From the NBR 20.2.06 by Owen McShane’
Everyone knows we all want higher incomes and lower prices. Nobody likes to see headlines saying “oil prices rose 20% last year”… or “Price increases of 20% demonstrate continuing strong economic growth”.
Yet headlines that read “House prices continue their strong upward trend” are cause for celebration by the home owning majority and their agents.
This rapid and seemingly never ending rise in house prices is tragic because home ownership is a core value of our society that helps integrate young families and immigrants by giving them a real stake in the economy.
The first hard question is. “Why do we embrace massive price increases in the most expensive item any family has to buy?”
The second hard question is. “How many low income people, immigrants and young families do you price out of home ownership, because existing home owners want to further increase their capital gains and borrowing power.”
The third hard question is. “How can a centre-left government, which claims to represent the interests of workers, immigrants and Maori and Pacific Islanders, legislate to impose ‘smart growth’ town planning policies which so clearly discriminate against all of them?”
Owen McShane is Director of the New Zealand Centre for Resource Management Studies.