National must take action on speculators

The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. 

“There are a number of options the Government could take to prevent property speculators building up large housing portfolios and pushing up house prices.

“At the moment first home buyers or those who want a rental property for retirement are being shut out of the market by lending restrictions that should be targeted at property speculators who sometimes own 10 to 20 houses and sit on them.

“But the first thing the Government has to do is admit there is a housing crisis. As long as John Key and Nick Smith keep their head in the sand, property speculators will run rampant, average house prices in Auckland will top $1 million and the home ownership dream will turn into even more of a nightmare.

“The solutions need to focus on Auckland. There is no point in a family trying to buy a house in Wanganui, where house prices are dropping, being subject to lending restrictions designed to lower house price inflation.

“One solution could be focussing LVRs on Auckland speculators, rather than on the regions, families or first home buyers.

“Another would be those buying multiple properties needing a higher level of equity for subsequent purchases.

“The most important action is to simply build more houses to increase supply. The Reserve Bank deputy governor was right yesterday to say the Government is taking far too long to get houses built so demand needs to be tackled too.

“Nick Smith said he has ‘no magic ideas’ this morning. That’s because National won’t even admit there’s a crisis,” Andrew Little says.