Auckland Council forcing up house prices

Roger Partridge writes:

But the big problem with the Council’s plan is the fifth principle and its Orwellian-sounding provision for growth “in the right place, at the right time.” If that feels like a know-it-all Big Brother dictating Auckland’s pace of growth, that’s because it is.

The Council’s planners propose a future growth strategy that will set even tighter restrictions on growth on the city’s fringes. The plan expressly states: “There will be less reliance on expansion into future urban areas, and what growth there is will be phased over a longer timeframe.”

This is the opposite approach to what is needed to ease Auckland’s housing affordability crisis.

Land for urban development at the city’s fringes is already in scarce supply. So much so that, after accounting for land conversion costs, a square metre of land inside Auckland’s rural-urban boundary is worth $1,300 more than land just outside the boundary. That equates to a gargantuan differential of $650,00 for a 500-square-metre section.

The only serious way to reduce house prices is to increase supply, and that means cities need to both build up and build out. Just doing one without the other will not work.

The council should be cutting the rural-urban boundary, not reinforcing it. And it should be flooding the periphery of the city with infrastructure for housing.

Phil Twyford was right in 2017 when he campaigned on abolishing it.

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