New Zealand Labour Party

Bill English’s housing crisis has pushed banks to the limits, stifling construction

S&P’s report on the New Zealand banking system warns the banks are having to slow new lending, which will slow the construction of desperately needed houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Bill English and his bumbling mate Nick Smith have made a hash of housing. S&P’s report confirms that banks are cutting back lending, meaning development projects will struggle to get financing exacerbating New Zealand’s housing crisis.

“Already, new housing consents are falling. Residential building consents in Auckland were down 20 per cent in December compared to the previous year. S&P says that the housing shortage will only worsen in the coming year.

“This has happened because National has stood on the side-lines for years while building rates have been too low and house prices have skyrocketed.

“Bill English’s years of failure on the housing crisis are coming home to roost. The banks are over-exposed to the housing markets. Capital requirements are forcing them to tighten lending.

“This puts new housing developments at risk of not getting the funding they need, even as the country is short 60,000 houses. Labour’s KiwiBuild will use government funding for its capital, so it will be able to build houses despite a bank lending slow-down.

“It’s time for Labour’s plan to build 100,000 affordable homes for first homebuyers, ban foreign speculators, and invest in thousands more state houses,” says Phil Twyford.