At least $800k for new houses

Central Leader - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Most homes built un­der Auck­land’s new Uni­tary Plan would be out of reach of many buy­ers, Auck­land Coun­cil re­search sug­gests.

Only 15 per cent of new homes would be priced un­der $800,000, and fewer than 2 per cent would be un­der $600,000.

That means a chance for cre­at­ing af­ford­able hous­ing for fam­i­lies had been lost, Labour says.

How­ever, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Nick Smith says few first home buy­ers would be pur­chas­ing the 247,000 homes the modelling showed would be needed over the next 24 years.

Labour leader An­drew Lit­tle says Govern­ment sup­port for the plan’s hous­ing pro­vi­sions shows it is ‘‘more out of touch than any­one ex­pected’’.

‘‘Na­tional just doesn’t get it. Peo­ple need af­ford­able homes to live in,’’ Lit­tle says.

With­out a ‘‘cred­i­ble plan of its own’’, Lit­tle says the Govern­ment is re­ly­ing upon the Uni­tary Plan.

The Govern­ment has been ‘‘mis­guided’’ in urg­ing the In­de­pen­dent Hear­ings Panel (IPH), which com­mis­sioned the modelling, to drop re­quire­ments that new de­vel­op­ments of over 15 units in­cluded 10 per cent af­ford­able houses, Lit­tle says.

Mort­gages cost­ing $600,000 swal­lowed-up nearly half of an Auck­land me­dian in­come, mean­ing just 2 per cent of th­ese homes were af­ford­able, he says.

‘‘Nick Smith has got the idea from an eco­nomics text book that if you just build loads of ex­pen­sive homes then nat­u­rally the price of all homes will come down. He needs to come and live in the real world.’’

How­ever, Smith told Ra­dio New Zealand most of the first home buy­ers would not be look­ing to pur­chase the homes cov­ered by the modelling.

De­spite that fact, the num­ber of new homes cost­ing un­der $600,000, which make a quar­ter of all homes cur­rently sold, was set to in­crease, Smith says.

‘‘The modelling from the IPH re­port shows that 6 per cent of homes are ex­pected to be built in that range. That’s 20,000 homes. That’s ac­tu­ally more than what we are pro­ject­ing to de­liver through the HomeS­tart scheme.’’

Smith says he has also had ‘‘very pos­i­tive’’ feed­back from de­vel­op­ers look­ing for in­vest­ment to build houses within the $650,000 price bracket.

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