Auckland

Key enters a complex political situation by funding Len’s rail loop early

John Key is set to destroy the central plank of Phil Goff’s mayoralty campaign.

Prime Minister John Key will lay out his political priorities tomorrow, with his State of the Nation speech expected to focus on Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

Mr Key is expected to bring forward plans to fund the contentious City Rail Link.

The project puts in new stops at Aotea Square and Karangahape Rd, creating a loop that joins up Auckland’s rail network.    Read more »

Auckland 5th most “unaffordable” worldwide, and yet it’s doing fine

Clearly, being “unaffordable” doesn’t seem to matter much as Auckland is going from strength to strength and houses are still sold.

Auckland’s housing affordability has worsened, with the city climbing from the world’s ninth most expensive city to fifth in a year.

The annual Demographia survey, released today, compares prices to incomes in 367 cities. Auckland is one of the worst in the world due to extremely high house prices coupled with moderate wages.

With a median price of $748,700, and a $77,500 median income, Auckland has a house price-wage multiple of of 9.7. Any more than 3 is classified as unaffordable by the report’s authors.

Prime Minister John Key defended the housing situation in Auckland, telling Radio New Zealand the data the survey was based on could be old.

“At the very back end of 2015 [prices] started coming off, I think, certainly not rising as rapidly,” he told RNZ.

“In part, it does reflect the fact that Auckland is a very attractive place to live.”

In part? It’s got jobs. It has beaches over the back fence, great parks, awesome shopping and relatively safe streets. Most immigrants want to live there.   Read more »

Predictions for Auckland 2016

Auckland-Housing

Off the back of today’s Demographia news I predict the following:

– property prices will increase massively
– Auckland Council will fight harder for its compact city
– the rail tunnel will be announced    Read more »

Thanks Len, forget most liveable…Auckland is now one of the most expensive cities in the world

Auckland is in crisis and Auckland Council is entirely to blame.

Last week I said I was in for bad news, and here it is…

Auckland’s housing affordability has worsened, with the city climbing from the world’s ninth most expensive city to fifth in a year.

The annual Demographia survey, released today, compares prices to incomes in 367 cities. Auckland is one of the worst in the world due to extremely high house prices coupled with moderate wages.

With a median price of $748,700, and a $77,500 median income, Auckland has a house price-wage multiple of of 9.7. Any more than 3 is classified as unaffordable by the report’s authors.

Report authors Hugh Pavletich, a Christchurch-based former property developer, and American Wendell Cox argue that a shortage of land drives up prices.

Don Brash, former Reserve Bank governor, said housing affordability was “[overwhelmingly] a function of just one thing: the extent to which governments place artificial restrictions on the supply of residential land”.

Read more »

Is Auckland Future going to Endorse Penny Webster?

pennywebster

There are a large number of disappointing councillors on the Auckland Council, but when it comes to disappointment none is more disappointing than Penny Webster.

Penny Webster accepted the Chair of the Finance & Performance Committee, which means she manages a lot of the budgeting process and therefore has to take responsibility for the ridiculous spending Len Brown’s council has undertaken. She has to take responsibility for the massive increase of debt, and she has to take responsibility for the massive increase in rates. So Penny Webster is a tax-and-spend liberal who has proven it by taxing and spending her guts out on behalf of Len Brown.   Read more »

Bad news coming for Len’s claims of most liveable city

Auckland-Housing

On Monday the Demographia Housing Affordability index will be released and the rumour floating around is that it is looking pretty bad for Auckland, which has slipped substantially to become one of the most expensive cities in the world.

While immigration pressure is partly to blame, the fact is that this is going to be very bad news for Auckland Council and for the National Government.

What is worse is that property industry big wigs around Auckland are openly saying that Auckland is about to run out of sections to build houses on.

Back in 2012 the Government and property officials counted the available sections Auckland at around 4,000.   Read more »

Flee Aucklanders, Flee while you can

Campaigners are calling for plans for a vehicle tunnel under Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour to be ditched in favour of a train-only option.

The plan currently being investigated features two three-lane car tunnels which will also have capacity for a rapid transit system.

But the Campaign for Better Transport’s Cameron Pitches said it made no sense to prioritise cars, given it would increase traffic congestion into the city.

“We have enough capacity for cars and trucks. It is rapid transit capacity that Auckland lacks,” he said.

He said a rail crossing would provide more capacity and generate less carbon and has launched a campaign – North Shore Rail – to support it. Read more »

The folly of Phil Twyford’s attack on people with Chinky-sounding names

Phil Twyford and Labour attacked property owners who have chinky-sounding names. They never received the predicted boost in the polls and they are still scratching their heads to work out just how this could be.

Clearly, they are spending too much time down in Wellington and not enough time in Auckland.

Auckland is revealed as having the fourth largest foreign-born population in the world in an international study, ranking a lineup of the world’s most culturally diverse cities.

The city clocks in with 39 percent of the population born overseas. 

Only Dubai, Brussels, and Toronto are ranked as cities with larger foreign-born populations anywhere in the world – for Dubai and Brussels the foreign born residents out number local born citizens.   Read more »

Chinese economic jitters and the Auckland housing market

Lately there have been some worry warts out there who are certain that the housing market is about to turn.

The key to it has been a minor downturn in sales in December, which doesn’t mean anything at all.

But speculation also exists that the Chinese have been turned off since the Brightline rules came into effect post-October 2015.

Now it’s jitters about China.

The New Year has started with renewed jitters about the state of the Chinese economy. Commodity prices – particularly oil – have fallen. Global share markets have continued their dance macabre to the alternate beats of pessimism and optimism. Some commentators have raised the spectre of another global financial crisis which further spooks the financial markets. The truth is that no one really knows and much of what is written is noise.

But one thing is certain. Governments have learned a lesson from the global financial crisis of 2007/8.

Phil “Chinky” Twyford facing a backlash in his own electorate

Labour’s racist lash-out against Asians (and more or less just Asians) being responsible for Tane and Tania no longer being able to afford anything will have its predictable fall-out:  Twyford’s own future is looking shaky.

A former Labour member plans to run a candidate in Te Atatu in protest at Phil Twyford’s use of Chinese-sounding names to analyse Auckland property purchases.

Former Labour staffer and political commentator Phil Quin, who resigned as a Labour member over the data analysis which he called racial profiling, said he hoped the candidate would win enough votes in 2017 to oust Mr Twyford from the seat. Mr Quin told the Herald he was searching for a candidate who could run as an alternative for Labour voters who had been made uncomfortable by Mr Twyford’s use of the housing data.

“I don’t expect such a campaign to win more than a couple of thousand votes – not nearly enough to win, but enough to force Twyford to rely on his high list ranking.”

Going in as the underdog is always a good start.  Especially with Quin, the queer, alcoholic, depressed loose cannon of the lefty liberals.  But, with that out there, a credible and hard-working sort of man who is going to have a lot of appeal to voters in West Auckland.  He’s real instead of a Labour muppet. Read more »