The opposition was crowing about an OECD report that said New Zealand has some of the highest housing prices in the world…which for most of New Zealand is a laughable joke. Just yesterday I spoke with a friend who has just sold a 3 bedroom house in Whanganui for $97,000, when the house was bought 5 years ago for $124,000.
The figures are being held up by Auckland real estate and other main cities.
In some places, though, like the United States – property is cheap. In others like New Zealand and London property prices are out of control.
Now officials say that London it is so out whack it is no longer affordable for people on high or low incomes – it’s just not affordable.
In 2010, Nick Williams oversaw construction of luxury apartments at London’s One Hyde Park, where a penthouse valued at 175 million pounds ($297 million) sold last month.
Now he works at the other end of the property ladder, building discounted homes for those shut out of the boom.
Local officials have “realised the housing crisis for people who are neither rich nor poor is massive,” said Williams, operations director atÂ Pocket Living, which uses interest-free credit from the city to build homes selling for about 20 per cent below market value. “There’s a lot of pressure on us to deliver.”
In contrast to the $41.1 billion affordable-housing initiative announced this month by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, London has opted for a piecemeal approach to taming home prices that have spiraled to records. The method has so far failed to meet Mayor Boris Johnson’s own expectations.
“The very fact that people above the median household income in London require subsidised housing is a strong indication of market failure,” said Andrew Heywood, a consultant who has researched housing for theÂ Smith Institute, an organisation that describes its mission as promoting a fairer society.
“The housing market is fundamentally dysfunctional.”
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