Renting must improve, seminar told
Dreams of home ownership are too far out of reach for most Aucklanders and its time to grow up, move on and better the renting experience.
That’s the message from housing experts, who addressed a forum in Auckland on Tuesday on the importance of improving the tenant experience.
Economist Shamubeel Eaqub says renting problems are no longer an issue just for the minority. ‘‘The rental market is designed for student flatters. It is no surprise that it is the young couples with children who are most unhappy.’’
The typical tenancy in New Zealand lasts just 10 months and research shows that private rental housing is in poorer condition than either social housing or houses which are owneroccupied.
All tenants needed long term security, permission to make alterations and the ability to own pets without landlord consent, he says.
‘‘It costs almost twice as much to own than to rent.
‘‘But you can not compare the two. You simply do not get the same experience in renting as in owning your own home.’’
Eaqub says though rental houses provide shelter they can not be called homes.
Housing costs are rising much faster than rents and most Aucklanders will not be able to meet the costs of home ownership, author of Invest and Prosper, David Whitburn says.
‘‘We need to grow up a little bit there. It’s a valid choice to rent.’’
Whitburn believes property speculators need to be taxed if they sell a house fewer than 10 years after buying it and the unitary plan needs tweaking.
‘‘If we are to build a closer compact Auckland, if you are to build up and not out, we do need to think.’’
Auckland council deputy mayor Penny Hulse says owning a home brings with it connotations of success.
‘‘You have your part of Auckland. You are someone.
‘‘You have a stake in society when you own a house. But it’s no longer an option for people to participate in this way and nor should we be driving it as the way forward.’’
Hulse says more than 5000 units a year are needed in Auckland to keep up with population growth.
About 400 people showed up to the forum discussion entitled "What’s wrong with renting?’’.