Housing Accord not working – prices continue skyward


The Government's Auckland Housing Accord isn't working as house prices continue to go through the roof, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The average Auckland house has gone up by $110,000 since the Accord came into effect 15 months ago.

“As today’s report shows the cost of a standard size section for a single dwelling in established urban areas has soared from an average of $300,000 in 2013 to $475,000 last year despite the Accord.

“In fact there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the Special Housing Areas themselves are pushing prices up, with developers holding on to land and not building because their designated status increases the capital gain.

“While Nick Smith is busy trumpeting the number of sections consented, everyone knows you cannot live in a consent or a section. People need houses. The number of completed dwellings in the Special Housing Areas is conspicuous by its absence from today's report.

“At current consenting rates Auckland won't achieve the 10,000 new builds a year it needs just to keep up with population growth. And even if the Government were to hit its optimistic targets over the next five years, its own figures show it won't put a dent in the 15-20,000 shortfall of houses that has accumulated on National’s watch.

“This is why the Reserve Bank says more needs to be done to address the supply shortage. It is why the real estate agents, the banks and the economists all say prices will continue to rise,” Phil Twyford says.

“When is National going to face reality and admit that only a government-backed building programme that produces huge numbers of affordable homes, like Labour’s KiwiBuild initiative, will fix this problem?”