Polity by Rob Salmond

Read Post

Polity: House-buying patterns in Auckland

521 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 13 14 15 16 17 21 Newer→ Last

  • llew40, in reply to BenWilson,

    Thats a fair point Ben, affordability is also a product of circumstance, and I'd certainly love to be in a position where I can use the equity in my home to give my (currently teenage) children a step onto the first rung of the property ladder (if they want to live in Auckland).

    Its a natural thing to want to do, but it does feel like (while it will put my kids in the lucky category) it will also exacerbate the underlying structural problem.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Danielle,

    the two issues – racist dogwhistles and overseas influence on the Auckland housing crisis – are not mutually exclusive

    I’m distinctly uncomfortable here, because this is way too important to just ignore, and I support much more restrictive rules around foreign investment, but still can’t fathom how Labour stuffed things up so badly. It’s completely upsidedown to blame foreign investors for behaving legally in the way investors behave (looking for safety and return on capital.)
    The main blame* lies with a govt that refuses to concede there’s a problem, won’t even measure it without great pressure, then only reluctantly and has no plan to deal with it. And blaming the govt is Labour’s main job ffs!!
    Yet somehow the PRC investors are the shadowy phone-bidding villains (viz Andrew Little quoted this morning on RNZ), and Joyce is rubbing his hands and crying racism. I can hardly bear to look. Where’s the thunderous denunciation of a govt that’s doing nothing and will barely concede there’s a problem?
    * the bigger picture has to do with the global build-up of extreme wealth for the few. there’s a still the sense – as before the gfc – of massive amounts of wealth sloshing around the world looking for safe haven and/or easy profit. what do you do with a huge pile of money? one option is to lend it back to the poor or relatively poor, as certainly happens. but the returns aren’t good and safety means faith in the financial system. buying property is an obvious option. it’s easy to understand; owning property feels safe (when did any nation last nationalise property, or group seriously defy property rights?); and while most countries have restrictions, New Zealand is not only safe and wide open, it offers the possibility of massive tax-free profit. at heart, on top of our ridiculous tax and investment law, this is another negative effect of the political and ethical problem of inequality.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I agree with Danielle/Stephen, and furthermore, I think the whole discussion highlights an "empathy gap", for want of a better description.

    For those who (in good faith, let's assume) want to explain away racism as secondary or a distraction ("that's not the issue"), it is enough simply to assert our own perspective ("I'm definitely not racist, therefore this isn't either").

    For others, it's a wearying, familiar feeling of "here we go again". And again, and again, and again. Not so much a shock, as a reminder.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1320 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    the handwringers amongst us would still find a way of badmouthing Labour

    If "listening to what Keith and Tze Ming and Chinese New Zealanders are saying about this instead of dismissing their concerns out of hand because they might make Labour look bad" makes me a handwringer, then guilty as fucking charged.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to llew40,

    Its a natural thing to want to do, but it does feel like (while it will put my kids in the lucky category) it will also exacerbate the underlying structural problem.

    As one of the black guys in Platoon said "Sheesh man, you has to be rich to think that way in the first place". However much I think changes should be made to reduce the wealth gap, I'm definitely NOT going to go about helping by making myself and my family poor.

    It's a familiar paradox for anyone of socialist tendency but above average position on the social ladder. But it's not a hard one to resolve. You just have to accept that looking after yourself and looking after society at large don't work the same way. For yourself, your own efforts count for a huge part of your success. For society, your own efforts count for a miniscule part of society's success. So you can have it both ways - you can look after yourself, and look after others. Yes, you'd look after yourself a tiny bit better by being right wing, and wouldn't have to suffer any horrible paradoxes. OTOH, you have to be right wing, which could make you feel like shit for your whole life, which will have a direct impact.

    This paradox is, however, quite a bit more prominent if you are left wing and powerful. You might actually have direct influence over decisions that could fuck with your wealth. It's a problem for Labour politicians, not me. You could argue that it's part of the reason neoliberalism has been so successful, because left wing politicians are themselves mostly a wealthy class. If not at the start, then certainly by the time they get any real influence.

    The only solution I see is to pay politicians well, and scrutinize their finances hard. We do both of those already. The scrutiny bit, they do to each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Handwringer and proud.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    Here is a new graph (so I am kinda out of retirement with this topic on this one). Based on the idea that the arcane REINZ house price index basically matches the house value total that QV produces and is available on the RBNZ site, we can use the QV total numbers as a representation of sales (since it makes the same graph as the REINZ sales graph), providing we do not claim it is the specific value of sales.

    One thing a few people have asked is "but can you use household debt"- wouldn't mortgages be better. So I've taken the RBNZ C6 series, checked that debt for housing tracks total debt so I can go back to 1990 with the total, and graphed it.

    If mortgage borrowing was controlling the price of houses, you would expect a quarterly increase of x in money loaned to buy houses to be associated with a fairly fixed y amount in the value of houses, so the two lines should track more or less together and up to 2001 they pretty much do (there is a late 80s dip that balances the early 90s rise that I have seen in other data sources. Once we get into the 2000s the NZ market is not being influenced by people getting NZ bank loans, it is being governed by capital from elsewhere. There is also z pretty clear trend going on at the moment. Shall we have a sweepstake on house prices as of October 2016?

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Once again, we have Labour with something useful to say (we have a problem with foreign investment in our housing market), but terrible framing.

    Imagine if they’d said:

    **Foreign Investors Skew Auckland Housing Market**

    Anyone who lives in Auckland will have heard of anecdotal stories of non-resident Chinese investors snapping up Auckland properties and driving up the price of housing for hard-working Kiwis. Who blames them ? On current policy settings there are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing homes here, and with the lack of the capital gains tax, they stand to make a handsome, tax-free profit when they sell.

    In typically lazy fashion, the John Key government has once more failed to even acknowledge a problem, let alone deal with it. They’ve sat on their hands while house prices get even more out of reach for ordinary New Zealanders. That National government won’t even collect data on this issue – because they know it’s real, and because it is not in the interest of the donors to make housing affordable for hard-working Kiwi families.

    Instead, we have obtained some data leaked from a real estate firm. We analyzed the data to see if we could determine how many properties were being purchased by mainland Chinese. Our calculations show that the sheer number of properties being purchased means it is likely that significant proportion are being purchased by non-residents from China.

    China is one of the world’s powerhouse economies, and home to some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet. These people are successful, wealthy, and discerning – in short, the very kind of people we love to welcome here as immigrants. We do not blame them for making a rational economic decision to make invest here, it shows real nous, which is why we think they would make excellent candidates to come and live here.

    The reality is that if wealthy, discerning Chinese investors see fit to invest here, then the wealthy of other nations from Europe and North America will seek to do likewise. There is no way hard-working Kiwis can compete with the wealthiest investors from the rest of the world.

    There is no housing crisis for anyone who lives in a Parnell mansion. But for the rest of us, we need a real solution to this very real problem.

    Labour will stop foreign investors from all countries from investing here. You will need to a permanent resident or citizen to own residential property, and we will bring a capital gains tax on houses other than the family home.

    If they’d framed the argument like the above, would we still be here talking about racist dog whistles, or would we be talking about the housing crisis, its causes and which solutions would work best ?

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Not surprisingly, Chris "Waitakere Man" Trotter comes in to bat for Twyford.

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to David Hood,

    What does "value of NZ houses" mean? Is that the total volume of sales, or a proxy for it.

    Why don't Stats collect proper data in this area, anyway? They could get the transaction data from Linz, you would think, and provide figures for total volume, average price/GV, etc. It's impossible to even track down numbers for total GV in a region or nationally - you have to guess by dividing council income by the rates percentage (which is also a hidden number).

    Anyone would think this data is deliberately obfuscated?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Imagine if they’d said:

    Anything really. The National Party's mouthpieces would find a way for it to look bad, as they have this time.
    The fact of the matter is that even your carefully written piece would still be regarded a racist because you dared to mention China, had we been talking about Americans or Germans or whoever as long as they were "westerners", this would never have been a "problem".

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Trotter's piece is a classic example of projecting instead of observing. His message, in short: "I want this issue to be discussed differently. So I've simply decided that it has been. That makes life easier for me, which is the main thing."

    Yes, Andrew Little could have made a visionary speech about the history and future of NZ's relationship with China, addressing some of those matters arising. But he didn't.

    Presumably because it wouldn't have got half the coverage or probably, votes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1320 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Anyone would think this data is deliberately obfuscated?

    No.... really... Barfoot and Thompson surely wouldn't do that, I mean, they are so supportive of Labour and heaven forbid, would they really talk up property values?.
    /s

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wouldn't expect a real estate agent to collect statistics. I would expect the public bodies paid to do this to collect decent data on the largest part of the economy.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The National Party’s mouthpieces would find a way for it to look bad, as they have this time.

    And the rest of us would have ignored them, as we do every day.

    Labour’s achievement was to alienate a great many more, non-mouthpieces all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1320 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Anything really. The National Party’s mouthpieces would find a way for it to look bad, as they have this time.

    It’s a lot harder to make the argument that Labour is engaged in wedge politics if their essential message is “Love these guys, but we’re going to close the back door and they can come in through the front door if they want to invest in our real estate”.

    This attitude of National R Teh L337 is self-defeating. Labour have to do better, and may as well try rather than shrug their shoulders and say “We can’t win”.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    Great work. Is that big drop in 2008 likely to be overseas capital being pulled out?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    blaming the govt is Labour’s main job ffs!!

    yep. and the whole public even subsidise them to do it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Once again, we have Labour with something useful to say (we have a problem with foreign investment in our housing market), but terrible framing.

    Or how about we just take a deep breath and admit this is wonderful framing for the element of the Labour Party who are desperate for a polling bump, and don’t give a damn how they get it. Welcome to your Orewa moment, Labour supporters.

    The fact of the matter is that even your carefully written piece would still be regarded a racist because you dared to mention China, had we been talking about Americans or Germans or whoever as long as they were “westerners”, this would never have been a “problem”.

    So remind me, Steve, where was Labour's furious denunciation when The New Zealand Herald's proprietor flicked off its magazine holdings to a German corporation? (FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm an occasion contributor to The Listener, currently owned by Bauer Media Group)? And are you seriously trying to argue that there's the same level of political and media hysterics when land and houses are sold to Australians, Poms or Americans? Really?

    If you're citing the existence of racism as justification for pandering to it, then you've unwittingly put your finger on the real problem here. It's just not the one you think it is.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    It appears we're not the only place having this discussion at the moment.

    Surge in Chinese housebuying spurs global backlash

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Value is a proxy. REINZ (private) having actual sales data, and through an arcane process generate something called the house price index, which they publically publish a graph of, but don't give the accompanying time series data. QV (kinda private) use REINZ and other data to do the house valuations rates are based on via an arcane and unknown formula, and publish the Total value of New Zealand houses via the RBNZ . While this is technically different to the REINZ data it makes an almost identical graph just at a different scale, so it makes a good proxy for what is happening with property sales providing you are not trying to work out actual dollar values from it (it is good for the long term pattern). So for example we can confidentially say that a lot of new money compared to what was there has come into the housing market, and there is evidence that it could not have come from inside New Zealand.

    To the best of my knowledge LINZ only gets title information, nothing about price.

    Certainly as sectors of the economy go it is rather opaque.

    If I can generalise, when I was passing this to people in 2013 the general response from people on the left was "I believe you but I don't understand you" while the general response from people on the right was "we all agree the price rises are due to constrained supply due to local government regulation, so this is irrelevant". No one seemed to have their heads around it being a completely open economic sector exposed to the world (freakishly so by world standards) and that world pressures may be very different to that of a market internal to the country.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Sacha,

    Could be, we just don't know. What the 2008 drop literally means is that for a few key quarters a bunch of people were buying houses much cheaper than the previous quarter. We don't know who was selling or buying.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And are you seriously trying to argue that there's the same level of political and media hysterics when land and houses are sold to Australians, Poms or Americans? Really?

    No, that is not what I said at all. So Craig, while you are wringing your hands could you refrain from mangling my words.

    If you're citing the existence of racism as justification for pandering to it, then you've unwittingly put your finger on the real problem here. It's just not the one you think it is.

    I did that on the other thread Here

    Play with percentages all you like these numbers tell a much bigger story but the fact remains, New Zealand is a racist country and Twyford is a New Zealander.
    Shock Horror.

    The false equivalence... it stings.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    We don't know who was selling or buying.

    Nuts. Which other nations ignore the largest part of their economy, statistically?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It appears we’re not the only place having this discussion at the moment.

    I know I'm late to this discussion, but how come it's OK for Hong Kong and Singapore to target mainland Chinese, but we can't even acknowledge that it's a potential/likely issue here ?

    And are you seriously trying to argue that there’s the same level of political and media hysterics when land and houses are sold to Australians, Poms or Americans? Really?

    There is from the Greens, although it isn't hysterical, more measured and consistent. The Greens have been saying for years that foreigners should come and live here as permanent residents or go and buy land in their own country.

    Whilst the non-resident/citizen Chinese have salient attributes that make them more noticeable (names, language, physical characteristics), and hence the obvious group to use as the exemplar for the issue of foreign property ownership, I think it is fair to say that everyone is doing it, at least to some degree.

    This laissez faire wet dream of everyone in the entire world being able to buy our land out from underneath us is a total crock, and both Labour and National are to blame for the situation, and for the paucity of hard data resulting in the Chinese being unfairly targeted, for the reasons I gave above. If we had proper data, we would be able to create a solid breakdown, and we'd know exactly who is buying what.

    But neither National nor Labour would listen, and this is what you get.

    I'll give Labour points actually trying to deal with the issue, even if they can't frame their way out of a paper bag. One day they might hire some actual talent that can compete with the consultants National use.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 13 14 15 16 17 21 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.