New Zealand Labour Party

Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial

The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The Reserve Bank have followed through on the indication of tighter limits for lending to people buying their second or more property. This is the right thing to do, as nearly one in two purchases in Auckland have been made by speculators, and there are signs of the rapid price increases spreading to other regions.

“The Bank clearly recognises we are in a housing crisis that is a threat to our financial stability. They are openly calling on the National Government to step up and fix the crisis.

“The proposed extension of LVRs for owner-occupiers outside Auckland shows the Reserve Bank’s concern that the housing crisis is spreading. This will be a disaster for some first home buyers in our regions.

“The blame for this lies squarely at National’s feet. They are in a state of denial.

“National has failed to address what the Reserve Bank described today as sluggish house building and they have failed to crack down on speculators. 

"Labour’s plan to fix the housing crisis includes banning offshore speculators from buying residential properties, an extension of the bright line test to five years and consulting on ending the practice of negative gearing.

“It is clear that the only way to bring stability to the housing market and give first home buyers a fair go is to change the Government,” Grant Robertson said.