Housing supply charlatans exposed again


Last month, Australian and the world’s media was captivated by research stating that ‘upzoning’ planning reforms introduced in Auckland in 2016 drastically improved housing affordability.

The media, the property industry, and the YIMBY movement seized on the findings, claiming that Australia should follow Auckland’s upzoning measures.

I debunked this report, showing how it had juked the stats by using a “biased sample”.

The report also did not account for the fact that Auckland was hit hardest by lockdowns over the pandemic and Kiwis left in droves for other parts of New Zealand:

New Zealand population growth

Thus, the slowdown in rental growth is explainable by Auckland’s loss of population (housing demand).

Immigration into New Zealand has now rebounded to record levels:

New Zealand net migration

And now Auckland rents are growing by 10.0%:

New Zealand rental growth

This is up from 0.0% growth in the year to November 2022:

Rental growth November 2022

Just like Australia and Canada, the ramping of immigration to record highs is driving New Zealand’s rental crisis.

This represents another policy failure by centre-left governments that are supposed to represent the working class.


It also exposes the charlatans claiming that the rental crises experienced across Australia, Canada and New Zealand have been caused by a ‘lack of supply’ and restrictive planning.

Extreme levels of immigration over a prolonged period of time is clearly the main contributing factor.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.