New home finance problems in Auckland as affordability crisis spreads nationwide

House prices keep rising across New Zealand and banks are unable or unwilling to fund new affordable homes in Auckland, the Green Party said today.

“The big Australian-owned banks are pulling back on lending to the very types of projects that can provide the most affordable homes in our cities,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“The market can’t and won’t solve the housing crisis by itself – that’s why New Zealanders need the Government to step up and build and help finance more affordable housing.

“Building apartments and townhouses along major public transport routes is the most affordable and effective way to create lots of new homes in our cities. If the banks won’t fund these projects, the Government needs to look for other ways to make sure finance is available, including working with the community housing sector.

“The scale of the housing crisis is so bad that yet again, New Zealand has made international headlines as the most unaffordable place to buy a home in all four of The Economist’s house price indexes.

“National has let the Auckland housing crisis spread throughout the country.

“The latest house price data published today shows the median house price continues to rise in Auckland and it’s rising faster in many other regions, year on year.

“With a nationwide median price of almost half a million dollars, families who work hard to save for their first home are finding it harder and harder to afford one.

“There’s lots more the Government could choose to do to fix the housing market, including rent-to-buy programmes, working with the community housing sector, cutting down on property speculation with a capital gains tax (excluding the family home), and restricting overseas investors,” Mrs Turei said.

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