Who should be responsible for ensuring that homes are affordable?

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The overwhelming majority of Whaleoil readers agree that no one is responsible for ensuring that homes are affordable. Market forces,  supply and demand, determine house prices.

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Text analysis of written responses show that our readers feel that land supply is a crucial element when it comes to housing.

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Written responses unedited:

The government should ensure the market can operate to ensure houses are as affordable as can reasonably be expected.

The purchaser is the only one responsible. If they are too expensive at one place, buy in another; like generations have done before

market assisted by government

Councils need to release land and create the right conditions for developers to operate.

Government indirectly, ensuring competition in materials and infrastructure buildout and sensible building regs and compliance regimes

People themselves

Houses should be built to accommodate would be buyers’ budget.

I would normally say no-one, the market decides. However housing is essential for us to live and function as a society and the government has allowed it to become a commodity for overseas speculators. They need to fix the mess they have created

The individual buyers decide if housing is affordable and a freely operating market adjusts to ensure homes are always sold at an affordable price (otherwise there is no sale)

govt and councils – both can undertake policies that can affect house prices

If Councils and Government encroached less on landowners then they might not need to “be responsible” for unaffordable housing.

People seem to forget that we have never had full home ownership in New Zealand. There has always been people that cannot afford to buy in the best of times

No one, the market decides EXCEPT when council policies interfere with the operation of a free market with artificial constraints.

Any of the great economists will say, “let the market decide. In one article the prices are too high in Auckland, yet now they say Rents are FALLING IN Chch, and the Government should intervene. That, is precisely the market working. Perhaps the Government Should intervene to encourage business and industry to move to Chch to take up the excess supply of Housing in Chch.

Socialist pipe dream for the purchase of homes. Providing a supply of good long term rentals could be a joint council/government responsibility

The government to an extent should be responsible in terms of ensuring councils provide adequate land supply and curtail immigration – additionally they need to look at cost of building in regards to building etc – to prevent ghost properties they need to discourage any land banking where it has been developed by imposing some fiduciary negative

A free market works best. If housing becomes unaffordable in one area a new area will develope. This will attract people and eventually businesses which follow will have lower costs.

Part market and partly government to ensure the conditions are in place to discourage overpricing.

Govt and councils are responsible for ensure the correct policy and regulatory settings are in place, but the market will respond to these

if the council hold back land supply to such an extent that it becomes a problem then government needs to step in

I was tempted to select “No one, the market decides”. However, if councils are strangling supply, they can potentially force the market in one direction. Councils are at least responsible for ensuring availability of land, as far as they are able.

You either pay the going rate or walk away. It is not for others to subsidize any investment be it house, business or shares.

This question is too vague to be meaningful

Supply of accomodation vs demand! compact city, build up, it would also save more land for ‘green spaces’ and be better for having a warm dry place to live. P.s What is it that the Auckland council does?

Government should have responsibility to ensure house values do not rise disproportionately to current economic conditions, ie should not allow speculative bubbles to form. Limited (rare?) regulation of foreign buyers, local land supply and lending criteria as tools.

Expensive housing is a world wide, not just a NZ/ Auckland problem. In this instant society people forget you are supposed to save and go without to get your first home. Instead they want it all now.

Government should control conditions that lead to bubbles.

The market will build affordable homes if land supply is plentiful and resource and building consents are easy to obtain. This should be the focus.

Without all the distortions caused by government, housing would likely be more affordable.

The government is ultimately responsible for a roof being over people’s heads. But not to provide a house for life for everyone who wants it.


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