OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Don't put words in our mouths, Rob

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  • simon g, in reply to DPF,

    Not worried, just gleeful. Keep up the entertainment

    By posting racist cartoons? Oh sorry, that's just your Kiwiblog ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Willie Jackson is one of my favourite of all-time NZ politicians - along with David Lange. Completely different personalities. Both made plenty of wrong calls, but both humble enough to recognise them. Both with their heart in the right place and both extremely intelligent. And no, I'm not related to either - nor am I in anyway an insider (met both only once) - but everyone needs to have their heroes :-).

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to simon g,

    Not worried, just gleeful. Keep up the entertainment

    By posting racist cartoons? Oh sorry, that’s just your Kiwiblog …

    Given the day-in-day-out schadenfreude delivered by Kiwiblog comments over so many years, perhaps we should let David have his moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Schadenfreude? Sounds foreign.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 486 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    if he's enjoying this, he must be wetting himself over The Standard's coverage.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Rob:
    ” all agreed the name-based ethnicity analysis was statistically sound, robust, and accurate.

    “I pointed Keith to posts and tweets from each of them individually expressing support for the *method”,

    “But data and method are not the same thing,”

    Dead right data and method aren’t the same thing. You can have a method before you collect the data. You can have the data then develop a method to look at it. But when you use the word “analysis” it implies method and data are present and to cap it off there are guaranteed to be conclusions. And it is highly likely that’s what Keith was concerned about. He objected to the conclusions you made with the analysis of the shonky data using your method.

    Baysians can be pretty bloody dangerous at times.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What did people like former Helen Clark advisor Keith Ng and economist Shamubeel Eaqub say when Maori rights were breached during the Tuhoe raids by the police in 2007 or when Labour rolled out their shameful foreshore and seabed act in 2004?

    I may have written some super biting satire about it in Salient. Maybe.

    But pretty sure I covered the hikoi.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    It would be good to hear more people who work in everyday statistics

    Steve. I work most days in statistics. I sometimes even work in Statistics, as in Statistics New Zealand, as a contractor on data visualisations.

    I can assure you that seasonal variations is not a thing I made up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng, in reply to David Hood,

    Keith, could you elaborate on what you see as the seasonal effects on name frequency?

    So there are some seasonal patterns to house sales in general. What drives those seasonal changes, and might it affect the ethnic distribution of house sales?

    For example, do migrants from a particular part of the world come at a particular time of year? Such as coinciding with school years here or school year in country of origin? Or maybe with specific holiday periods?

    Is there a sudden rush of house-buying before the uni term starts, by parents of international students?

    Or maybe there's a house-hunting season when the weather is nicer or the kids are at school where leisure-buyers (without time constraint) dominate and overwhelm urgent-buyers (such as immigrants).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Soz for the slow replies, everyone. Especially the thoughtful comments from Steve Black, and the good questions from David Hood.

    I get kinda sucked into detailed answers on PAS, which takes up a lot of time and brainspace, so I don't do it as much as I should.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Keith Ng,

    No worries. Brainspacetime is a precious resource that has to go toward paying the bills as a priority, eh.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Keith Ng,

    So there are some seasonal patterns to house sales in general. What drives those seasonal changes, and might it affect the ethnic distribution of house sales?

    Exactly, unlike NZ The Chinese fiscal year for all entities starts on 1 January and ends 31 December, consistent with the calendar year, to match the tax year, statutory year, and planning year. This means that a citizen from the PRC would have been able to legitimately transfer 50,000USD offshore at the end of Dec and another 50,000USD once the new year began. That would be in the ballpark for a deposit on an Auckland property. Coming from the PRC we had to accomplish offshore transfers within that time frame and after looking around we had a final offer accepted within Labour’s sample period, it’s incredibly relevant. That’s roughly when Chris Waugh and his family arrived too if I’m not mistaken.

    I guess Rob could ask whether the property was purchased in my name.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What did people like former Helen Clark advisor Keith Ng and economist Shamubeel Eaqub say when Maori rights were breached during the Tuhoe raids by the police in 2007 or when Labour rolled out their shameful foreshore and seabed act in 2004? Nothing.

    Short answer, Willie: A metric fuckton of people here abouts. (Including Keith who, IIRC, didn’t think Dr. Brash’s numbers stacked up either.) But never mind, stick to slut-shaming rape victims and don’t let reality get in the way of being everyone’s favourite brown-neck.

    Speaking for myself, I’d like to decline human shield duty for naked racism. Maori have more than enough problems without becoming pawns in that game. Again.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to linger,

    panning for gold...

    Brainspacetime is a precious resource...

    ...and yet it seems this country may have quite a bit of it being frittered away, maybe it's time for a timeshare exchange on underused brain-spaces!
    You know, kind of like a CETI program searching in the background, and down time, for intelligent life on earth...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Keith Ng,

    So there are some seasonal patterns to house sales in general. What drives those seasonal changes, and might it affect the ethnic distribution of house sales?

    For example, do migrants from a particular part of the world come at a particular time of year? Such as coinciding with school years here or school year in country of origin? Or maybe with specific holiday periods?

    Is there a sudden rush of house-buying before the uni term starts, by parents of international students?

    Or maybe there’s a house-hunting season when the weather is nicer or the kids are at school where leisure-buyers (without time constraint) dominate and overwhelm urgent-buyers (such as immigrants).

    As a long-time real-estate voyeur (what REAs call “tyre-kickers”), and someone with a bit of experience in seasonality analysis, yes to all that.

    I don’t know what period the dataset covered. I thought about looking it up, but then thought the following observation would be less biased if I didn’t look it up:

    New Zealand house sales have traditionally been highly seasonal, with sales peaking in late spring and late summer (there’s a dip in late December/January when the property-owning class tend to go on holiday). I don’t know whether or not overseas property investment behaviour is seasonal. If overseas property investment interest is roughly similar all year round, then estimating the participation of overseas investors in the New Zealand market from a set of winter sales would over-estimate the contribution of overseas investment to New Zealand real estate sales, while using summer data could underestimate it. If overseas investment is also seasonal, the overestimate would be increased or decreased depending on how that seasonality was distributed, with the limitation that locals and overseas investors can only buy what is for sale, and less property is for sale in winter.

    Following that train of thought… if overseas investment interest is non-seasonal, and if their participation in the market is more than negligible, then I would expect their presence in the market to create more upwards pressure on house prices in winter than in summer. In a resident-only market, the seasonality of interest in buying roughly matches the seasonality of interest in selling, as most vendors is moving over in rather than out of the property market. However, if investor interest is steady over winter, but the supply of houses for sale is less, then supply<demand means that prices will increase.

    So now I really, really want to know whether overseas investment – or local “property investment” (vs “home buying”) for that matter – is seasonal. Because if it’s not, then comparing property sales seasonality across different regions might give some clues about the contribution of property investors (overseas or local) to Auckland price pressures.

    Ultimately, all the focus on name-analysis, or overseas-buyer registers, hides the fact that local investors also put home buying out of reach. Demand is demand. Overseas investors are a handy scapegoat to blame for disappointed would-be home-buyers, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be more fair to blame “property investors” full stop, regardless of where they’re based. Yes, there is the additional issue of rental income going out of New Zealand rather than staying here, but that’s not what the disappointed home-buyers are frustrated by.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Ultimately, all the focus on name-analysis, or overseas-buyer registers, hides the fact that local investors also put home buying out of reach. Demand is demand. Overseas investors are a handy scapegoat to blame for disappointed would-be home-buyers, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be more fair to blame “property investors” full stop, regardless of where they’re based. Yes, there is the additional issue of rental income going out of New Zealand rather than staying here, but that’s not what the disappointed home-buyers are frustrated by.

    Well said. And we all know what policy would even that playing field. Clue: Something ending in tax.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    then thought the following observation would be less biased if I didn’t look it up

    Good on you. So it's like a hypothesis.

    However, if investor interest is steady over winter, but the supply of houses for sale is less, then supply<demand means that prices will increase.

    But if prices increase then suppliers would probably opt to sell in winter, increasing supply, and dropping prices. They choose spring and summer on advice that the best prices are usually obtained then. So it's kind of hard to reason this thing out from first principles. Only data will actually answer the question of apparent seasonality.

    I'd expect it to be real, and statistically significant. But I'd be pretty damned surprised if it went so far as to increase one particular group's contribution by enough to explain a four-fold discrepancy in apparent ethnic distribution. Well worth exploring, though.

    Ultimately, all the focus on name-analysis, or overseas-buyer registers, hides the fact that local investors also put home buying out of reach.

    Absolutely. Both are problems. But I do think that the potential ability to influence prices is several orders of magnitude greater in the pool of buyers that outnumbers the population of NZ investers by perhaps a thousand-fold. The absolute most that local investors could drive prices up by is ... all the money that those investors can get their hands on. The absolute most that the rest of investors could drive prices up by is ... all the rest of the money in the whole world. One of those sums is probably best measured in billions. The other sum is most conveniently measured in trillions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to BenWilson,

    They choose spring and summer on advice that the best prices are usually obtained then.

    That's not the major reason. My observation, and what lots of REAs will also tell anyone who'll listen (because they want their income to be less seasonal...) is that when house prices are lower in winter it's because it's the less desireable stock left over from summer sales, and that good properties listed in winter will get as good or better prices because there's less good stock available.
    The main reason people list in spring and summer is because they're going to be looking to buy again themselves, and traipsing round open homes, or moving, in winter, is cold and wet and bothersome; and because if they're looking to buy again themselves they know there'll be more stock available for them to choose from; or because there's more stock available they've found something they want to buy and so they're selling as well. It's a bit chicken and egg, but it's how it is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    How much of a problem this is depends on whether you think Auckland house prices are going to stay high or come down. If they stay high, that will hurt everyone who's been shut out of the market by the price, but be ok for everyone who's in already. If they crash it's going to hurt the owners, especially the investors or anyone who might need to sell soon for whatever reason.

    Wouldn't the best way to insulate the NZ economy from a property crash be to transfer as much risk as possible to overseas investors?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to B Jones,

    Only if they actually sell again when the crash happens.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Ultimately, all the focus on name-analysis, or overseas-buyer registers, hides the fact that local investors also put home buying out of reach.

    Yes, there are far more local buyers (using local incomes to pay and local borrowing to leverage) than there are buyers with foreign earnings and foreign leverage. But the key driver of prices in the RE market is the price differential that foreign sourced funding arrangement will/can pay over-and-above local sourced funding arrangements.

    In real estate (and more particularly in a supply constrained market), it is the highest price (for an equivalent good) that sets the price signal in terms of seller expectation. If sellers don't get their price - they wait/don't sell (in most cases).

    Point being, even if the level of foreign sourced funding - invested directly into the Auckland market is at 5-10% of all sales .. these buyers are still setting price expectations for all sales.

    And the sad fact of the matter is that local NZers, earning/borrowing under local funding arrangments are taking on far more debt than they would otherwise need to.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    <Doh!>

    ...like a CETI program

    I meant SETI, or more specifically SETI@home.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to chris,

    This means that a citizen from the PRC would have been able to legitimately transfer 50,000USD offshore at the end of Dec and another 50,000USD once the new year began. That would be in the ballpark for a deposit on an Auckland property. Coming from the PRC we had to accomplish offshore transfers within that time frame

    We had a similar situation in that our final payment came in January but the grandmother was getting a mortgage in China and helping her resident daughter in Auckland. The buyer was a Band F realtor who I sold privately to. They have a house and have done ups to sell and maybe still have our old house.
    FWIW, My Chinese masseur (after my previous masseur, his mate, got residence and moved to Vancouver, leaving behind his rental) would relay to me his difficulty at auctions, trying to buy a house. He was very annoyed that many mainland Chinese were outbidding him when they didn't live here or pay taxes like he did. he felt it very unfair. He eneded up finally with a do up that he paid over $1000000.00 for in Balmoral. I know he would never complain to anyone though. He is happy to have some grass in a back yard. Very happy.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    It’s a bit chicken and egg, but it’s how it is.

    Yup, I've always found it a bit superfluous to seek supply/demand reasons for things. It's a lot like evolutionary arguments - you can always invent one. Fact is, there's seasonal variation for whatever reason. It should be adjusted for in a better analysis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The buyer was a Band F realtor

    What’s a Band F realtor?

    Sorry forget that - I've figured it was a typo - you meant B and T.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

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