Shamubeel Eaqub rails against government failures that led to an undersupply of 500,000 homes over 30 years and rising societal gaps

Apr 10, 2017 | News

This article was posted in on 6 April and can be seen in full here.

Speaking to the NZ Planning Institute’s annual conference in Wellington this week, Eaqub gave a detailed presentation on the reasons why housing in New Zealand had become so expensive and out of reach for the bottom half of the population.

Eaqub’s disdain for the political conversation around housing, the gross inaction by successive governments and even comments made by others in his profession blaming younger generations for their inability to purchase housing was evident. “It’s not about smashed avocados,” one of his slides said, perhaps in regard to Tony Alexander’s recent outburst.

The 45-minute presentation can be viewed in the video above. A selection of key comments and quotes are below.

They include:

  • There has been a cumulative 500,000 gap in housing supply over the last 30 years
  • Eaqub predicted a construction bust next year, led by banks tightening lending
  • It’s remarkable NZ authorities do not have proper data on foreign buyers. While he estimates 10% of purchases in Auckland are made by foreign investors, he said the main focus should be on the other 90% by local.
  • However, migration creates cyclical volatility that we can’t deal with; it is unbelievable that New Zealand doesn’t have a stated population policy
  • New Zealand is still not building the right sized houses – the majority of properties being built in recent years have had four-plus bedrooms, while household sizes have grown smaller
  • The majority of New Zealand’s adult population is now renting. This could be the catalyst for a Brexit/Trump-style rising up of formerly disengaged voters – young people in our case – to engage at this year’s election.
  • New Zealand’s home ownership level is now at its lowest point since 1946.
  • We have a cultural sclerosis of buying and selling existing houses to one another

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