IMF report more evidence of Govt’s inaction on housing crisis

A report released today by the IMF shows the Government’s inaction on the housing crisis is creating a significant risk to New Zealand’s economy, the Green Party said today.

In its New Zealand Mission: Concluding Report, the IMF calls for more houses to be built in Auckland urgently, and for more tax incentives for housing speculators to be removed – which the Green Party believes should include a proper capital gains tax.

“When the IMF is saying you’ve stacked the system too much in favour of property investors, then you know you’re on the wrong track,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

“National is allowing speculators to prosper in Auckland and first-home buyers to suffer, and the IMF is saying that it could cost the entire country too.

“The National Government has been mucking about on housing for too long. They won’t even admit we’re in the middle of a crisis, even as the average house price in Auckland heads towards a million dollars.

“The IMF says New Zealand needs to urgently build more houses but it concedes that that can’t happen fast enough so it says we should immediately reduce the incentives to invest in property.

“The IMF is essentially saying that the bright-line test is good but doesn’t go far enough.

“Meanwhile, we also now know that the Government’s attempt to increase housing supply in Auckland is a complete and utter failure.

“Just 102 houses have been built in the Government’s Special Housing Areas two years into the scheme. That is an appalling rate of return in anyone’s eyes.

“The Government should be using its access to cheap finance to undertake a large-scale house-building project in Auckland. That’s the only way to kick-start the supply of affordable homes in a hurry.

“In the meantime, it should be banning non-resident foreign buyers from cherry-picking New Zealand properties, and introducing a proper capital gains tax on everything but the family home.

“These are the best ways to get speculators out of the market and let hard-working New Zealanders get into their first homes,” said Mrs Turei.

Link to IMF report:
http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2015/111015.htm

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