Coalition government’s Housing To Do list

So far the Coalition government has ticked one item off their Housing To Do List.

Ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes

They haven’t actually banned them but they have found a sneaky loophole instead that they believe will have the same effect. Foreign investors make a convenient scapegoat for our sky-high housing prices but the statistics do not back their contention up.
[…] official statistics show that of the 48,603 property transfers registered by the government in the three months to June, just 3% were buyers with an overseas tax residency.

Promises we are still waiting on and that they are yet to check off their list include:

Tax property speculators who flick houses within five years

Create a level playing field for first home buyers

This is a reference to their promise to build 10,000 affordable houses a year which will be on-sold to first-time buyers.

[…] Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland.

screenshot-Whaleoil from Labour Party website

Create an Affordable Housing Authority to fast-track development in our cities

Grow the building workforce
Increased house-building will require a larger workforce. Labour’s Dole for Apprenticeships policy will subsidise employers to take on around 4,000 young people for on the job training in fields including building and construction. […]  KiwiBuild is projected to create 5,000 new jobs at its peak.

Remove barriers that are stopping Auckland growing up and out

Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls.[…] New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.

Labour will:

  • Increase 42 day notice periods for landlords to 90 days to give tenants more time to find somewhere else to live
  • Abolish “no-cause” terminations of tenancies
  • Retain the ability of landlords to get rid of tenants who are in breach of the tenancy agreement with 90 days’ notice, or more quickly by order of the Tenancy Tribunal
  • Limit rent increases to once per year (the law currently limits it to once every six months) and require the formula for rental increases to be specified in the rental agreement
  • Give tenants and landlords the ability to agree tenants on a fixed term lease of 12 months or more can make minor alterations, like putting up shelves, if they pay double bond and on the basis the property is returned to the state it was in at the start of the tenancy
  • Ban letting fees
  • Require all rentals to be warm, dry, and healthy for families to live in by passing the Healthy Homes Bill
  • Give landlords access to grants of up to $2000 for upgrading insulation and heating.

Meanwhile, while we wait for these promises to be fulfilled, Landlords spooked by the promises are flooding the market with rental properties. Rental shortages have already been reported in Wellington and are to be expected around New Zealand along with rent increases due to the lack of rental stock.

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