Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Geography and housing options

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  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    This used to be the main way people travelled around the country and could be again.

    Oh, yes...

    Sing it...yodelleee...those city slickers chill me to the bone...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Hugh Wilson,

    All cities experience population growth (as in natural growth, not migrations) – on account of this alone Auckland needs more houses, and this trend will not go away. About 3% pa is normal.
    On the migration side ‘economics’ or the ‘market’ should help disperse people around to other centres.

    (i) In Auckland, natural increase is negligible relative to increase from migration (from overseas, and from elsewhere in NZ).

    (ii) Economic factors currently favour migration to Auckland, not away from it. There are not enough jobs in the provinces. As already discussed here, NZ tried incentivising migration away from Auckland through preferring immigrants with job offers outside Auckland. Result: foreign immigration to Auckland fell, a little, for a few years, but population growth in the targetted areas was zero; and direct immigration to Auckland went straight back up, to higher than previous levels, once the available jobs had been taken.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Moz,

    DPF's point is, I think, very valid. We should find a big area of flat land and build a city in the centre to replace Auckland. That way the new city can expand out in all directions as required. For a city of 2M you probably want plains at least 100km across, which means building it.... in Australia :)

    I don't konw, Auckland's only really using one of those harbours ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    That's why we are unlikely to see a thriving design, software or niche engineering hub based in Twizel rather than Christchurch or Auckland or at a pinch, Wellington.

    What do you mean, at a pinch? Canberra with wharves or something like that?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    In Auckland, natural increase is negligible relative to increase from migration

    Not so. The 2012 council-organised presentation I attended (and have mentioned previously) put natural increase at about 60% of the total. Our demographics are skewing younger than the rest of the country.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Scale. They do have a viable software cluster but a lot of Welli's other businesses are servicing government agencies. Guess there's some brand design in there, but not much export focus that would sustain more jobs.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    However ..

    Experts believe Auckland's housing crisis may be lowering the city's birth rate, as young adults shut out of buying homes are forced to live with their parents.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    That was in 2012.
    Bear in mind, nett increase from migration was near zero between 2006-2013 – but rose to double the nation-wide natural increase in 2014-15.
    Still mostly bound for Auckland.
    If, even in the lean years, Auckland’s population growth was 40% attributable to migration, the influence of immigration has to be much higher now.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    it was long-term projections based on past several decades, but yes, trends in recent years will be different.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    There are tracts of abandoned housing on the fringes of cities like Vegas. They got built in the boom (driven of course by unchecked price inflation) and then after the crash, their "owners" walked out on their unaffordable mortgages (as many US state laws let you) and the properties belong to bankrupted banks. They aren't even that attractive to squatters, as they are so distant from the core city.

    Closer to home, you've got Sydney's concentric rings of edge ghettos, getting steadily more deprived and downtrodden until you finally hit the Blue Mountains horse country.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Geography is really important here. People living on the isthmus can generally reach 3 or 4 times the number of jobs within a 30-45 min commute than those at the urban periphery.

    This is due to a the large number of jobs in the central area (around 100,000 or four times the next biggest employment centre) and geography making it quite tricky to get to the isthmus from outside it.

    Focusing a lot of growth in outer areas, especially into current rural areas, means residents in these areas face longer and longer commutes or have access to fewer jobs. A lot of research suggests the number of jobs you can reach within a reasonable commute has a huge impact on your productivity.

    Decentralised employment isn't a realistic answer. It goes against all trends occurring around the world towards greater centralization to take advantage of agglomeration.

    "City Limits" by the Grattan Institute is an excellent book on all these issues.

    (Personal viewpoints above)

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The other issue with decentralised employment is that, from experience of somewhere like the Thames valley where employment *is* very decentralised, it makes it impossible to get to work by public transport. As a lad, I worked in Aldershot and lived in Haslemere, which are about 16km or 20/30 minutes drive apart. By public transport, it was several buses and trains taking well over an hour.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Auckland's only really using one of those harbours ....

    You think that if used correctly fracking technology could encourage Rangitoto Island to fill in one of them, allowing it to be used for housing?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Moz,

    You think that if used correctly fracking technology could encourage Rangitoto Island to fill in one of them, allowing it to be used for housing?

    Moz:: just the other day we were talking about faking a Rangitoto eruption to do something about the housing bubble - building a large city on top of a geologically recent volcano seems to be asking for trouble .... that's a pretty bubble you have there, it would be a pity if somewone broke it ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    eruption to do something about the housing bubble

    As long as it's not "Mount Taupo goes to London for OE" scale I'd be ok with that.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to william blake,

    The other issue with decentralised employment is that, from experience of somewhere like the Thames valley where employment *is* very decentralised, it makes it impossible to get to work by public transport. As a lad, I worked in Aldershot and lived in Haslemere, which are about 16km or 20/30 minutes drive apart. By public transport, it was several buses and trains taking well over an hour.

    As it stands, down-shifting to the provinces is mostly a luxury for company directors like Rod Drury, Sam Morgan and Michael Cullen who can afford regular airborne commutes to the big smoke, or for highly-skilled telecommuters who aren't required to show up to a physical office. The rest of us still have to clip the punch clock, and it won't change much even with further advances in technology.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Moz:: just the other day we were talking about faking a Rangitoto eruption to do something about the housing bubble - building a large city on top of a geologically recent volcano seems to be asking for trouble .... that's a pretty bubble you have there, it would be a pity if somewone broke it ....

    An easier way might be to get the Hells Angels and Bandidos to move into the leafy suburbs.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    (Personal viewpoints above)

    Thank you, Joshua. Understood.

    Hey, do you have more recent population projections that those we've discussed above?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    taking well over an hour

    Yet tens of thousands in the Auckland region accept that as a standard part of living here. Sad, really. We need to move jobs and homes closer together. Evidence shows that aint by laying more lanes of asphalt.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    Yet tens of thousands in the Auckland region accept that as a standard part of living here. Sad, really. We need to move jobs and homes closer together. Evidence shows that aint by laying more lanes of asphalt.

    It's a no-brainer. The big stumbling block is that Generation Rentier is used to having its way whenever supply attempts to respond to demand.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I reckon that if a market correction occurs, the clamour for financial government assistance will be greater even than that from drought-stricken farmers every few years and the government will cough up faster than you can say South Canterbury Finance. May be John Key will decide at that point that under the China FTA. all foreign home owners should also get a handout so they're not treated unfairly differently than kiwi home owners?

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    I am just of the opinion neither building up nor out will make much difference to Auckland house prices while it is so disconnected from the local economy, and I have not yet heard anyone explain how something that does not respond to local economic signals is supposed to start responding to those local signals give its lack to date.

    I spent the past couple of days assembling the data for this graph- the ratio of median house prices to GDP per person, so a measure of the degree to which the economic activity of that person underwrites the prices of the houses in that locale. The grey dots are every metropolitan area in the United States that I could easily match the GDP, population, and median house prices for. I've added three lines to put Auckland into context of the initial graph that sparked this article: Auckland, New York as being from the expensive without many builds part of the first infographic, and Las Vegas from the massive builds no price change part of the graph.

    In both New York and Las Vegas the ability of peoples economic contributions to afford the price of local houses is pretty similar, even if the raw prices themselves are rather different. Auckland is not responding to the local economy, it was a bit unaffordable when compared to the US at the peak of the US housing bubble, but since the US bubble burst and Auckland's didn't (instead now adding a bubble on bubble) it seems to me it is going to take some demand side levers (things around capital gains and the ability to hide the source of money in housing) to make any difference.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Andre,

    I reckon that if a market correction occurs, the clamour for financial government assistance will be greater even than that from drought-stricken farmers every few years and the government will cough up faster than you can say South Canterbury Finance. May be John Key will decide at that point that under the China FTA. all foreign home owners should also get a handout so they're not treated unfairly differently than kiwi home owners?

    Were that to happen, it would probably expose the hypocrisy of the whole house of cards. All going according to plan, the 'hoi polloi' who've been shut out of the housing market will be asking why Generation Rentier are more deserving of a taxpayer bailout than the rest of us. I suspect not even the most convincing 'hard-working wealth creator' spin will be bought by anyone - what we've seen isn't so much wealth creation as it is wealth-cornering.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury, in reply to Sacha,

    Hey, do you have more recent population projections that those we’ve discussed above?

    The most recent population projections are on the Stats NZ website: http://stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections.aspx

    These show how strongly Auckland dominates New Zealand’s projected population growth over the next 30 years. Of the 1.2m growth projected for the whole country, 732k is projected to be in Auckland (62%).

    Broken down by age and the contrast is even more stark: working age (15-64) population growth in NZ over the next 30 years is projected to be 444k, of which 417k (94%) is in Auckland. Just think about the implications of essentially net zero growth in working age population throughout the rest of NZ over the next 30 years.

    Also - over the past 3 years Auckland has grown much faster than the medium growth projections that the above numbers are based on. In fact, Auckland has grown faster than the high population growth forecasts.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

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