Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland

521 Responses

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  • Sacha,

    A more basic question - why did Labour choose to focus on this partcular angle right now? Who signed off on it as a strategy?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    A more basic question – why did Labour choose to focus on this partcular angle right now? Who signed off on it as a strategy?

    Twyford has actually been hammering the speculative foreign investment issue (if, indeed, there is an issue) for quite a long time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    There is an issue.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 350 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    I thought this was going to be an explanation of your methodology that I read was based around Bayesian analysis. Surely instead of estimating house buyers based on the proportion of the ethnicity they belong to, wouldn't it make more sense to more accurately weight the sample by characteristics such as age, income, etc? Drawing your benchmark from total population seems to a less than robust considering the sensitivity of the how the data is to be used by a political party.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Andre,

    Of course there is an issue. There has always been an issue, depending on what currency was running particularly hot against the kiwi... but the bigger issue now (much, much bigger, that is) is the amount of QE/ZIRP going on elsewhere in the world and the tremendous profits of that inconceivable amount of "leverage-up" finding its way to us.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    First time I've heard him whisting at the same time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Sacha,

    Not that the NZ public has taken much notice, speculation on Chinese equities has taken a hit this week. There is much fear and deep uncertainty (outside NZ anyway) about the wider implications of all this. Of course, if for some reason, this triggered asset deflation around the globe, the Labor party would be the first to claim to have done something about it. And whether people find it politically inconvenient to say or not, capital flight from China has been happening for quite some time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Yes Katherine. The biggest beneficiaries out of all this are likely to be the Australian-owned banks and the real estate industry. Money for jam as they say,

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    A more basic question – why did Labour choose to focus on this partcular angle right now? Who signed off on it as a strategy?

    Because maybe it is an issue that resonates with voters?

    What does my head in is how sterile and predictable the response of the self-regarding clever clogs of the liberal left has been to this story. It plays out like a broken record played by people who seem to have learnt nothing from the left’s defeat over the last thirty years. To loud are the voices of comfortably off middle classs liberals who uncritically accept the self-serving capitalist framing of this debate as always racist and who return from a morning shouting down the lived experiences of the have-nots to puzzle over the appeal of UKIP or the FN to working class voters.

    To my mind, the left needs to be way more clever in these debates than simply falling into the trap of accepting the capitalist framing of the issue.

    Being opposed to foreign buyers of local housing stock only implies a slide to general xenophobia if the left chooses to accept the debate in those crude terms and cede all discussion to the popular right – which refusing to even talk about it inevitably will, especially when it is accompanied by a nasty parting shot that everyone who is willing to talk about it is a racist. I think the alternative is that the left frame the issue within a context of collective local resistance to the power of globalised capitalism and an understanding of local social problems. It seems to me that it would be a far more clever (and modern) use of our time creating a narrative that can present people’s cultural outlook on foreign ownership as being shaped according to solidarity and unity of locals everywhere against the global elite – which these foreign “investors”, Chinese or otherwise, are undoubtably part of.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Gordon,

    Most of the 'migration' from India is students or other temporary visitors. So I don't think they'd have similar dynamics to the Chinese when it comes to homebuying.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Not that the NZ public has taken much notice, speculation on Chinese equities has taken a hit this week. There is much fear and deep uncertainty (outside NZ anyway) about the wider implications of all this

    It's actually been fairly widely reported here – with the emphasis, of course, on "what this means for New Zealand".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Indeed. And not forgetting that we have no such thing as non-recourse mortgage loans here. Interest.co.nz have a housing debt clock running on this page:

    This is how much housing debt we had when I posted this ...

    NZ$ 199,706,544,876

    And this link (scroll down past the chart) will take you to it in real time:

    http://www.interest.co.nz/charts/credit/housing-credit

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To some degree but it's all rather lightweight. Hell, when was the last time you heard the NZ govt or media schooling the public on what the carry trade actually means? It's easier to take the scenic route and appreciate why people want to invest or live in NZ based on the positive aspects. Grappling with the instability that the massive distortion of capital flows creates is rather too much for most people to worry about.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    Can we call them "nominally" Chinese, rather than ethnically Chinese? I see little evidence that this data is accurate in terms of actual ethnicity.

    This seems as bad to me as the people complaining that they can't buy a house because too many "Chinese-looking" people are winning auctions. But it doesn't matter to the casual observer whether the "Chinese-looking" buying has been living here for five weeks or all their life.

    This is the sort of crap that I'd expect to see from Winston and not the Labour Party. It also just reeks of bamboozling the reader with statistics and it doesn't matter whether they make any sense or not.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A, in reply to Sacha,

    Exactly, Sacha. I know Rob's a smart man, and I like to think many in Labour are... so why make this specifically about Chinese, why make it about race when the big issue didn't need to be?

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    ...and, oh look, Nick Smith's calling out Labour for "playing the race card". Right or wrong, what other way was focusing on race by choosing to focus on Chinese supposed to play out?

    This really is spectacularly stupid politics from Labour.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 132 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Similar narratives being bandied about in Vancouver.

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/how-skyrocketing-vancouver-home-prices-are-fuelling-anger-towards-foreign-buyers

    This issue is not defined by race. Twyford doesn't bother to go down that road because he knows that without such capital flows, the economy is likely to be toast.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • KathrynB,

    ScottA
    "This really is spectacularly stupid politics from Labour."
    I couldn't agree more, and I am astounded that Rob Salmond and Phil Twyford don't see it.
    For what it is worth I do think there are a lot of non-resident investment in Auckland housing, but why frame it as a Chinese issue, and why use suspect data that inevitably will be seen as racist? Why not just say we need some accurate figures as there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that could fuel racism?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2014 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    ..."It seems to me that it would be a far more clever (and modern) use of our time creating a narrative that can present people’s cultural outlook on foreign ownership as being shaped according to solidarity and unity of locals everywhere against the global elite – which these foreign “investors”, Chinese or otherwise, are undoubtably part of."
    Bears repeating.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    To me, this methodology is classic Garbage In-Garbage Out. So many unsupported assumptions in data collection cannot lead to a meaningful conclusion.

    And it’s racist, to boot. Non-resident speculators are the problem, if there is a problem. Nothing to do with anybody’s surname. Why be pointlessly divisive and insulting?

    We don’t yet have the data on how many non-resident speculators are buying property in NZ: maybe we could wait for the figures. And meanwhile think about ways of reducing their ability to speculate on non-productive assets like housing.

    Meanwhile, lobby the government to introduce a meaningful CGT and a WOF for rental houses. There’s so much to be done to improve the housing of NZers.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to Scott A,

    The reply to Nick Smith is "Prove it - start a foreign buyers' register."
    Should he do so, and Chinese buyers prove dominant, who exactly is 'racist' then? Anyone?

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Lilith __,

    We don’t yet have the data on how many non-resident speculators are buying property in NZ.

    No we don't - but the real question is - can we carry on waiting?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • petronious,

    If you're explaining, you're losing.

    Northland • Since Jul 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Data from hougarden.com traffic indicates an enormous interest from NZ domiciled Chinese. Stats from BNZ indicate numbers of overseas buyers relatively small and Chinese overseas buyers only portion of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

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