Monday, May 26, 2014

The housing 'crisis and foreign buyers.

Without a doubt, ‘housing and access to it is going to be a major election issue. That John Key is even entertaining the possibility of putting it on the agenda speak loudly and clearly that he has ‘heard.’ But---the debate must be ‘informed.’ We are hearing all sorts of anecdotal figures for just how many houses are being sold to ‘rich foreigners and it is the ‘Asians who are copping the flack. Everyone seems to have a story from a ‘good source,’ and it this ‘information that is most suspect when it comes to having a real debate.
Before we change laws and spout platitudes, please let us find out what is actually happening out there in ‘hosing land’ at the auctions and mainly in Auckland. Without that information we are at risk of a knee jerk reaction; one that will only taint NZ’s good reputation.
OK, having said that, there is no denying that housing, particularly in Auckland and some other areas of NZ is fast receding as a possibility for most NZers. That one needs at least NZ$600,000 of r a very average house is just crazy and my figure is on the low side. Even a hard –working couple on more than the average wage cannot do any more than dream of getting onto the housing ladder.
Even without actual figures for those guying our houses, there still needs to be some protection from racketeers and investors form overseas who have no intention of living in NZ or becoming residents, from buying up our precious homes, thereby possibly forcing out domicile NZ citizens and residents who just cannot compete on that very ‘unlevel’ playing filed.
Now that several opposition parties have jumped on the bandwagon, probably only because they see votes in such positioning; fine---it means that we can get to the bottom of all the lies and half-truths. Once we know the figures, ones that many real estate agents are not necessarily happy to give, because they may see less money in their pockets by doing so. The figures must somehow come from trusted sources.
At that point, we can discuss how we can safeguard NZ homes and land for NZ citizens and residents. We must close the loopholes that have appeared on other countries who have gone down a similar pathway. Whatever we find—we must act, because as NZers, we must look after ‘us’ first. Too bad, if a foreign greedy speculators get their knockers in a twist. Yes, debate with facts and then make fair policy.