MP: 'Impossible' to buy a house

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 09:34 02/05/2014
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford.

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Marlborough home owners are suffering as a result of the housing crisis in Auckland, Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford says.

Speaking at a meeting in Blenheim on Tuesday evening, Twyford said home buyers nationally were suffering because of the Government's "failure to deal with Auckland's housing crisis".

It had led to an increase in interest rates on mortgages to 6 per cent, predicted to go up a further 2 per cent within the next 18 months, he said.

For somebody with a $300,000 mortgage, this would cost an extra $6000 each year, Twyford said.

It had also led to a restriction by the Reserve Bank on loan to value ratios, which meant hopeful home buyers had to have a minimum of 20 per cent of their house deposit. To buy a house in Marlborough at the median regional price of $353,000, buyers would have to come up with a $70,000 deposit to get a mortgage. The median income in Marlborough was $27,000, Twyford said.

"If you earn $27,000 and you live off that, how the hell are you meant to save $70,000? It's not going to happen."

Labour had policies which they believed were "bold" and would address the housing crisis, Twyford said.

These included building 100,000 new and affordable homes over the next 10 years, and taxing Auckland home buyers who were making a living out of buying and selling homes.

National's Kaikoura candidate Stuart Smith said building 100,000 new homes was a huge gamble with taxpayers' money.

Official figures released this week showed there was a record number of new houses being built nationwide, Smith said. Overall residential consents for March, including apartments, were up 8.3 per cent on the previous month.

Excluding apartments, dwelling consents were up a more muted 1.3 per cent, although that was still 24 per cent higher than in March last year.

"[That] shows National's housing policies are working," he said.

Smith did not believe the Government could build houses more efficiently or cheaply than the private sector.

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