Wellington is 'bursting at the seams'

by Roxanne Libatique03 Oct 2019

Wellington has consented fewer dwellings this year, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest data.

The report revealed that the city consented 135 fewer dwellings compared to 1,500 more in Auckland and 273 in Christchurch. Its waiting list for social housing has also reached sky-high, while its rental crisis is the same as that of Auckland.

David Faulkner of RealiQ Property Management commented that Wellington is “bursting at the seams” while Robert Whittaker of Renters United said the city’s rental crisis has gotten “significantly worse in the last couple of years.”

National List MP Nicola Willis also showed concern about the city’s sudden backward slide in the issuing of consents.

Read more: Auckland dwelling consents hit all time high

Faulkner believes that Wellington is several months away from seeing the worst again, especially as it is not increasing the supply of rental stock.

"I can feel tenants' anguish ... they don't feel the love for property managers because it's like cattle getting churned through,” he said.

"There isn't anything that the property manager's doing wrong, it's just the volume of the market scrambling for these houses."

Whittaker said the bigger problem was the lack of big institutional investors in the country who are willing to invest in properties for a stable rental income return in the long run rather than a large capital gain.

Meanwhile, Willis explained that the spike in house prices and rents may have been prompted by intensification and development on greenfield land in the city – adding that property developers “still roll their eyes” at the time it takes to get new developments approved.

"It still takes too long, it's too complicated, it's too expensive. If the number of new houses being built is dropping, we're not doing enough,” Willis concluded.

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