Posts by James Butler

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  • Speaker: House prices and the "Magic Money", in reply to Russell Brown,

    Also, what form of demand would cause an increase in Auckland land prices so tremendously out of proportion to population increases in the past five years? If demand for land is driving up prices, where is that demand coming from?

    Remember price isn't driven just by demand; it's the combination of demand and supply. In the case of a finite resource, if there is still demand for the resource after the finite source is used up then prices will increase. It's trivial to say that land is a finite resource, but the real case of a city with new developments opening and new dwellings being built on old land is more complicated. But it's not unimaginable that if a city passed the point where new development and intensification was easily keeping up with population growth, then it might see a great increase in prices as the supply tightened, even if the population growth was more steady.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: House prices and the "Magic Money", in reply to Swan,

    After the change point, the rise was more about revaluation of existing assets, and specifically increases in the value of the underlying land. We know land values have increased hugely in our cities over the last decade.

    Incidentally this fits in perfectly with the argument that land supply is the main culprit when it comes to housing affordability.

    With the caveat that "land supply" is shorthand for something like "excess dwelling capacity" - let's not forget that we could build more dwellings on our existing land - I think I agree.

    Consider Lucy's case, except the village is on a tiny, crowded atoll with extensive viewsheds of the neighbouring volcano. What happens to the total value of houses in the village when someone new needs a home, whether they arrived from another island or are the grown-up child of existing villagers?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Deep Dream: Looking at clouds,

    Vice’s Motherboard channel was quick to answer that question

    So this is what porn images look like through mostly animal-trained networks; what I haven't seen yet is a porn-trained network looking at non-porn pics. Cocks everywhere! I'm sure there are legions of volunteers who'd be willing to sit for hours teaching a neural net what is porn and what isn't...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Whakamomori: Raw, open and honest, in reply to llew40,

    Understanding something and being able to talk about that something and share your experiences is surely the first steps towards being able to cope/deal with it?

    Exactly - by being too scared of normalising suicidal behaviour perhaps we make it harder to normalise suicidal feelings. If you can't put your own despair into the context of others who have had the same experiences then surely it's that much harder to deal with.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This Anzac Day,

    People use the word 'sacrifice' a lot to refer to the war dead. The defining feature of true sacrifices, to me, is that they achieve nothing. No one says that though.

    (I've spent yesterday and today sitting through rehearsals for tomorrow's ceremonies in Wellington. If I'd known how cartoonish parts of it would be, well, I still might have come - I'm comfortable with my own remembrance - but I would have been more prepared for the cognitive dissonance.)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping,

    IIRC there's a working, cutaway electromechanical pulse exchange at MOTAT where you can dial a number on a phone and watch the workings clunk away selecting the correct line. I could watch that for hours.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to James George,

    fuckin racist as all get up

    I'm wondering what her clients think of all this. Because, you know, if it causes them to lose face...</sarc>

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The silence of the public square, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    twock

    What's the sign for "twock"? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm,…,

    CONGESTION PRICING

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Going solar?, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Would it make any sense to wait for PV? Would that be a better long-term investment than buying into solar water-heating now?

    I heard once that it's becoming cheaper to install PV and use regular electric hot water than it is to use direct thermal solar hot water, just because plumbing is more expensive than wiring. Depends on your use-case though. If you want maximum utilization of your roof area, then mixing PV and direct thermal will give you more bang because direct thermal is more efficient.

    Mind you I've never run the numbers because I rent, which makes the whole thing a bit academic |:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 827 posts Report Reply

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