Whaleoil transcript: Hosking asks Ardern why KiwiBuild houses aren?t selling

Photoshopped image credit: SadButTrue
Newtalk ZB starts at 0.18

Newtalk ZB starts at 0.18

*NOTE: Red herrings have been introduced to this transcript with explanations attached that are additional to the original recording.

Mike:

Couple of quick questions on KiwiBuild. There?s 74 houses that have been built so far. 39 aren?t sold. How come you can?t sell them?

Jacinda:

Oh, look, for each of those? some of them have actually only just been completed and ah? we are now in a process. We are actually ah? from feedback from those early sales? was that rather than selling off plan, waiting till they are completed um? is a much better experience for the buyer.

Mike:

Now, these are all completed. These are completed houses?

Jacinda:

No, no, no that?s what I?m saying. Some of them have only recently been completed, you know, it obviously takes on average I think it?s something like 45 days for? or 48 days for the median time for a house to sell in NZ. So, not unusual if they are only just completed for them to still be on the market.

Mike:

The bulk have been on since Christmas, which is 70 days.

Jacinda:

I don?t know if that?s entirely correct. But look come? acknowledging again, Mike, that these are houses that are filling a significant gap in the market, I think that even you would acknowledge that. (Indistinct).

Mike:

I?m starting to question that because if there is such a gap in the market, why aren?t they selling?

Jacinda:

You? but it does take some time for someone who?s a first-time buyer to ah? find the house they want, get their ah? house in order, get their finances sorted and look, Mike, I?m not gonna? I?m not gonna claim here that every single? (indistinct).

Mike:

But aren?t those people supposed to have done that when applying for the KiwiBuild house in the first place?

Jacinda:

No. Not? not when they register their interest um? the next step before? when they are going into a ballot is to do that. But not all houses will be sold ah? in a ballot. And? and look absolutely it?s better to say, Mike, we?ve got some things to iron out here. No-one?s ever done this before. Um? this is a massive intervention in the? in the market because it?s?

Mike:

Jacinda, it?s not? it?s not remotely a massive intervention, there are 74 houses, there?s nothing massive about that at all. There?s 74 houses, that?s all there are, 39 of which aren?t sold.

Jacinda:

Name me a time? name me a time when the government has ever directly intervened in this way because of a housing crisis?

Mike:

What and built more than 74 houses? Over most years in the last 30 years.

Jacinda:

Have an agenda? have an agenda to build thousands.

Mike:

You haven?t built thousands. You?ve built? you?ve built 74. You?ve intervened into the market to the extent of 74 houses of whom 39 aren?t sold.

Jacinda:

I?m happy for you to have a debate by yourself if you?d prefer? ah? I do have something to add. We have over ah? 270 under construction, thousands under contract and Mike, if you want to sit here and claim that we didn?t have a problem and there was nothing to fix, that is fine.

Mike:

I?m not claiming that. I?m asking, because the problem is so large, and you haven?t sold the houses, how come you? how come you are not selling houses with a problem that?s allegedly so large?

Jacinda:

Again, first as I?d say I don?t think I?d consider them all a write-off. Some of them haven?t been on all that long. Secondly, there are things that we can do, and I do acknowledge this, to make it easier for um? the developer and seller to connect with the buyer. It?s a bit clunky at the moment and we know that we need to fix that.

Mike:

Appreciate your time, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister.

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