NZ First have said:
New Zealand First says more evidence of rent gouging has emerged with a Christchurch family with nine young children landed with a rent increase of $100 a week to take their weekly rental from $460 to $560.
Nine young children?? I won’t even try and work out how much WFF they get!
Anyway we don’t know how many bedrooms their current house is but there are 16 properties currently on Trade Me that are at least five bedrooms for under $500 a week. And if you have three kids a room (they are young kids) then there are 72 four bedroom or higher properties for under $500 a week.
Christchurch Earthquake Issues spokesperson Denis O’Rourke says this vindicates repeated calls from New Zealand First for a short term rent freeze in the city.
No it doesn’t. A rent freeze did not work for Muldoon, and the fact some landlords increase their rents doesn’t mean you need price controls.
The economic policy of a Labour/Green/NZ First Government looks more and more to be wedded to the 1970s.
Rents have increased in Christchurch, but in some parts they have dropped according to the official stats:
A number of suburbs across greater Christchurch, particularly on the outside of the city centre, continue to show increases in average weekly rents of 20% or more. Russley, Hawthornden, Yaldhurst, West Melton, Halswell West, Halswell South and Kennedys Bush have all shown large increases for the three months ending October 2012 compared to the same period the previous year.
Meanwhile some suburbs in city fringe areas continue to show decreases in average weekly rents of 10% or greater. Ilam, Riccarton and Westburn have all shown large rent decreases.
And if you bring in a rent freeze, you will discourage new houses being built (which is the sustainble solution).
In Canterbury consents were issued for 396 new dwellings in September 2012, up 80% from September 2011. This is the highest number of consents issued in Canterbury since September 2007.
Yes it is tough if your rent goes up. But the solution proposed by NZ First will make things worse.