8 Oct 2012

Affordable housing plans awaited

8:13 am on 8 October 2012

Plans to make housing more affordable have been finalised by the Government and will be issued this month.

Property inflation has pushed housing beyond the reach of many ordinary people.

House prices soared from 2003 - 2007, dipped slightly with the global financial crisis then resumed their upward path.

Demographia, a think-tank based in the United States, says houses in New Zealand are twice as expensive in real terms as houses in the US.

A Productivity Commission investigation has concluded one of the main reasons is council restrictions on the supply of land, making building sites more expensive.

The Government is expected to focus on this issue when it issues the plans.

Local Government New Zealand and the Green Party have expressed concern at the economic and environmental costs of urban sprawl, chiefly the need to extend infrastructure.

However, the Productivity Commission has noted that intensified building within a city can burden infrastructure as well.