Monday 25 August 2014

John Key's Hand-Up To Julian And Sarah.


Life Used To be So Hard: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Our House.
NATIONAL'S HOUSING POLICY, like Labour's, promises to make life easier for those young middle-class couples desperate to get their feet on the first rung of the property ladder.

The real solution to homelessness is, as the Greens and Internet-Mana propose, to flood the rental property market with state-owned and state-constructed houses. With rents capped at 25 percent of the tenant's income these thousands of new state houses would collapse the market for second or third properties that has driven up the price of housing to ridiculous and unsustainable levels.

Yes, people like me, the Baby-Boomer middle-classes, would take a hit - in many cases a big hit. But given the huge advantages our generation enjoyed at the start of our careers: free tertiary education, affordable housing, workplace protections, a buoyant job market; its only fair that we pay down some of those advantages to the generations following along behind us.

Racking my brains for an appropriate accompaniment to this posting, I finally came up with Crosby, Stills and Nash and Young's classic 1970 hit Our House.

One can only assume that John Key is expecting innumerable Julians and Sarahs to think of him when they hear the line:

Now everything is easy 'cause of you.


Video Courtesy of YouTube

This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Tim Mallory said...

Yep Chris. The original State Houses were created by Socialised Credit (printed money) and as the returns came in the money was written off. The result was houses that didn't cost us anything.

The other important issue with them was that ALL material used in their construction had to be NZ made/produced which created work down the line. Today we have two main parties who are hell-bent on borrowing the funding to build the houses. Or trying to build them out of income.

David said...

When (if) ever we have a government building state homes again, they should build a good number of them for single people. Older single people are forever forgotten when the issue of affordable housing comes up,yet they have more problems than anyone else in owning a house. I would envisage some state houses being small townhouses or something like that. They don't actually have to be big, and can be a simple but attractive design but with a small amount of land around them to give an added bit of privacy/sense of home. If a single bedroom house. A bit like some of the very small houses like you get in suburbs like Mount Cook in Wellington.

Kat said...

"If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel
I would probably know just how to deal.....
With all of you."

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Don't forget that thousands of apprentices trained on state houses. That's probably why there's never a right angle on the whole damn place mind you :-).

Victor said...

New Zealand has a massive problem in the supply of housing, particularly at the lower end of the market.

But it also has a massive problem in the poor quality of much other housing, including big ticket properties.

This is an area of cumulative and total market failure. Government intervention, clear thinking and quite radical measures are required to solve these problems.

AB said...

"collapse the market for second or third properties"

Yes - and 4th, 5th and 6th etc.
Not uncommon among my colleagues with 2 middle-class incomes coming in, and few or grown-up children, to be seriously getting into 'rentals' to the tune of 4-6. And quite blatantly for the untaxed capital gain.
Workplace relations have to be kept amicable, so it is not discussed.

Charles W Etherington said...

I grew up in a standard cheap house made of native timbers, Summerhill stone bricks and tiles. It was a crap house, except for the lovely wood but the best thing about it was we and all our neighbours had front lawns and large back lawns. Great to grow up with outside space. Vegie gardens too. Land was cheap. Not now. The bigger issue than over the top building costs is the damn land price which I put down to a nasty combination of idiot social engineering type planners and greedy capitalist sub-dividers. The former want us all crammed in like termites and the latter want a constrained supply of tiny sections of max cost. Curse them both.
My former neighbour Mike Greer, to drop a name is currently the largest builder in NZ and aims to build 1000s of smallish quality houses that cost about $200K. But he told me the CHCH City Council(crammed with greenie type socialists) told him they did not approve of that type of housing as it was 'unattractive' and 'unsustainable' so he is doing it on the outskirts of CHCH, where they have no jurisdiction, and land prices are cheaper. The City planners hate this and deride it as 'sprawl', the bloody snobs. Mendacious bastards with no idea. In the big quakes, suburbs were best as they are resilient. We dug long drops and had gas BBQs to invite stricken neighbours to. We put up tents for 'refugees'. Try that in a sodding apartment block, you smart arse planners!
Sorry, not you Chris. You're not a planner eh?

pat said...

Agree that moving home affordability back to the ratios mentioned via State housing programme is vital but equally vital is that it is done in a carefully managed manner...there is no problem with collapsing the tax free capital growth investment market provided it dosnt occur at such a rate as to cause "underwater mortgages" and the flow on risks that follow. It is going to take quite some time to undo 30 years of market failure.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

The problem with all you guys blagging on about land prices is that you want to expand over farmland. Most of the cities in New Zealand were built right next to the best farmland. So let's build houses on it, that way everybody all have a house but we won't be able to export farm stuff :-). No problem – with our huge gardens we will be able to be self-sufficient in food. We can go back to subsistence agriculture like those greenie hippy types want us to :-).
And it's not just the price of land either. The price of building materials is way higher here than in Australia. But of course, you find it difficult to blame " greenie type socialists" for that.

Loz said...

The availability of land is an important question for a building programme. To avoid high density apartment high-rise developments, the only alternative is also to develop high speed mass transit as part of the housing solution. Interestingly, the current generation of high speed commuter trains would allow a trip from around Huntley to central Auckland to only take around 45 minutes.

Brendon Harre said...

1% of NZ is urban area and a greater proportion of NZ is in lifestyle blocks which is really ultra-low density housing for the rich. Building homes for the medium worker at cheaper prices because cheaper land can be accessed will make bugger all difference to our agricultural exports.

If you google my name and look at some of the articles I have written on housing you will see their is a role for government built 'new towns' around high speed public and private transport links. Something like Houten (google that too).

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Some of that article seemed to come from some peer reviewed journal articles I read some years ago. The idea particularly of building self-contained suburbs that people can actually live and work in. But even so, as I have said before, most major cities were built close to decent farmland. Auckland in particular has sprawled over a huge area compared to European cities of comparative population. So is not quite as simple as making land more available.

Armchair Critic said...

Dunno why you're on about the price of houses Chris. The issue for today is the price of regional airfares, just ask the PM. The good news is that he has said something, which is a strange thing for a PM who believes the government should not interfere with markets, but whatever...Airfares, Chris, airfares. Not houses.

Brendon Harre said...

Guerilla Surgeon what if Kiwirail and KiwiBuild compulsory purchased some farmland at farmland prices around the main trunk line just outside Auckland's MUL, built a train passenger train station and thousands of KiwiBuild homes for working families on rezoned land. Would that be acceptable?

This is what the first Labour government did in the 1930's why don't we do it again?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

It's quite possibly a good thought Brendon, because let's face it Labour had some pretty good ideas back then. Supplanted with motorways in the 19 fifties by National. But it's still farmland, and farmland is what we rely on to make money.