Stats NZ: Labour's red tape pushes rents up at fastest rate since 2008

Fri, 24 Jan, 2020

“Labour’s new bureaucracy on landlords has caused rents to rise at the fastest rate since the Global Financial Crisis”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Stats NZ today singled out Labour's new rental standards as a reason that rents are rising faster than at any time since 2008.

“Skyrocketing rents are seriously hurting Kiwis who have less money in their pockets as a result.

“National ignored the housing crisis and now Labour is in danger of doing the same.

“In 2017, Labour and Phil Twyford promised to cut red tape and free up land supply to bring down the cost of housing. There was hope that Labour’s housing spokesperson understood the underlying problems in the market and was prepared to fix them.

“What we’ve seen instead is the opposite. Labour has actually increased bureaucracy and as a result rents have increased at an even faster rate.

“Labour has imposed new bureaucracy on landlords, attempted to ban overseas property developers, and banned letting fees. The latter have now simply reappeared in other forms.

“Adding new red tape is the opposite of what Labour should be doing.

“On Monday, the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey showed that the housing crisis had spread to provincial New Zealand and that every major housing market in the country was ‘severely unaffordable’. Middle-class professionals are unable to purchase homes where they work, threatening opportunity and productivity.

“Any serious economist will tell you that housing affordability is driven by governments restricting land supply. Land is made scarce by regulation, locking it up and making supply unresponsive to demand. It costs too much and takes too long to build a house. We are one of the least densely populated countries in the world, but government has driven land prices up, with the result that in that housing has become severely unaffordable.

“There has been no serious attempt by Labour to fix these issues. New Zealanders can’t afford to wait another decade for politicians to solve the housing crisis.”