Friday, November 16, 2012


The government has announced a new response to the housing crisis: 600 new "affordable" homes in its Hobsonville Point development. But when you look at the actual prices, they're not that affordable:

Under the inflation-indexed targets, of all homes built at Hobsonville Point:
  • 10 per cent will be sold for less than $400,000
  • a further 10 per cent will be priced between $400,000 and $485,000.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley thinks that these prices are "affordable in the Auckland context". Bullshit. According to Kiwibank's calculator, payments on a $485,000 house, assuming a 20% deposit, are over $1,100 a fortnight. Which is about the same as the median pre-tax income ($560 a week), and almost 70% of the median pre-tax income of wage and salary earners ($806 a week). And that's at historic low rates, and assuming that people have almost $100,000 to put down to start with; if they don't, its even worse.

Basically, these "affordable" houses are completely unaffordable to the vast majority of New Zealanders. They're houses for the rich. And they will do nothing to solve our housing crisis.