Smith's housing mirage | The Jackal

18 Mar 2014

Smith's housing mirage

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The number of homeowners in New Zealand continues to fall, with fewer than half of all Kiwis owning their own property, new Census figures show.

In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand today.

"The decline in home ownership occurred across all age groups, from those in their 20s to those in their 70s, with the largest falls for those in their 30s and 40s," said Gareth Meech, Census 2013 general manager.

It's no surprise really that home ownership rates are in decline under this defunct National government. In fact this trend is likely to worsen because of stagnant growth in wages, projected interest rate rises and speculators pricing many New Zealanders out of the market. It's also likely to worsen because of National's idiotic policy, government intervention making housing more difficult to attain for your average Kiwi family.

Interestingly, even in light of the 2013 census data, the government is continuing to delude itself about the extent of the problem. This is especially true of the current Minister of Housing, Nick Smith, who last week tried to mislead the House of Representatives with his answer to a patsy question:

Tim Macindoe: In what regions has there been an improvement in housing affordability under this National-led Government?

Nick Smith: The data from the independent Roost Home Loan Affordability Report make for interesting reading. In Northland, housing affordability under this Government has improved by 49 percent. In the Waikato, where the member comes from, housing affordability under this Government has improved by 39 percent. In the Hawke’s Bay, housing affordability has improved by 42 percent. In the ManawatÅ«, it has improved by 49 percent. In Nelson and Marlborough, my home community, it has improved by 37 percent. In Otago and Southland, it has improved under this Government by 37 percent. The message is very clear—

If housing affordability is improving in all these areas, then why are home ownership levels declining under his watch?  The answer is that Nick Smith is a bold faced liar who relies on flawed data to promote his particular brand of dogma.

In fact this isn't the only lie about the state of our housing market from Smith that he's been caught out on recently, and it likely won't be the last.

In not being held to account for their various untruths, National Minister's like Nick Smith are turning parliament into a farce! Unfortunately our halls of power have become a corrupted place full of self-serving egotists who clearly don't deserve to be in power. Let's hope after the next general election they won't be.