Property Institute welcomes Govt's new build plan

by NZ Adviser17 May 2017
The Government’s announcement to build 34,000 new houses for Auckland has been welcomed by the Property Institute of New Zealand.

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams announced the Government’s Crown Building Project will replace 8300 derelict houses in Auckland with 34,000 brand new ones over the next decade, 24,300 of which will be built by Housing New Zealand through their Auckland Housing Programme.

“These houses will be for our most vulnerable families, for first-home buyers, and for the wider market. We are building more social houses for Aucklanders and helping provide a pathway into independent, affordable housing,” Adams said.

Of the newly built houses, 13,500 will be social houses and 20,600 will be affordable and market homes.

“These 34,000 new houses are a substantial redevelopment and construction programme on a scale not seen since the 1950s.”

Property Institute of New Zealand CEO, Ashley Church said the initiative will go a long way toward addressing the supply issue in the city.

“Solving the Auckland housing crisis has never been rocket science. We don’t need yet more measures to try and curb demand or penalise buyers – we just need to build as many houses as we can, as quickly as possible. Finally, someone has listened and this initiative goes a long way toward achieving that goal”.

Although he applauded the plan to build 13,500 additional homes for Social Housing, he pointed out that this actually represented 5,200 new homes as 8,300 rundown State houses would be torn down to accommodate the new dwellings.

“But I’m certainly not going to criticise them for that. In demolishing those old dwellings to make way for the new ones they’ll be making more efficient use of the land on which they sit and ensuring urban renewal in the affected areas. That’s good for the city”.

He said his main criticism of the plan was the speed at which it would take .

“Once you deduct the 8,300 houses being demolished you’re left with 28,700 homes – which is 2,870 new dwellings, per year, over the next ten years. That’s not to be sneezed at – but it’s a long way short of the 40,000 we need right now.

“We still need to see policy announcements around how each Party proposes to get first home buyers and investors interested in building or buying new dwellings, in large numbers, in preference to existing stock – because that’s how we’ll solve the supply issue. That could take the form of tax incentives, exemptions from the LVR restrictions, construction subsidies, or a mixture of all three – and whichever party cracks it will win that section of the vote”.

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