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Mortgage debt hits record levels as rates rise

National’s housing crisis has saddled families with record mortgage debt as interest rates start to rise. Building affordable homes is more important now than ever, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

New Reserve Bank data shows mortgage debt stands at $227.8b, or nearly $50,000 per New Zealander. This increased by $18.3b in the past year, or $50m a day.

“National’s housing crisis has forced families deep into debt. As interest rates rise faster than wages, the squeeze is being put on family budgets.

“Labour’s Kiwibuild programme will build 100,000 affordable homes for first homebuyers. These houses will be priced below the national average, at a level young families can actually afford.

“Kiwibuild will mean young families don’t have to take on so much mortgage debt to get into their own home, and aren’t as exposed to interest rate rises.

“Even if house prices have paused in Auckland, the housing crisis is not over.

“There are still nowhere near enough houses being built, let alone ones that first homebuyers can afford. Prices are still skyrocketing across much of the country. Rents are still ridiculous.

“National has failed and bumbled for too long. They should back Labour’s KiwiBuild Bill, which is currently before Parliament, and start building affordable homes now,” says Phil Twyford.