Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland

521 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Your poor little head. I agree foreign money flows are a problem. I do not agree that Labour's research can make any reliable conclusion about that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to simon g,

    Well, we’re going round in circles here, but speaking only for myself, I resent the suggestion that I am dancing like a gullible puppet to a National tune.

    Oh well, if you resent it, then it must not be true.

    Anyway got to go. I didn't really want to kick a hornet's nest here. No hard feelings on my part.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Sacha,

    You’re condescending, with your “Do read this post” and “your poor little head”. I guess when you’ve been busted directly contradicting yourself, it’s really all you have left.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Of course if you are worried about the effect of immigrants on Auckland house prices simply do what we’ve done in the past and require new immigrants to settle somewhere else … of course National would have to reopen all the Dept of Immigration offices they’ve closed around the country over the past few years

    It'd have to be backed up with regional development programs, given the amount of head office drift to Auckland in the past generation, and the fact that Auckland handles most of NZ's long haul flights due to a freak of economy of scale.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Adjust your attitude.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    no posts about capital flow from the tanking Chinese stockmarket, the price of Auckland houses, the difficulty young people face in owning a house

    Talkie, my very first post on the original thread by Keith Ng was on the above (i.e., the REAL issue). I was stunned that the majority of posters ignored the economic issue/problem at the core of the matter and instead wanted to talk Labour politics instead - when political slight of hand by the governing National party is what prevents us from having this conversation with the REAL data in the first place.

    It is the ultimate of irony.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    <q>Talkie, my very first post on the original thread by Keith Ng was on the above (i.e., the REAL issue). I was stunned that the majority of posters ignored the economic issue/problem at the core of the matter and instead wanted to talk Labour politics instead – when political slight of hand by the governing National party is what prevents us from having this conversation with the REAL data in the first place.

    </q>

    Ahem. I made an effort too. But what this is reflects is NZ’s preoccupation with identity politics. I understand middle NZ well enough to understand that people are quick to pounce on scapegoats who are perceived as being obtrusive to the status quo. That’s why I attempted to suggest that this is a much wider global issue steeped in the monetarist framework developed by the Anglospere. If you make the assumption that property prices are being driven by non-resident foreigners, why blame the foreigner who is making decisions based on their best interests and welcomed by the policies of the govt (regardless of political leaning) and the financial needs of the country? NZ would be an economic wasteland without these capital flows. An inconvenient truth that seems to be rarely raised or discussed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Yes, I agree with Rob, although the data released by Phil Twyford leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and cannot be absolutely reliable, it does appear to show some kind of a trend, or suggests something, which deserves further examination.

    What I believe Phil has done, is to challenge the useless government, to finally bring in some register of sorts, to get a reliable record on who buys homes in Auckland (ideally all of New Zealand), and thus offer us an instrument to use for making future policy.

    The ball is really in the court of the useless government, on this, not Labour, who are denied much opportunity to argue and prove anything, as the government is blocking every effort to find transparency.

    They do the same in other areas, such as welfare reforms, and it is highly worrying what is going on in that area, with people denied benefits, with sick and disabled pressured to look for work, and much worse happening, leading to 80 thousand sanctions, to even abuse, assaults and so forth.

    This government’s record is one of endless shame, we will one day have the info to prove.

    http://nzccss.org.nz/news/2015/07/sanctions-undermine-social-investment/

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Marc C,

    Well why doesn't Labor present the case in a more robust argument and refrain from framing non-resident Chinese as some kind of demon?

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    I'm still struggling to understand how the Indian population data is being used here. Can you shed light on how it is that the comparative levels of foreign vs local Indian ownership are known, yet the same information for Chinese is not? If they are known, then I understand your point, that they provide at least some evidence for the way that investment is probably being done by the unknown group. But I don't understand why that information is available on the Indian population.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Yes, Jim, I did read your posts and could see you were trying as well to move discussion toward the economics of it all. I agree with you - NZ needs to source offshore capital. What it doesn't need however is direct investment of that offshore capital in our residential existing homes RE market. Wonderful if that capital is invested in job creating opportunities though.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    I thought I pointed that out. The government does ALL to prevent TRANSPARENCY, so how can you go around and challenge anybody presenting reliable data, when the government blocks ALL efforts to get it?

    I think you have defeated yourself and your argument with your comment.

    Bring in a national ownership and buyer register, and we will know, who owns what, and who has citizenship, residency and tax status, thank you.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Marc C,

    Ahhh....transparency of non-existent data. Oxymoronic? While that may come out as a recommendation from the MP, portraying foreign property investors in a poor light is cheap and nasty.

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to BenWilson,

    It is that we have what, among New Zealand residents, are two very similiar sized and demographically and socio-economically similar groups both of which can be identified by the proxy of name, so any socio-economic agruments about one group could fit the other (for instance arguments we have seen about age and financial means). However the Indian named population is buying houses exactly in proportion with the proportiion of the self declared ethnically indian in the census. So it is an arguement against the assertion that it is local chinese residents, because (for example) they earn no more than local Indian residents. It is ruling out (or at least making vastly improbable) local cause.

    My own personal opinion is that starting from 2001/2002 to 2011 about 30% of price rises must be coming from offshore (initially from Australia)- this is based on the observation that earlier the amount of money in mortgages equals the value of house price rises. After 2001 extra money starts appearing in house value that doesn't seem to be coming from anywhere inside the NZ economy (certainly not residental mortgages). But "this is what happens if you gradually steadily convert residential housing to foreign ownership over a long period of time" makes for a headline that is way to dependent on understanding mathmatical models compared to "you can see the foreign investors acting right now"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Calling them "investor" or "potential speculator" is not wrong, as that is what local ones do, and what off-shore ones may do. Do not divert from the fact, that it is a bit odd, that about 40 percent of buyers are rather clearly identifiable with one group of people, who according to Census figures represents only about 9 percent of Auckland's population. While correlations and such may not lead to a cause and result conclusion, it is well justified to raise questions, which is what Twyford did, plus suggest, what a logical conclusion may be. He was not definite, nor did he label the people as a group of whatever "bad" people, he just pointed something out.

    It is a bit like saying, many overweight people develop cardio vascular diseases, to deny this, saying it is "discriminatory" against overweight people, spells any attempt to make comparisons, scientific or lesser so, as a wasted time effort.

    You may as well prohibit the data gathering on which ethnic group represents what proportion of prison inmates, what other groups may be representing whatever, as that would instantly be labeled as "discriminatory" or even "racist", which seems to be the "modern" fashion of dealing with any issue in NZ.

    This is PC in overdrive, I fear, it makes the whole of our society, our state and any effort to gather any information a futile effort, as under your kind of approach or criteria, it should not be allowed, as it may be "racist".

    Get a life, perhaps.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Marc C,

    Exactly. Well said.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Marc C,

    Agreed.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Swan,

    On other issue I have is that the potential problem (with foreign investment, and why it differs from NZ domiciled investment) wasn't described. As such the data was allowed, by Labour and the Herald, to just hang there. So people are able to attach their own "problem" to the data.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Hood,

    Thanks for that, I think I get it. So it's not being used to make any claims about the level of foreign ownership by either group, but rather to highlight that the pattern is very different. That the proportions of buying and selling are roughly similar in all other groups - all are lower, in fact, than their residential proportions, except for the Indian group that is slightly higher. Including Europeans. Then there's the "identified likely chinese" group that is buying and selling about 4 times as much, proportionally to their residential population.

    Conclusion: Probably something is quite different for this group. We can't prove exactly what, but commonsense might suggest what endless anecdotes have pointed to, that the money is not being sourced locally.

    After all, it's not like home ownership is an uncommon goal for NZers of every stripe. It's hotly contested. Everyone wants to do it, because it's such a gravy train. But one group, that doesn't have particularly unusual earnings as a local resident group, is getting to very disproportionate number of the sales. Even if the names are in fact actually those of kiwi Asians, the question of how they can possibly afford so much of the property has to be considered.

    This is all based on the soundness of the method of estimating the ethnic origin via surnames. In the large aggregation used, it looks to me like a method very likely to give a pretty good estimation. Confidence gets tighter the more you sample.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Marc C,

    PC in overdrive

    I feel like I’m losing my goddamned mind reading this thread.

    1. NO ONE is saying that there is not a problem with overseas non-resident investment/speculation in the local property market.
    2. NO ONE is saying that collecting demographic data about this issue is a Bad Thing, per se.
    3. What people who object to this move by Labour ARE saying is that:
    a) The data is suggestive but inconclusive, particularly as the government isn’t really doing diddly to collect *actual* data;
    b) Labour has framed the suggestive data in a really racist dogwhistley way. Not the Nats. Not the Crazed Social Justice Warriors of the Left. Not the sheeple. LABOUR.
    c) This is objectively not helpful, undermines the principles of the party, and is basically a Dick Move.
    4. Saying “this isn’t the real issue” as if we’re all being fooled is pretty annoying, because we KNOW it isn’t the real issue. Labour did this! Not us!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Danielle,

    1. NO ONE is saying that there is not a problem with overseas non-resident investment/speculation in the local property market.

    Swan, post in this blog: "If Labour are correct in their analysis, then this shows two things. One we are recieving foreign direct investment in an area where we have a shortage of investment – housing. That’s pretty much an entirely good news story."

    2. NO ONE is saying that collecting demographic data about this issue is a Bad Thing, per se.

    Lilith, post in this blog. "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."

    However I take your other points, that you think this is a bad strategy. Which is an opinion. Time will tell if you are correct, but if the results of Herald polls and the comments in Stuff are any guide, it might actually be a total winner. It's partially a total winner because racist asshats are piling in, this is true. This comes back to the whole "racists like this, so it must be racist" idea. Well, no. Labour is not responsible for other people and their racism and racist interpretations. But it's partly a winner because he's really the only person addressing the elephant in the room, using imperfect tools to be sure, but what's the alternative? Sit back and watch the home ownership dreams of a generation slip away, because you're afraid of mean people from the National Party calling you names?

    I think that Phil T could have done a better job making this not about Kiwis who happen to be of chinese ethnicity, but given the quality of the media in NZ, I suspect he probably did, but it wasn't reported or highlighted.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to talkie_toaster,

    Yes, because Swan’s usual neoliberal bollocks is completely representative of the general tenor of the arguments about Auckland’s housing market in this thread. C’mon!

    You’re grasping at straws with Lilith’s quote: it doesn’t say that demographic data collection is bad, just that THIS is bad.

    what’s the alternative?

    Not doing the same old "yellow peril" shit? That's an alternative.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to Danielle,

    Well, is Swan a person? I don't know much about their posting history. Why would I? I'm new here.

    "NO ONE is saying that collecting demographic data about this issue is a Bad Thing, per se."

    You’re grasping at straws with Lilith’s quote: it doesn’t say that demographic data collection is bad, just that THIS is bad.

    But, it's subjective, so fair enough.

    If you honestly think this analysis is "the same old yellow peril shit", really. Do I need to provide examples of the things that were actually said and done in the "yellow peril" era? Do you actually seriously think this is (your words) "the same"?

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Dear Talkie, and others of your persuasive opinion.

    I was born in Timaru, to a Fijian father and a Pakeha mother. My father's father was Chinese, hence my last name.

    I own a house, and a rental property.

    As Danielle has stated above - I get all of the issues. I understand there is a problem in housing, and speculation is causing a bubble, and that this matters. To young people, to the economy, to the future of this country.

    I really do get it.

    But the thing is, I also get that this weekend, as per Phil Twyford's definition, I am not of this place. I am it seems, part of the problem, part of what plagues this country, and part of what needs to be addressed, and possibly fixed.

    And all of this on the basis of my last name.

    Because in behind all of the data, the analysis - as shoddy as I believe it to be, and the conclusions, which are as pertinent you believe them be - there are real people, many of whom have chosen this place, or indeed were born in this place.

    And they have been called out on the basis of their last name.

    As I look at my daughter tonight, this amazing kid who has my name, but her mother's Northern Irish fire, I wonder what future this place holds for her. Because after all of my wandering of this planet, I chose this place, to have a family and to raise my daughters.

    This is my tūrangawaewae. By birth and by choice.

    It is hers also by birth, but I wonder if she will claim it by choice.

    Finally, I worry that if it is this easy for those who would seek to lead us, to forget that "There is no Them" - and instead play on the foibles and the biases of human nature - when there in fact, as you and others have said, real issues and real problems to unpack and address, and provide active solutions for - well, what manner of leaders will they actually be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • talkie_toaster, in reply to tim kong,

    But the thing is, I also get that this weekend, as per Phil Twyford’s definition, I am not of this place.

    Your interpretation of what Phil Twyford said… despite Phil Twyford explicitly rejecting this interpretation.

    I am it seems, part of the problem, part of what plagues this country, and part of what needs to be addressed, and possibly fixed.

    Your interpretation of what Phil Twyford said… despite Phil Twyford explicitly rejecting this interpretation.

    And they have been called out on the basis of their last name.

    Your interpretation of what Phil Twyford said… despite Phil Twyford explicitly rejecting this interpretation.

    Your post is obviously very heartfelt and you are genuinely hurt. This sucks. I’m human and I feel for you. But, part of me says.. so what? Because your hurt feelings are based on you interpreting this analysis in a way that both PT and the analyst explicitly and repeatedly reject.

    Phil Twyford and the analyst do not control and are not responsible for racist idiots deliberately misinterpreting this data to suit their own agenda. The data just is: it’s morally neutral. Facts just are. Reality just is. Isn’t this the reality-based community?

    However, if you want to have a discussion about how to push back against the racist idiots abusing this data, that would be productive.

    Edit: please understand that I'm not calling you a racist idiot, I'm acknowledging your point that racist idiots can and will abuse this analysis.

    Aucks • Since Jul 2015 • 30 posts Report Reply

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