Labour would be able to offer first home buyers two-bedroom
properties in Auckland for as little as $360,000 if elected,
party leader David Cunliffe announced today.
Labour's KiwiBuild policy would build 100,000 new, affordable
homes over 10 years and sell them at cost to first home
buyers, Mr Cunliffe said.
"Using the purchasing power of the Government and off-site
building techniques we will be able to lower the cost of
building a home.
"This will enable Labour to sell a new two-bedroom terraced
KiwiBuild home for around $360,000 in some parts of Auckland.
"That compares to around $485,000 for a similar Hobsonville
The policy would result in a couple earning $75,000 being
$200 a week better off than under National's housing policy,
Mr Cunliffe said.
"A $200 a week difference in mortgage repayments is huge. It
is the difference between realising the dream of home
ownership and facing years of renting.
"Labour's policy will help 50,000 families over five years
buy a first home. National's will only give a slightly higher
deposit to 40,000 families," Mr Cunliffe said.
Labour would also tackle property speculation from
non-residents by amending the Overseas Investment Act to
close a loophole which made New Zealand an easy target for
overseas speculators, Mr Cunliffe said.
New restrictions would be also applied on the purchase of
residential property by non-residents so that they would only
be granted permission to purchase a residential property if
they intended to live here permanently or if the purchase
added to the country's existing housing stock by buying a new
home, he said.
Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford said KiwiBuild would
deliver the equivalent of a Hobsonville $485,000 two-bedroom
terrace home for $360,000 by forgoing the developer's margin
on the land cost – saving $36,000 and a further $89,000 would
be saved by using off-site manufacturing, bulk buying
building materials and reducing builders' margin through
The process would drop the build cost from $3389 per square
metre to $2400, Mr Twyford said.
"When you're building at scale - when you're building 10,000
houses a year, you can do deals that drive down the cost of
"Currently, Kiwis pay 30 per cent more than Australians do
for the same building materials so we know that we can really
push down the cost of building materials.
"Also, in some cases with KiwiBuild the Government will be
the developer, that's how we'll get better control over land
costs and for the units we're talking about today, we think
we can knock 20 per cent off the cost of the land."
"The other way we can really drive the cost down is through
off-site manufacturing and by the scale of KiwiBuild we can
tender that work out to companies that can really crank up
their capacity, build factories [and] make better quality
houses at a much more cost-effective price.
"There are several companies in New Zealand who are already
doing this who are itching to crank up capacity.
"The Germans do it, the Scandinavians do it, the Americans do
it, it's actually time that we did it."
- By Brendan Manning of APNZ