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Is Kiwibank Up For The Challenge?

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Brian Dalley
Brian Dalley

“Over the next decade, New Zealand will have a housing shortage of some 95,000 homes. Now we are facing a shortage of 70,000 homes.”

I question this statement, as where are all these people supposedly residing now. Is there really that much overcrowding in New Zealand?

Personally, I think this is a classic case of manipulating statics for reasons not immediately apparent.

Sure there will be a shortage of housing if something isn’t done soon, but it is the lenders that need to take a good hard look at their policies not the government, council or builders.

Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling was recently reported as saying homes should be stripped of luxuries such as two bathrooms and large kitchens to make housing more affordable.

Ling said that would see a basic house cost a New Zealand worker between $250,000 and $300,000.

I am not sure what division of Fletcher Building he consulted before making such a farcical statement but I don’t think many would agree with him.

Stripping the average family home of a bathroom and downsizing, the kitchen would save around $20,000 and that would be at the high end. Plus I don’t think the average family would view a second bedroom or a large kitchen as a luxury.

My challenge this week goes out to Kiwibank.

Rather than spend a fortune trying to entice borrowers away from existing lenders do something more productive for the country you so proudly call your own and help the average Kiwi purchase a home.

I challenge Kiwibank to take the lead as they have done so many times before and change their criteria on apartment lending so more New Zealanders can live in affordable accommodation.

A good percentage of people don’t want the ¼ acre section as their lifestyles are much different than those of their parents and even the parents would prefer a property more manageable.

Many I speak to would much prefer an apartment in the city opposite to living miles away from their work in suburbia.

Think of the pressure it would take off our fragile infrastructure. Less down time commuting to work, less traffic congestion.

More money in everyone’s pocket.

If one were to start weighing up the pros and cons of apartment living it would be a no brainer.

I am not advocating building slums but high density housing which is very popular throughout the world is the answer to our woes and the sooner the lenders get their heads around it the better off all New Zealanders will be.

Sure lenders got bitten by shonkey apartment developers in the past but why should the average Kiwi have to pay the price.

So my Challenge to Kiwibank, if you really do want to help more New Zealander’s the ball is in your court.

Don’t be afraid to share your comments.

Brian Dalley is a leading Property Consultant | former NZMBA Mortgage Broker, and Real Estate Agent. You can read more of his views and opinions on his website 

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