[OPE-L] More speculation about dropping off the housing ladder

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Fri Oct 06 2006 - 14:13:47 EDT

(the idea in this article is that the price-hike of housing is structural,
permanently excluding a fraction of the population from home ownership)

Millions face a lifetime renting

Friday October 6, 2006
By Anne Gibson

Up to 2.6 million New Zealanders [of a total population of 4 million] could
be renting soon, according to a visiting American expert who has called for
city boundaries to be expanded to free land for more housing. Wendell Cox,
co-author of the Demographia Housing Affordability Survey with Christchurch
developer and investor Hugh Pavletich, said renters would outstrip home
owners in the next few decades.

Up to 60 per cent of the population or 2.6 million people could be lifetime
tenants, priced out of the housing market, said Mr Cox, here to speak at the
Resource Management Law Association conference in Auckland today. House
prices were at least six times annual incomes, making New Zealand's housing
stock one of the world's most expensive, Mr Cox said. "Around 10,000 people
a year are dropping off the housing ladder in New Zealand," he said.

New Zealand was in danger of suffering the single largest home ownership
rate drop of any First World country, he said, citing Census figures due out
in early December which are expected to show ownership levels plunging
dramatically. People's dreams of owning a house were being shattered by
disastrous planning regulations, which had strangled a plentiful supply of
land surrounding cities, Mr Cox said. "New Zealand could be headed toward a
40 per cent home ownership rate in 50 years, which is a real problem because
your country will be considerably less affluent," said Mr Cox, a public
policy consultant.

An artificial land supply problem had been imposed on major cities and that
had driven up house prices, a problem for Christchurch and Auckland but also
worrying in Wellington. Houses would become cheaper if the "ring fence"
around Auckland was dismantled, which would restore a supply-demand balance.
"Housing affordability has been destroyed in New Zealand's major urban
areas. Urban planning policies have strangled the market for land, driving
up costs. These policies include urban growth boundaries, greenbelts, growth
areas, requirements for infill development, infrastructure fees," he said.

Complete article:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/8/story.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10404591The Demographia survey:
New Zealand building consents data:
(the number of new dwellings built declined from December 2003 to about
2,200 a year, though the average value of dwellings built has increased).
James Heartfield's "busting the green belts/build more houses" article:

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