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Zoning limits 'keep houses out of reach'

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  • Zoning limits 'keep houses out of reach'

    Zoning limits 'keep houses out of reach'

    CATHERINE HARRIS Last updated 05:00 08/08/2011

    The Productivity Commission is being urged to look closely at the way land controls are affecting house prices.
    The cost of housing "is unduly inflated by certain policy-induced distortions", the Business Roundtable says in a submission to the commission's inquiry.
    The group said the problem had started with the Resource Management Act and continued with other planning and development rules and "excessive" compliance costs.
    Strict zoning controls were pushing up section prices, it noted. One Roundtable member said that as soon as a council zoned an area or put a growth boundary around a city, it typically raised the price of farm land 200 per cent to 300 per cent.
    "The essential thrust of this comment is that excessive restrictions on zoning need to be removed to address housing affordability."
    The cost of housing is one of two issues being investigated by the Productivity Commission, a body set up by the Government to conduct independent research modelled on its Australian counterpart.
    Commission chairman Murray Sherwin said housing had a big influence on the economy, with affordability affected by many factors, including access to sections, efficiency in the building trade, and a trend towards small building firms and bespoke homes.
    He hoped to have a draft report and recommendations out by November, and a full report by February next year.
    Elsewhere in the Roundtable submission, it said there was "little reason to assume" that New Zealand's tax rules for owner-occupier housing had been a major driver of the house price boom.
    New Zealand's tax treatment was broadly similar to that of Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, and contrary to much media coverage, many countries with capital gains tax exempted people's homes.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Three cheers for government thinking!
    Says an existing property owner :-)
    The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.