Speculation fever spreads around country

House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. 

“Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning out around the country driving up house prices. 

“It’s a chain reaction. Auckland investors are driving out Wellington investors. The Wellingtonians are moving into smaller towns like Levin and Foxton. 

“The result is the same everywhere: higher house prices and falling home ownership as young Kiwi families get shut out of the market. 

“Prices in these cities are going through the roof. Tauranga up 28% in the last year, Hamilton 27% and Wellington 21%. 

“It might make some home owners feel happier to be richer on paper. But while incomes are flat-lining, rising house prices can only mean misery for first home buyers and a widening gap between owners and renters. 

“National is in denial that the country is in the grip of a housing crisis. Labour will crack down on speculators. We will make investors who sell a rental property within five years pay income tax on the capital gain. We will ban foreign buyers from buying existing homes. And we have signalled we’ll shut down the rort that saw speculators pocket $650 million in tax breaks last year,” says Phil Twyford.