transport via a rail network was never envisioned as necessary as cars once upon a time were not as cheap and prevalent as they are now.

    The whole network needs masses of investment, which is happening, but the rate of development is limited to the ability of city’s contractors to build (without inflating prices too much), and the ability of ratepayers to pay. The other aspect not looked into is how much is spent building and maintaining roads, and yet very very little is invested on R&D to design and use materials better for making roads cheaper over the long term. NZ road engineers use positively primitive empirical methods to design roads based on foreign data from the 1970’s, and there is no incentive for private companies to undertake R&D to develop better techniques and get better value for money for the taxpayer/ ratepayer.

    Increasing the sprawl will not solve the problem of where another million people will live over the next 50 years. There must *also* be intensification of housing near transport hubs. This needs the public transport network to be a viable and indeed preferable means of daily transport for the average Aucklander. Housing and transport (+ other infrastructure such as sewerage and water supply) are part of the same issue.

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  10. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Because the Greens and others steadfastly campaign against the one thing which could massively lower the cost of land, and hence housing.

    I must have been asleep when the “Greens and others” were in charge of urban planning. Who is calling the shots now? Have the Greens joined the Nats in coalition and I haven’t noticed?

    I would also comment that the “Greens and others” (I love the open-ended deflection approach to the blame game) campaign against a wide selection of policies of many organisations and just get run over, so I’m curious as to why DPF sees fit to lay blame for the housing debacle at the door of the aforementioned “Greens and others”.

    Personally I regard making housing in Auckland more affordable as far more important than trying to force people out of their cars.

    Any evidentiary basis for this, DPF?. On the other hand, there is lots of evidence that people will willingly desert their cars with smart urban planning and efficient, affordable public transport.

    So, would you ever consider the possibility that you may be just plain wrong? As you often are.

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  11. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Oh, and the airwaves are full of DPF’s government’s plans to cancel an affordable housing initiative in Hobsonville. That’ll help.

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  12. Griff (8,203 comments) says:

    Fucking retardation
    New zealanders do not like living in medium rise flats
    we like a nice place for the kids to run around on
    Very few actually work in the inner city
    we like big houses
    you all want everyone else to live in council flats as built in England in the sixties and seventy’s instant slums
    Its a bit like the public transport dream you all want it so there is more room on the roads for you to drive on
    the attempt’s Social engineering is not going to change things it will just cost way to much for no gain

    Best solve for Auckland problems remove zoning land use will then be decided by the market
    making the most efficient use of the resource and satisfyingly the desires of the populace not by some bunch of lefty centralist planing idiots in the council

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  13. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “…artifically low credit is what helped lead to the global financial crisis…”

    Only if you put the masters of the universe like the bosses of J P Morgan in charge – they are the only people who can’t seem to be able to tell the difference between someone who can pay a mortgage and someone who cannot.

    If the market decides interest rates, then yeah – it may push them to high for new home buyers at some stage in their mortgage cycle. However, our forefathers were somewhat smarter than the current Gods of capitalism at Goldman-Sachs (or Kiwiblog), which is why they set up the state advances corporation. Of course, the state advances corp got flogged off for a song by those criminals Prebble and Douglas as an affront to their ideological purity.

    Re-creating the state advances corporation means it would be able to largely prevent interest rate spikes to those buying houses on the government loan scheme. It is exactly how my parents got a house – they cashed in the child allowance for a lump sum as a deposit on a smallish (1100 square feet) sturdy weatherboard kitset home with a 25 year state advances mortgage at a fixed 3%. My parents started with nothing, and given the opportunity by the state to get a home for their family at price they could afford they got on with it and have never looked back.

    We owe it to young families today to offer them exactly the same opportunities.

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  14. tom hunter (5,095 comments) says:

    … which is why they set up the state advances corporation.

    And why the US government set up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who now own trillions of crap mortgages. Sure, Wall street invented all those sub-prime and Alt-A mortgages – but that’s what happens when a government is standing there with a huge carrot in one hand and a stick labeled get-poor-people-to-own-homes.

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  15. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    @Griff
    First of all, I am a New Zealander who works in the inner city, and I don’t want to live in a big house and would happily live and raise a family in a long-leased apartment of, say, 150 square metres with a nice park next door with a pond for the ducks and shady tree for family picnics. So I just proved your assertions on behalf of all New Zealanders to be entirely wrong.

    Part of this debate is about a wider discussion of how we cope with Auckland’s evolution from an over-grown town (like Wellington) to a proper, bone fide city complete with an urban culture and people who like the urban lifestyle for them and their children. The claim that there is still only one model of what constitutes the “Kiwi dream” is ridiculous. Plenty of couples might choose to remain childless (or simply be married gays) and enjoy living in an affordable, city fringe urban apartment. The idea you can simply knock over another orchard on the edge of town for a new green fields development and still be within ten minutes drive of downtown is strictly for small places like Napier or Oamaru or Whanganui. We have a big, bad, proper city up here in the 09 with a cities needs and planning perspectives. The sort of narrow minded, backward and unimaginative thinking of our friend Griff belongs in the 1980s, or possibly in Timaru.

    With Auckland’s population exploding the need to ensure the city remains a livable and sustainable and enjoyable place means good public transport and good, properly designed medium density housing. If you want Griff’s particular Kiwi dream either get a shitload of dosh in Auckland or move to Tauranga.

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  16. Grendel (1,005 comments) says:

    aside from Fishboys desire that we replicate the multi step welfare that let his parents ‘buy’ a house, and so now we need to do it for him, he raises a good point (but in a terrible way of course), that potential home owners need an opportunity.

    and we can thank Labour for it. its called Kiwisaver.

    if 3-5 years ago FIsh and fishspouse had joined Kiwisaver, even on the very basis incomes that a lefty whiner is likely to be on, he would have at least 10K he could withdraw now. so thats 20K deposit, which is 5% on a 400K house if you wanted to go that high.

    with his obvious low income he would probably also be eligible for the housing corp subsidy, of another 3-5K each.

    so then they could buy a house in the lowest rates market we have had in donkeys years.

    the major difference between this version and FIshes socialist buy it for him version? this would be money he had actually saved and was doing for himself.

    so there is plenty of opportunity if you could just see it.

    the state has no business being involved in building houses. lower to middle class people who saved and got into a house on their own sweat should not have to subsidise leeches like Fish who want it basically given to them.

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  17. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    So… What does this hypothetical socialist whiner live on when he retires? I suppose Mr. Grendeldick will then lecture him on the poverty of his life on whatever super is still around being on account of his failure to wisely put aware his acorns for the autumn and winter of life? or does Grendeldick assume the housing bubble is going to be a never ending one way bet, and our spendthrift socialist hero will retire to a good life of golden sea, sun and sand in Queensland?

    My parents were leeches? Well, fine words from a keyboard coward. I’ll give you a bit of free advice and suggest you be careful who you call a leech to their face.

    My parents had nothing given to them. They worked bloody hard all their lives to pay a mortgage and raise their family and they paid all their taxes. All the government gave them a chance and a hand up and they’ve paid back their side of the bargain in spades.

    My Mum and Dad know all to well from personal experience what “housing” is like when it is left to to the market and to the slum lords. The state has every business to be in the business of building houses. Access to affordable dry, warm, and secure housing is a basic human right and fundamental to good public health and a property owning democracy. The evidence of the abject failure of the market to provide these fundamentals needs and rights to all New Zealanders is everywhere around us – time for the government to act.

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  18. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    The solution to Auckland’s housing woes is to go up and not out. The cost of replicating infrastructure on the fringes is prohibitive and unaffordable to ratepayers.
    We have to have a hard look at existing surburban locales, particularly in the central city and consider the merits of the economic’s of impermanance, and that is to tear down entire suburbs and build new facilities on top of them.
    For instance area’s such as PT.Chev, Mt.Eden, Morningside,Newton, have parts that could be redeveloped, modernised.

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  19. tom hunter (5,095 comments) says:

    So I just proved your assertions on behalf of all New Zealanders to be entirely wrong.

    Fair point on someone making an “all” claim. But it’s a pot-kettle situation when the Left make similar claims, if not about “all” then “most”:

    Plenty of couples might choose to remain childless (or simply be married gays) and enjoy living in an affordable, city fringe urban apartment.

    Not to mention the couples who have one designer child in their late 30’s. But “plenty” is not provable as “enough”, let alone “most”, and it misses the key point here anyway, which is that this stuff is driven by a conflict between the demands of ordinary people and the constraints of the system, and yet the answer of the Left is to pile on even more constraints.

    In other words, the markets of people speak, but almost always with answers that left-wingers don’t want to hear. Which is why we hear endless guff about people’s willingness to shift from cars to public transport, and their willingness to live as you would choose to, in a long-leased apartment of, say, 150 square metres with a nice park next door with a pond for the ducks and shady tree for family picnics.

    People are willing to live like that – in London, Chicago, NY and myriad other big cities. I lived like that for years and was quite happy to do so. But when I eventually returned to NZ I wanted what Griff described, a bigger house with plenty of room outside for the kids to run around in. In returning to this country, I was already compromising by accepting a limited career path and severely limited income compared to what I had overseas. Given those compromises why the hell would I compromise further on housing?

    What is the point in living an inner-city lifestyle in Auckland when one can live that lifestyle overseas with more money and more choices in other areas of life? Why try to live the inner-city NY-London lifestyle in poorer, more limited NZ?

    fish_boy‘s wistful nostalgia for the glories of the State Advances Corporation fits perfectly with other aspects of the 70’s left, such as the surveys Labour used to conduct back then, showing that people were willing to pay increased taxes: Labour would then campaign on such policies – and lose. It took years, but the dumb bastards finally realised that what people said they would be willing to do and what they actually did, were two different things.

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  20. Akaroa (590 comments) says:

    I’m reading all this with interest. My observation as a 1974 incoming immigrant was – and still is – that yer actual Kiwi has grossly over-inflated aspirations as far as housing goes. Quarter-acre Pavlova paradise and all that that term signifies can be financially disastrous. We got into housing in NZ as did many others at that time with a $25,000 Housing Corporation loan. Our house in a terrace – (quelle horreur!!) overlooking Wellington harbour – (Maupuia, if you really want to know) – was built for – wait for it – $25,000. (Mirroring the HC loan – funny old thing that, eh!)

    We were in our early forties and starting the house-owning pilgrimage from a long way back. But, with teenage children, we traded up a couple of times until we were in a four bedroom totally detached corner section single storey house in Johnsonville’s lovely Churton Park.

    Now! And here’s where we all start winning!

    As our children left my soul-mate and I found ourselves rattling around in that big sprawling single-story, corner section, double garage, landscaped section, tiled roofed, dwelling. Having no delusions that house size equated to social standing or status – (unlike many Kiwi friends of ours I have to say) – we tired of maintaining/cleaning that great barn of a place. So we sold up and bought – wait for it! – a two bedroomed sixth floor apartment in the shadow of Auckland’s Sky Tower.

    The moral of this tale? Housing casts are crippling for years. But eventually, when the time comes to down-size, you are sitting pretty with cash from a big family home to spend on a Darby and Joan apartment. No sweat! And lots of change out of the deal to spend on quality-of-life-enhancing pursuits when the offspring have sprung off!

    My advice? A house is a house, not an investment or a status symbol. Treat it accordingly and get some life-style enhancement out of any money the current mad NZ house-puchase-resale system stuffs into your back pocket. You can’t take it with you!!

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  21. Akaroa (590 comments) says:

    I’m reading all this with interest. My observation as a 1974 incoming immigrant was – and still is – that yer actual Kiwi has grossly over-inflated aspirations as far as housing goes. Quarter-acre Pavlova paradise, and all that that term signifies, can be financially disastrous.

    We got into housing in NZ, as did many others at that time, with a $25,000 Housing Corporation loan. Our house in a terrace – (quelle horreur!!) – overlooking Wellington harbour – (Maupuia, if you really want to know) – was built for – wait for it – $25,000. (Mirroring the HC loan – funny old thing that, eh!)

    We were in our early forties and starting the house-owning pilgrimage from a long way back. But, with teenage children, we traded up a couple of times until we were in a four bedroom totally detached corner section singl -storey house in Johnsonville’s lovely Churton Park.

    Now! And here’s where we all start winning!

    As our children left my soul-mate and I found ourselves rattling around in that big sprawling single-storey, corner, double garaged, landscaped, tiled roofed, dwelling.

    Having no illusions that house size equated to social standing or status – (unlike many Kiwi friends of ours I have to say) – we tired of maintaining/cleaning that great barn of a place. So we sold up, moved North, and bought – wait for it! – a two bedroomed sixth floor apartment in the shadow of Auckland’s Sky Tower.

    The moral of this tale? Housing costs are crippling for years. But eventually, when the time comes to down-size, you are sitting pretty with cash from a big family home to spend on a Darby and Joan apartment. No sweat! And lots of change out of the deal to spend on quality-of-life-enhancing pursuits when the offspring have sprung off!

    My advice? A house is a house, not an investment or a status symbol. Treat it accordingly and get some life-style enhancement out of any money the currently, IMHO insane, NZ house-puchase-resale system stuffs into your back pocket. You can’t take it with you!!

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  22. Akaroa (590 comments) says:

    HI! Sorry about the repitition – my system tells me to delete it all or retain it all.

    Can’t let my profound prognostications go to waste, so it stays! Doh!!

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  23. Griff (8,203 comments) says:

    Its not My dream I done the suburbia thing had a house and all that shit
    I have just built a nice little cabin on half an acre 50sqm one bedroom granite benches quality fittings styley and comfortable for one or two cost 45000
    It was only that cheap cause I ignored the fucking “over” building code and the stupid council bylaws (kiapara council if they don’t get a complaint they don’t know)if I done the same as per the bureaucracy it would have cost well over 110000 dollers!!

    It is the dream of the majority of New Zealanders stand alone house in a reasonable suburb
    We have lots of shiny new apartments in the city
    Who lives in them?
    not the owners most are on a weekly rent to those that can not afford the alternative
    To forfull lens multi story utopia whole suburbs n the inner city will need to be demolished
    Try getting that oked by the locals you have a shit show in hell of redeveloping remurea ptchev ponsonby or takapuna along those lines
    whole suburbs of nimbys will be out to stop you

    A decent 150sqm apartment is going to cost approx 4000 per sq m or more to build plus land cost whos going to pay for that sort of expensive development not the battler in the suburbs thats for sure It Will be shitboxes of around 60sqm that get built and filled instant slums with the smell of cabbage and curry wafting up the lift shaft
    You will have the same cost of supplying sewerage power and h2o The cost of ripping up replacing and expanding services in existing suburbs costs a lot more per m than on a green feild site
    Your if you want a section and stand alone house change city is more of the same twaddle Thats just a good way of constricting Auckland’s population growth and shifting the problem else where and fucking the Auckland employment market
    As for public transport Everyone says if it was there i would use it
    except when i have to pickup the kids or do some shopping or drop in on mum or work late or its raining or i am running late …….. get the idea
    If you want that sort of expensive bullshit move to greece Puplic transport is always heavily subsidized even the metro newyork subway or the underground even though they have had decades or a century to pay back the capital cost. frankly I do not have any desire to pay for yours transport costs

    Tell the councils and lefty fuckwits to fuck of and let the market decide the sort of housing people want

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  24. CharlieBrown (1,028 comments) says:

    Just shows that when it comes to rational economic policies and beliefs, the greens and most socialists are narrow-minded, dumb twats. They have absolutely no idea behind cause and effect. They don’t understand that the side effects and opportunity costs to their puritanical bull-shit are huge and make the country (and world) a worse place.

    Griff: “Tell the councils and lefty fuckwits to fuck of and let the market decide the sort of housing people want”

    Don’t use the word market, the fuckwits you talk about don’t understand that a market is a collection of individuals making their own decision. Instead use the word people.

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  25. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    It is generally accepted that limiting land supply pushes up house prices – it is a simple supply and demand equation

    and if it costs me, say an extra $50 a week travel costs to work that is still only $2.5K a year – a small amount in relation to typical house prices.

    Auckland has an apartment market. It is noticeable that the quality is generally poor and that they are generally cheap with poor capital gains, which implies people don’t want to buy them.

    For those who want to spend my money to give someone else a house – kindly f**k off. I worked really hard for it and would like to use it on my own house.

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  26. Griff (8,203 comments) says:

    CharlieBrown

    I do get your point
    most on here have a right leaning and are literate in market forces
    as to the economically challenged left they still don’t get the people or any thing except WE KNOW BETTER

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  27. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    It’s amazing how building lots and lots of shit housing for people has worked all over the world, in the US, France, anywhere there is a ghetto filled with crime.

    One way that you could reduce the amount of new housing we need is to sort out the stupid situation we have with the current supply. We have all these crap houses with 3 bedrooms. This is the perfect size for a state house to be the most useless. Beneficiaries either come in ones or twos or scores. You have a situation where a single person is living in a three bedroom house, which is very wasteful of resources. Then on the other side of it you have these houses filled with families of ten or eight, which is very unhealthy and creates great suffering. So you don’t fix this problem by building heaps and heaps of more of the same shit, inefficient, ugly and stupid housing, Luc Hansen. This is one of the things I believe the government is trying to fix, taking the culture away from quantity, and putting a focus back on outcomes for people within housing NZ.

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  28. Scott B (23 comments) says:

    Griff: “…Puplic transport is always heavily subsidized even the metro newyork subway …. frankly I do not have any desire to pay for yours transport costs

    Tell the councils and lefty fuckwits to fuck of and let the market decide the sort of housing people want”

    Basically all inner-city transport is subsidized. A fair amount of local roads/footpaths are funded directly through rates. I understand a portion of general taxes also go into roading.

    From what I have seen reason housing requires regulation is because the market is so distorted. Low density urban fringe housing costs the council far more to service than higher density housing nearer the city (costs far more to run sewers etc). Because transport is subsided (both private and public transport) those who travel long distances are not exposed to the full cost of there transport, rather local/central government (and eventually the tax/rate payers) pick up some of the bill.

    For a fully market based to housing to be optimum we would need to firstly need to eliminate the market distortions, and ensure all externalities (both positive and negative) are captured. That’s no easy task.

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  29. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    Griff is on to it, Fishboy and all other high intensity AND affordable housing supporters are complete idiots.
    Facts: it costs at least $3,700 per sqm to build a high quality apartment versus under $1,600 per sqm for a high quality detached dwelling.

    So Fishboys little 130sqm family apartment will cost: 130 x 3700 = $481,000. And that’s just for the construction, add on the cost for his share of the land (assume 8 storey high + 30sqm commons in inner Auckland urban @ $1850/sqm = $37,000 pro rata share), consents and development levies/reserves contributions (8 storey quadplex, 32 apartments, $1.6 million total fees = $50,000 per). Total cost for Fishboys dream flat = at least $568,000 plus body corporate fee’s (typ. = $8,000 p.a. for this scale) and rates ($2,900 p.a.) = ongoing $13,000 per annum costs.

    A low 10% deposit would require at least $58,000 savings cash in the bank for this, outgoings would be $950 per week assuming a 25 year term loan even at neo-State Advances Corp subsided interest rate of just 5%. And this is “affordable” for a first home/starter family: for a small family apartment with no facilities, no garaging/storage and minimal commons. Well is it? Because you will need to earning $63,000+ p.a. just to pay for your housing. Idiots.

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