Wednesday, March 17, 2021

How to fix the housing crisis

To those of us outside the moneyed political class, fixing the housing crisis seems pretty obvious: build houses to increase supply, repress speculators to decrease demand. Today the Greens are proposing exactly that, with Julie Anne Genter pushing for a mass house-building programme through Kāinga Ora, combined with extending the "bright-line" test indefinitely to turn it into a de facto capital gains tax, and various measures to stop speculators leveraging their existing investments to get more. They're also pushing to end the supply of cheap money from the Reserve Bank, with a switch to direct economic stimulus from the government rather than disguised stimulus from low interest rates.

All of this sounds good, and looks like a serious response. Unfortunately, the Greens aren't the government. But Labour will apparently be releasing their plans next week, so we'll see whether they're remotely serious or not.