Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting

First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened down the housing market. But its medicine has left first home buyers feeling sicker than ever.

“Not only have they been whacked by six years of rising prices, 20 per cent minimum deposits and rising interest rates adding thousands of dollars to mortgage repayments, now the supply of affordable homes has slowed to a trickle.

“REINZ data shows sales are down 13 per cent on this time last year and sales below $400,000 fell by a whopping 21.8 per cent, almost certainly due to LVRs.

“The regions continue to pay the price of National’s failure to get a grip on the Auckland housing crisis. Auckland house prices keep rising while the regions either flat line or face falling house prices.

“Meanwhile National has failed to tackle the root cause of the crisis in Auckland. Nick Smith’s much hyped Special Housing Areas are looking increasing shaky with the Manukau Courier reporting four developers have now pulled out of the scheme. There are also suggestions some developers applied for SHA status to boost their capital gain, but have no intention of building.

“Labour’s positive housing agenda includes building 100,000 affordable KiwiBuild homes over 10 years, directing councils to increase the supply of affordable housing through a National Policy Statement under the Resource Management Act, taxing speculators and reforming monetary policy to bring interest rates down,” Phil Twyford says.