A new high for house prices in Auckland - as reported today on stuff.co.nz - means a new low for housing affordability for Generations X and Y, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
"Today, the average house price of $589,000 - as reported by Barfoot and Thompson - is over ten times the average Aucklander's income," Mr Banks said.
"It's a recipe that is creating a tenant generation. The proportion of 35-44 year olds renting has doubled since the mid-1990s.
"If New Zealand is to offer opportunity for its younger citizens, then they must realistically be able to buy their own patch of it.
"Unaffordable housing creates a society of haves and have nots, where only those with wealthy parents or high incomes can get into the housing market. Renowned geographer Joel Kotkin has called this situation 'neo-feudalism.'
"This cost is a drag on the entire New Zealand economy. As Kiwis bid against each other for a limited supply of housing they must pay additional mortgage interest, reducing the amount of disposable income they have to spend elsewhere.
"Central and Local Government should heed the advice from the Productivity Commission's Housing Affordability Inquiry, which found that 'Constraints on the release of new residential land create scarcity, limit housing choice and increase house prices.'
"Rather than restrict land, local government should be looking to make new suburbs by freeing up land for residential housing.
"ACT is committed to reforming the Resource Management and Local Government Acts to do just that," Mr Banks said.
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