Posts by Kyle Matthews

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    Oh, please. See above for remarks on the Labour Party constitution and its links to unions. If you don’t like how the Labour Party does it, then vote elsewhere or work to change the constitution.

    Well I've never party voted Labour, and I can't see myself doing so in the near future, and the only thing that would have ever made me likely to hold my nose and become a member was to vote for Grant, and I didn't do that either.

    But the fact remains that Labour will be the major party in the next left wing government, and because they interact at the edge in the center of the bell curve, the one that we most rely on to take votes from the right side of the equation. So I'm as interested in how they choose my future PM, as any other party that I'm also not a member of.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Key sends Slater a written apology for releasing the email which sunk Judith Collins. No lessons learned there then.

    I'm not sure I have a problem with this. Slater has a right to privacy too, which the PM presumably breached, and a public apology is part of the settlement arranged with the Privacy Commissioner.

    Even scumbags etc...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    I don’t need one and I’m not Maori but I certainly feel comfortable having Unions represent the people.

    There's no problems with them representing their members - that's what I expect my union to do.

    Why some of them get to be the deciding vote in choosing a future Prime Minister however I have no idea.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    How much demand is that? How many people rent a house a the lower end of the market? How many people are you talking about? How much will it keep prices lower by? How much are they going up by anyway? How much will they cost? How many are being built anyway? How will it affect the quantity of the ones that are being built? How many people will the population be by the time they’re finished being built? How much effect does building of new houses actually have on population?

    I’ll get my research team right on that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    That’s not a fact, it’s a theory with a whole lot of caveats and disclaimers about the conditions under which it holds.

    It's a very well held theory with lots of real world evidence. It's as fact as you can get in large complex macroeconomic systems. It's not straight maths that you can predict, but demand for housing is moderately predictable at the lower end. It tends not to be the thing that people on lower incomes skip paying - they'll skip paying food and electricity, health care costs etc first, as the above shows. At the lower end of the private market, people won't tend to downgrade into damp, cold houses if they can afford something better, just because it's cheaper.

    I’m lost. You want to talk only about the effect of building state housing on the price of the 750,000 houses that are valued below the median?

    No, I said lower end of the market. State housing competes with the bottom 10-20% of income levels - single income minimum wage earners, underemployed people, beneficiaries. It doesn't compete with the median income which isn't the bottom end of the market.

    But anyway clearly no agreement here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    Tonight I was directed to an interesting publication by Auckland City Mission describing people's experiences and difficulties living in poverty.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    It’s not really true, though, or should I say it’s not very precise. You mean there are 3 times more people inadequately housed than there is housing currently offered for rental. I don’t dispute that. But you don’t seem to get that the pool of demand for housing is quite literally everyone, not just unhoused people, and that housing offered for rental is not the only housing that could be offered for rental, it’s just the only housing that the owners want to rent out at the current likely prices. If rentals are much higher, then more houses and rooms will quite likely be made available, as the income from rentals looks more attractive. If you can only charge someone $100 a month for your house you might consider it not worth the trouble to even have them in there. If they have a lot more money, then rentals can be higher. Also, they can probably afford to commute further, so property further from their place of work becomes viable.

    As Russell pointed out, throwing more money at landlords is not a good choice. Secondly, we all know that we are short of housing, quite a lot at a entry level price for buying and renting in certain areas. Everyone having $50 extra a week won't change that data.

    1. Demand is a function of price. If price falls, you’re talking about a different demand point along the curve. It will usually be higher, the lower price gets. So if price falls, demand will probably not remain the same.

    That doesn't change the fact that increasing supply leads to price falling.

    2. Quibble 1 falls into insignificance in light of the point that the supply of houses here is 1.5 million, and the demand is the entire population of people who could viably buy a house here, including people not even in the country

    I don't believe that's correct. If we're talking about the government building state houses - basic solid houses in unspectacular areas. Given that they won't be sold, the demand for them is only people who need housing. They'll clean out a lot of the demand for that lower end of the market - the entry level - and help keep prices lower than they would be otherwise.

    The housing price truck that you're trying to stop includes all the mid and high level houses - $800K, $1.5 million, $3 million. Which the government won't try and influence through state housing so aren't really relevant.

    If the government doesn't get some investment and building in the game, they're going to be subsidising housing that is getting increasingly expensive. That means that their subsidy is going to need to continue to rise. It's in the government's interests to keep rental prices at the bottom end of the market low, as that's the part of the market that they're paying a significant amount of.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    Oh. Now I see. If Little squeaks in it is bad. If one more caucus vote had had gone to Robertson then would have been Ok for Grant to squeak in but not Andrew.

    Labour will often face the problem under its current system of having leaders appointed who don't have the majority support of caucus. It's more democractic (except I hate the fact that unions are involved, it should be just caucus and members - unions shouldn't sign up to political parties in this day and age).

    So the wider party/unions have elected Little over the will of the majority of the caucus. That's a difficult situation to be in. The reverse doesn't apply so much - if Robertson had sneaked in, he'd be working with MPs who largely supported him, it's not such a massive problem if the unions voted for someone else.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    You need to say the price you’re talking about to make that comparison. Supply and demand are both functions of price.

    No I don't. I'm saying there's 3 times as many people needing to buy or rent those properties, than there are properties available for rent. That will push the price up, as taught to me in 3rd form economics. If the number of houses available suddenly jumps so that for every house available only 1.5 people needing to buy or rent it, there will be much less pressure on the price. People will be able to get those properties cheaper.

    Yes it's a function of price, but if supply increases and demand remains the same, price falls, so relatively the people buying/renting are better off.

    I know what I’m saying is hard to understand, I’m struggling myself. It’s basically that the lack of housing is not simply a function of the amount of housing. It goes to the way that the housing that exists is distributed too.

    I'm not having any problem understanding it. Indeed it's what I said. There are plenty of areas where we don't need more houses, the work needs to focus on the places and parts of the market that demand seriously outstrips supply.

    So is giving the poorer families more money so that they could afford to move into houses that are actually available.

    As Russell pointed out, throwing more money into the fire isn't going to help. If there's 30,000 families or individuals at the bottom of the housing market who are seriously underhoused or living in seriously unsuitable housing, giving them each $100 extra/week only helps the overall situation if there's 30,000 suitable properties for them to move into. We know that there aren't:

    By best estimates the city is about 10,000 houses shy of what it needs and it's only likely to worsen. According to the Salvation Army, under current trends over the next 20 years Auckland will be short of 90,000 houses - more houses than were destroyed in the Christchurch earthquake.

    So while that might help some individual families, it's just going to move underprivileged families around the bottom end. Some will end up better off, but they'll likely take the place of other people who will slip down into something worse. And the major benefactor will be the people owning those rental properties because the people renting them suddenly have a bunch more money and they can increase rents and still fill their properties.

    But that’s not going to alleviate poverty.

    Poverty is definitely about more than your income. It's about your income relative to your expenses, and it's definitely about your housing, education, ethnicity etc. People living in substandard housing aren't just doing so because they don't have enough income. Substandard housing creates its own costs - financial, health etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Housing, hope and ideology,

    OK, but demand is a function of how much money you have for something you want, not just of how many people want or need those things. So saying “supply does not meet demand” absolutely does not mean that there are not enough of the things to go around. It means people haven’t got enough money to pay for the things that there are to go around. Which means a great deal of the supply is completely idle.

    Here's the Housing NZ waiting list stats from earlier this year. That's thousands of people on the waiting list. See category C and D - those are people whose needs were judged not urgent in 2012, at which point we stopped even worrying about non-urgent people and stopped putting new people on those lists. Some of them are still on the list over two years later, having not moved from their inappropriate but not urgent current housing situation. Who knows how long they were on the list before June 2012.

    It's the same as our hospital waiting lists - we just don't put people on the lists any more so it looks better without actually being better.

    I find it bizarre that people are saying that there's no shortage of suitable housing problem, despite the overwhelming evidence that this is entirely the case. Even the National government admits that our housing stock is thousands of buildings short of where it should be.

    OK, so a little bit of data to bolster my point. From the 2013 Census, there are 141,366 unoccupied dwellings. That’s not unoccupied because the residents were away at the time, or unoccupied because under construction, both of which are separate categories. They are unoccupied because nobody lives there most of the time. This covers holiday homes.

    The fact that there are holiday homes that are unoccupied 90% of the time doesn't really help us at all though. They probably own it because they intend to use it. The only reason they would sell it would be if they couldn't afford it any more or didn't want it any more. But the buyer isn't likely to be the person that is currently packed two or three families to a rental in Auckland. Moving into a beach front property in Langs Beach, Kapiti Coast, or the Coromandel isn't likely to be useful for a family that needs to access schools and work daily, find a job, access public transport etc. To misquote Star Wars, that's not the housing stock you're looking for.

    I'm not sure it's as complicated system to have an impact upon as you think Ben. If there's 20,000 rental properties available in any one month, and 50,000 families/groups of people looking for rental accommodation, then demand is 2.5 times supply.

    If you can add 10,000 houses to that equation, all of a sudden demand is 1.66 times supply. But given that you're only actually looking at some regions, and withing those regions you're really only looking at the bottom end of the market, your situation is probably much better. Maybe there's 10,000 houses turning over/month and 30,000 families. Add 10,000 houses and your ratio has halved to 1.5.

    Which isn't easy to say that building 10,000 houses is easy, but we're not looking for the government to change the market for $2 million residentials in Epsom. We're looking for them to affect the situation of overcrowding and families sleeping in garages and sleepouts who need to get in at the bottom end of the market.

    The way for the government to do that isn't to suck all the private demand to build new houses out of the market by selling its housing stock to community organisations or businesses. We need private money and public money to be going into building new housing, not private money to be tied up buying existing housing stock that is already available. That's stupid.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6219 posts Report Reply

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