No quick fix for housing crisis, no matter the announcement

The recent government’s announcement on housing has introduced substantial changes into an area of the economy where issues are readily identified, but solutions are less obvious, and notoriously hard to implement. With both supply and demand-side changes now underway, concerns have emerged over just what impact the policies together will have, and if they will fix the housing market.

Reserve Bank independence a distraction from housing’s real issues

The Reserve Bank’s independence is an important feature of New Zealand’s economic framework. The government has some scope to include housing in the Bank’s policy objectives, and it must also ensure that the Bank takes an appropriately broad view of the economic effects of its policy decisions. But housing’s underlying problems will only be solved by more fundamental reforms of our tax system and settings around the supply of land.

Wide regional variations in residential building

Residential construction activity has held up much better than expected since the economy went into lockdown in late March. Some areas have seen a strong burst of activity, but others have seen a softening in anticipated building levels. This article explores some of the emerging regional trends in consent numbers, with detailed regional forecasts of activity available as part of our Regional Construction Outlook.

Too many houses are mouldy, damp, and cold

Housing remains a hot issue across New Zealand. But there’s not as much focus on the quality of the housing we endlessly debate. In part, this lack of focus is because we haven’t had great insights to work with – and what gets measured gets managed. But Infometrics analysis of Census 2018 data shows some disturbing results, with a concerning number of mouldy, damp or cold houses.