The release of a major report showing that New Zealand has some of the most unaffordable housing in the world is proof that the housing market is broken and that major government action is needed, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
A report by international housing research organisation Demographia has found that New Zealand has "severely unaffordable" housing, which has become more unaffordable in the past year as house prices outstripped family incomes. Rather than take action, Finance Minister Bill English has said he will wait for further reports and "we'll know in 12 months' time" how much further housing affordability can deteriorate.
"Under National and previous governments, homeownership has become an unaffordable dream for many Kiwi families but it doesn't need to be that way," said Mrs Turei.
"Kiwi families need a government that will act, rather than play the part of a disinterested bystander.
"National's call for more sprawl is no answer to housing affordability. Building homes far from places of work and amenities locks families into high transport costs and exposes them to petrol price increases. It also entails large infrastructure spending by tax- and ratepayers.
"The Greens have announced policies including a capital gains tax (excluding the family home) and loan-to-value ratios that will remove speculators from the housing market and give families a fair chance of buying a home at an affordable price. Additionally, we will build 3,000 state houses a year which will ensure families in need have accommodation and take pressure off the affordable end of the housing market.
"New Zealand families expect their government to take a hands on approach to fixing the housing affordability crisis in this country. Unfortunately, National has failed to act," said Mrs Turei.