New Zealand Economy


NZ house prices begin to fall as macroprudential bites

By Leith van Onselen The evidence continues to accumulate showing that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s (RBNZ) recent loan-to-value ratio restrictions targeting investors has been successful in cooling mortgage demand amid record population growth. Last week, the RBNZ revealed that the share of mortgages going to investors, as well as the share of interest-only mortgages


Auckland’s housing shortage worsens

By Leith van Onselen The New Zealand National Government’s single-minded focus on solving Auckland’s housing crisis by boosting supply continues to fail. Today, Statistics New Zealand released figures showing that despite a big lift in Auckland dwelling consents in August, new supply continues to fall well short of immigration-driven demand. There were 1,184 dwelling consents


RBNZ LVR restrictions reins-in the speculators

By Leith van Onselen Data released by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) revealed that property investor lending has continued to cool after the RBNZ implemented new loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions targeting investors, which officially came into effect on 1 October 2016, although banks began informally applying the rules since they were first announced


NZ Kingmaker weighs-up his options

By Leith van Onselen With neither major party gaining enough votes in Saturday’s election to form government, New Zealand First’s (NZF) Winston Peters, who holds the balance of power, continues to keep the electorate and media guessing over which side he’ll back to form a minority government. As reported in yesterday, Peters outlined that


NZ votes ‘yes’ to housing ponzi economy

By Leith van Onselen In the months leading-up to Saturday’s New Zealand election, various Roy Morgan Research surveys revealed significant voter angst over housing, specifically concerns about affordability/increasing prices as well as homelessness/housing shortages. Labour went to the election with an excellent housing platform that addresses both supply and demand with negative gearing reform, banning foreign


NZ Immigration stuck at record levels

By Leith van Onselen Statistics New Zealand released its permanent & long-term migration figures for August 2017 yesterday, which revealed that annual net permanent and long-term migration into New Zealand remained near a record high 72,072 people over the year: According to Statistics New Zealand, migrant arrivals were a record high 132,200 in the August


NZ Prime Minister fails badly in housing defence

By Leith van Onselen With the New Zealand National Government’s single-minded focus on solving Auckland’s housing crisis by boosting supply failing dismally, and it facing possible election defeat as the nation hits the polls on Saturday, Prime Minister Bill English has defended the Government’s housing record. From Prime Minister Bill English has defended his


China invades NZ election

Via The Australian: The report by researcher Anne-Marie Brady, of the University of Canterbury, singled out a $100,000 donation last year by six Chinese donors who had attended a lunch with Mr English’s predecessor as prime minister, John Key, over the bid to change the New Zealand flag. Professor Brady noted the Chinese donors want


What will cutting immigration do to the NZ economy?

Via UBS today: Our economic forecasts (see NZEP 8 September) reflect our base-case scenario election outcome i.e. that the National Party will form a government with the support of NZ First (see NZEP 1 September). While there could also be potential ramifications for the economic outlook from such a coalition arrangement, the implications of a


NZ Labour schools Australian Labor on immigration

By Leith van Onselen In the lead-up to this Saturday’s New Zealand General Election, the Labour opposition has continually taken aim at New Zealand’s excessive immigration program, which Labour claims is choking housing, infrastructure and public services in Auckland, as well as undercutting working conditions. The Economist has published an interesting profile on Labour’s leader,


NZ Labour holds edge in last week before election

By Leith van Onselen In the final week before New Zealanders go to the polls this Saturday, the opposition Labour/Greens alliance holding a slight lead over the incumbent National-led coalition, according to Roy Morgan Research polling: Final Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows Labour/Greens (60 seats) with Maori Party support favoured to win knife-edge election


NZ house prices rose in August as volumes cratered

By Leith van Onselen The REINZ has released its house price data for August, which revealed a 1.7% seasonally adjusted monthly rise in the national median house price, with prices up 7.6% year-on-year: Outside Auckland, house prices rose by 2.9% in August, with prices up 10.5% year-on-year. Looking at the major cities, Auckland’s seasonally adjusted


NZ Election on a knife edge

By Leith van Onselen The 23 September New Zealand General Election looks set to go down to the wire. A few weeks back, the Colmar Brunton Poll showed that Labour had overtaken the National Government for the first time in a decade, running on a platform of fundamental housing reform and lower immigration: However, this


NZ Chinese-born MP embroiled in spy scandal

Via Newsroom: A National Party MP who studied at an elite Chinese spy school before moving to New Zealand has attracted the interest of our Security Intelligence Service. The list MP Jian Yang did not mention in his work or political CVs a decade he spent in the People’s Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College or the Luoyang language institute run


Auckland real estate agent slashes commissions amid frozen market

By Leith van Onselen The most recent REINZ housing statistics revealed a sharp decline in Auckland transaction volumes, which were down circa 30% in the year to July: And are tracking at their lowest level in five years in 12-month moving average terms: Today, reports that a real estate agent has slashed their commissions


NZ PM spins housing failure. Promises first home buyer bribe

By Leith van Onselen With the New Zealand National Government’s single-minded focus on solving Auckland’s housing crisis by boosting supply failing dismally, and it facing possible election defeat as the nation hits the polls on 23 September, Prime Minister Bill English has promised to boost first home buyer (FHB) subsidies and resorted to spin about


Housing bubble busts NZ Government

By Leith van Onselen Back in 2007, then opposition National leader, John Key, lamented New Zealand’s housing crisis and promised to remedy the situation if elected into Government. John Key’s National Party was elected into Government in 2008 and has ruled for nearly nine years. However, during its rein, the housing situation has gotten unambiguously


NZ mortgage debt growth falls as macroprudential bites

By Leith van Onselen The RBNZ has released several pieces of data suggesting that the RBNZ’s recent loan-to-value ratio restrictions targeting investors has been successful in cooling mortgage demand amid record population growth. As shown in the next chart, New Zealand household borrowing continued to retrace sharply, recording annual growth of 7.1% in July: Most


NZ leaders’ phony war on house affordability

By Leith van Onselen In the lead-up to last year’s Australian federal election and since, we have witnessed politicians from both sides feign concern over Australia’s poor housing affordability while at the same time soothing concerns that house prices would necessarily fall. It seems New Zealand’s politicians have followed the same script in this week’s


NZ Government too late the hero on housing supply

By Leith van Onselen I wrote yesterday how the New Zealand National Government’s simple minded focus on improving housing affordability by fixing supply had failed dismally, with Auckland’s housing shortage getting worse by the month as annual population growth of 44,500 (35,772 from net migration) overwhelms the circa 10,000 dwellings consented. The situation is probably


Population ponzi overruns Auckland dwellings

By Leith van Onselen With the General Election to be held on 23 September, New Zealand’s National Government remains under heavy pressure for failing to address the country’s worsening housing shortage, especially in Auckland. Last week’s dwelling consents data from Statistics New Zealand revealed that dwelling consents across country in July continued to fall well


NZ Labour surges on house price & immigration cuts (except in Oz)

Here’s how The Guardian sees the NZ election: The debate between the two leaders was dominated by housing, tax and immigration. English attacked what he called Labour’s “vague and confusing” policies and reiterated his party’s tax cut policies. “People can’t go shopping with your values … every person in New Zealand who does not have children will


NZ readies to toss its realty/immigration government

Here’s what the future looks like for any enterprising Australian politician, via the AFR: Kiwi Prime Minister Bill English looked like a shoo-in for re-election a month ago. Having taken over from the extraordinarily popular John Key in December, his National Party was polling 47 per cent, with Labour languishing on just 24 per cent. Under New Zealand’s mixed


NZ election boilover builds as housing and immigration turn tables

From Interest: The Labour Party’s rise and the Green Party’s fall from grace has been reflected in the second major poll since Jacinda Ardern and Metiria Turei’s diverging fortunes caught political attention in recent weeks. The latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll alarmingly shows the Greens at 4.3% – below the 5% threshold needed to enter Parliament