Rodney Dickens says the real problem inhibiting affordable housing is the cost of sections, and that is the one key thing the Government can do to solve the affordability problem

KiwiBuild is experiencing some teething problems. Some people aren’t happy that it isn’t delivering new housing affordable to low income earners while the extension of the ballot for the first 10 of the 211 KiwiBuild dwellings planned for Wanaka over two years may be a sign it will face indigestion problems in towns.

More teething problems will no doubt arise.

But the real criticism should be aimed at the government’s housing initiatives more generally because they aren’t aimed enough at fixing the largest obstacle to more affordable new housing: high section prices.

This Raving puts the spotlight on the role rising section prices have played in driving up new and existing house prices in Auckland; with a similar story in all major urban centres except Christchurch where the earthquakes set it on a different path.

Ironically, the Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas the National Government put in place in Auckland may be belatedly starting to drive a hint of downside in sections prices. But it is far too little. Much more needs to be done to get down the cost of developing sections; it would deliver a real solution to the housing affordability problem.

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Source: Interest