Updated: Oct 3
Multi-Unit Trends up
Multi units are ascending proportionally. Urban and suburban redevelopment into units is well established. Businesses now focus on educating mum and dad about the benefits of a shorter back yard garden hose. Living near transport routes is an economic consideration for a large part of society. And the cause for consideration when moving to a new home or employment. Many prefer public transport to slow paced pedal pushing.
We will solve the housing crisis in part due to people moving with the times, in part due to supply of Unit Housing to meet the affordability limits of housing demand including the impecunious and in part by raising the minimum standard of ALL accommodation available as investment housing or private occupation.
Investment Housing will eventually swap out with new
The long tail of success is in the time it will take for us to reinvest in housing stock now substandard as investment or personal housing. I fear the NZ wet bus ticket society will fail to effectively drive attitude change in this arena. I have witnessed a handful of substandard properties that will be tough to upgrade cost effectively, yet landlords are not being held to account with any firmness what-so-ever. So they hold on, collect rent and use bad tactics to avoid getting held to account. It is only the honest landlords that value their responsibility, who sell out of their current investments, taking a hit, so some young couple prepared to do the hard yards to get on the ladder will take on the challenge.
Investment housing is to be encouraged without compromising standards of accommodation. Teeth are needed to force investors to serious upgrade existing stock or swap to newer compliant stock as a source of investment.
Our substandard Housing Crisis has a long tail
The vast majority of substandard housing is owner occupied by people who have adapted with varying degrees of success. They don’t have to sell or upgrade. For them the insulation deal with the government is the type of programme needed. A sure vote catcher. Leading up to another election debate over the housing crisis, such schemes could be extended to replacement of old wood windows with modern aluminium and any single glazed window with double glazing. Then there is heating where we can subsidise solar power & heat pump installs to provide affordable power and heating options. We can develop public policy to ensure everyone living in NZ is safely housed. It’s personal, my family will benefit health wise from a cheap double-glazing deal and so will yours.
And when the world economy falters
Use our treasury to ensure we never under supply demand again like we did for the last 25 years in Auckland and for the whole country between 2008 and 2013.
By Matthew Ensoll
Life Member NZIQS. Reg.QS
Editor, The New Zealand Building Economist (NZBE).