Housing Affordability in KapitiBy Kris Faafoi August 2013
Owning a slice of paradise on the Kapiti Coast is getting more expensive. In June, the monthly Quotable Value property index showed that residential property prices rose by nearly 1% on June last year.
It’s no surprise that more and more people want to make a life in Kapiti but we need to ensure the dream of home ownership isn’t put out of reach of most KiwisIt’s time we figured out a solution to sort out soaring house prices.
A big and complex problem
It’s a big and complex problem, but our kids won’t thank us if we walk away from it.That’s why Labour has been working on solutions to help first-home buyers get a foot-hold on the property market.
Our ideas have been generating a lot of excitement.People I talk to across Kapiti are worried that the Kiwi dream of home ownership is slipping further out of reach. The number of new houses on the market in a price range first home buyers can afford has dropped to just 5 per cent.
Part of the solution is the policy Labour has recently announced – to stop overseas speculators from buying houses here.
At the moment, there are no restrictions on overseas buyers and that makes New Zealand an easy target for speculators. In fact, real estate agencies are actively marketing Kiwi homes in countries such as South Africa and the UK.
We will put New Zealanders first and make no apologies about that. This is a tool that works. Australia, Denmark and Iceland all have similar restrictions on foreign buyers. Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, Switzerland and China have all tightened restrictions or added stamp duties for non-resident buyers in the last two years.
A tool, not a silver bullet
This isn’t a silver bullet but it’s another tool that will help.
It is part of a comprehensive package that also includes working in partnership with the construction industry to build 100,000 affordable homes and introducing a capital gains tax.
The National Government don’t understand how tough it is for first-home buyers at the moment.
That’s why it isn’t doing anything to fix the problem.This is not an easy nut to crack, and we’re not going to pretend that it is. But we need to get started. That’s what our solutions will do. We want to see all New Zealanders get ahead. That’s why we think it is so important to restore the Kiwi dream of home ownership.