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Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown

The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“Of the 328 land-banking opportunities being advertised, one third of them – or 110 – are in Auckland where families are desperate for homes to buy.

“These advertisements include 1.9 hectares in Takanini in Papakura listed as ‘an opportunity to own this land bank’. It has an RV of $1,875,000 but the vendors are asking for $4.5 million. This property was only just sold a year ago for $2.566 million and sold for $1.85 million in December 2014.

“Another advertised as a ‘Special Slice of Paradise – Land Bank Investment!’ is 10.59 hectares in Rodney/Helensville with a price guide of $2.8-$3.2 million. This section is marketed as outside future urban zoning for buyers to cash in on restrictive growth boundaries. However, Rodney is exactly the type of area near Auckland that needs to be developed if the housing crisis is to be addressed.

“The most disturbing listing is for a ‘prime investment opportunity’ within the Otahuhu Special Housing Area which is described as one of the ‘last few large land banks’ left in the suburb. National’s Special Housing Areas were supposed to help cool the overheated Auckland housing crisis, not make it worse.

“The Government’s failure to tackle the Auckland housing crisis has made it a paradise for speculators with investors now making up 46 per cent of purchasers. This is shutting first home buyers out of the market and putting the Kiwi dream of home ownership even further out of reach.

“This is why the Government needs to adopt Labour’s plan to crack down on speculators by taxing those who flick on a property within five years, ending subsidies for major speculators by reforming negative gearing, and stopping the speculative frenzy on Auckland's boundary by abolishing the urban growth limit,” Andrew Little says.