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Fellow Urban Development Institute of Australia (FDIA)

Former President –
Southern Division – Property Council of New Zealand

Co author – Annual
Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey


+64 3 343 9944
Christchurch, New Zealand




2018 Information

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Demographia In The News
Demographia Surveys - All Editions
Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (Media Release) | Scoop News

Introduction Section - Message from Hugh Pavletich .

'My home country New Zealand is the global leader in dealing with political impediments, so that the supply of new affordable housing is restored.

The public conversation to restore affordable housing began in earnest early 2005, with the release of the 1st Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

Back in 2007, then Opposition Leader (now Sir) John Key made it clear within this interview that lack of land supply was the major problem.

This has been a near 14 year process of evolutionary change, with the engagement of the public and responsible media.

In turn this has pressured politicians to respond.

Public opinion is the driver, as increasing numbers of New Zealanders better understand the true costs of unnecessary politically induced housing inflation to themselves and their wider families.

The initial advocacy phase ran through to October 2012, with the major Government announcement to focus on land supply, infrastructure financing, process and construction costs.

Over recent years broader consensus ( more , more ) has taken place.

To illustrate further, just prior to Christmas 2017, Stephen Sellwood of Infrastructure New Zealand and Bill Evans of major builder Flatcher Living repeated again, that the focus must be on land supply and the appropriate debt financing of infrastructure.

We are now moving to the implementation phase, with a recent change to a centre - left Labour led reformist government.

Historically in New Zealand, Labour has been the political party of reform.

More extensive information is available at my archival website Performance Urban Planning. Note in particular the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern / Housing Minister Phil Twyford section near the top of the=is website, to better understand the new governments proposals to restore housing affordability.'

Inaugural New Zealand IPSOS Survey…

A recent survey on key issues concerning New Zealanders has shown that housing accessibility and affordability are at the forefront of people's minds.

The first of the quarterly New Zealand Issues Monitor reports, run by global market research company Ipsos, interviewed 610 respondents over the age of 16.

It sought to track what New Zealanders were concerned about, who is worried about what and which political parties are seen to be best able to improve matters. … [read more]

The Salvation Army's casting doubts on the ability of government departments to deliver on the Kiwibuild affordable housing programme and is calling for establishment of an expert group to deliver the required houses.

A media statement from the Salvation Army said that "growing uncertainty" over whether Kiwibuild can "reignite the Kiwi dream" of homeownership needs to be countered.

"Recent reports from Treasury and The Chief Executive of New Zealand Certified Builders indicating the programme may not be able to deliver the housing required creates uncertainty for families who see Kiwibuild as their path to homeownership," the statement said…[read more]

Lessons from Greater Christchurch .

* Rolleston: Time to take it seriously
* Christchurch's $600 million motorways
* Christchurch's next problem: bringing residents back into the CBD
* Government 'locked in' to contract for delay-riddled east frame

… incorporating readers survey below …

What should a 'median' house cost? (2.2k Votes)

No more than three times median household income 33%
Up to four times median household income 29%
Five times is acceptable 18%
Six or more is okay in this day and age 9%
Not sure 11%

…so that today…different forms of dwellings should be about or below these Median Multiples to rate as 'affordable'…

  1. Standard detached housing should not cost any more than 3.0 times annual household incomes of specific metros ( refer Annual Demographia Surveys ; recent Glaeser & Gyourko paper ; Recent Reserve Bank of Australia paper ); Harvard JCHR Median Multiple Tables (accessible top left column front page this website).
  2. New fringe starter house and land packages should cost around 2.5 times…at development ratios of 20% serviced lot and the balance construction ( Definition of an affordable housing market www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org
  3. Apartment / townhouses should be around 2.0 times ( about 70% of detached…to illustrate refer Houston Association of Realtors Monthly Report ).
  4. Fringe manufactured house (prefab) and land packages should be around 1.5 times ( refer Leaky Homes And An Architect's Musing's | Scoop News March 2010 published Interest Co NZ as 'Houston: We have a housing affordability problem'

Why are NZ homes so pricey? It has nothing to do with avocados | Charlie Gates | Stuff.co.nz

The Houston example shows a (NZ)$300,000 ( circa US$ 200,000 ) home is more than feasible.

The (New Zealand) delegation comprised 42 delegates from across the public and private sector and took place between April 2 and April 13.

Where the delegation went.

The delegation visited four growing US cities: Portland, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston - defined in this report by their metropolitan or regional areas, rather than by their municipal boundaries…[read more]

Extract…Page 47…Fig 17…

…above provided by…

…New Zealand Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford points out a few realities to the Environmental Defence Society (EDS)…Richard Harman explains…


…Attendees probably left last night with more questions than when they arrived as Ministers, who in Opposition had seemed sympathetic to environmental issues were left qualifying and modifying their stance on major issues.

This was starkly evident in an exchange between Urban Development Minister, Phil Twyford, and the EDS CEO, Gary Taylor over urban sprawl.

Twyford had set out an impassioned description of the impact of high house prices in Auckland and advocated the linking together of transport and other infrastructure and new housing developments.

But he also advocated the scrapping or urban-rural limits.

"We believe that we have to manage growth on the fringes of the city," he said.

"If we do not allow new land to come into the supply we will never ever fix the problem of absurdly expensive urban land.

"With good investment in infrastructure and transport, with more planning, not less to create the future urban environment that we want, setting aside areas of special value and open spaces, acquiring land for transport and other infrastructure, if we then allow the city to grow we will bring down urban land prices and it is absolutely critical that we do," he said.

Twyford had proposed this when he was in Opposition but, even so, any suggestion that more rural land was going to be absorbed for housing was going to be controversial at an environmental conference.

And Taylor was quick to respond.

"Everything makes sense except I worry about why you need to do away with rural-urban boundaries altogether," said Taylor.

He said that giving free reign to developers seemed inconsistent with Twyford's overall objective of having a compact city.

Twyford replied that it was a question of values.

"This is for us, for Labour, for our coalition government, this is fundamentally a social justice issue.

"Our objective is not to build a Copenhagen of the South Pacific.

"We could build a beautiful city with a whole lot of the policies we have talked about.

"We could build a Vancouver of the South Pacific; beautiful but utterly unaffordable.

"I'm interested in us fixing this totally dysfunctional urban land economy.

"If we don't deal with affordability we will have completely wasted the opportunity that has been given to our generation."

Twyford said the only way to deal with the affordability issue was to deal with the land price issue and that meant dealing with the artificial scarcity of land caused by the planning system and the availability of finance for infrastructure.

However he didn't dispute that the Auckland region was going to become more heavily built up.

"You know what," he said. "In two or three generations this is going to become a tri-city conurbation between Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland whether we like it or not."…[read more]

…essential reading…

…extensive video interview 'Newshub Nation' included…

…November 2017…

…2 plus years ago . May 2016…

…Hugh Pavletich in the news . google search…