House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months

The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent – up a whopping $313,000 – since National came to office with the average house now costing $809,000, according to Quotable Valuable.

“That is expensive in anyone’s books. For first home buyers it’s out of reach.

“The grudging and panicked measures announced by John Key yesterday will do little – if anything – to curb these price rises.

“Moves to tax property investors who flick off their properties within two years come into effect in October but their impact won’t be felt before Auckland’s average house price clocks $1 million.

“Based on current trends, average house prices in our biggest city will reach seven figures in 532 days.

“These astronomical increases have occurred because the Prime Minister has refused to address the urgent need to build more houses or take effective steps to stop foreign speculators getting rich on the misery of would-be first home buyers and renters.

“Homeownership rates in Auckland have fallen to 61.5 per cent and are likely to fall even further as soaring prices shut more and more Kiwis out of the market.

“It is time for the National Government to adopt Labour’s comprehensive proposal to ban the sale of residential properties to foreign speculators and back a Government-initiated mass home building programme,” Phil Twyford says.