Have you noticed the housing downturn?


For any one following the news, trying to sell a property or even looking at buying a property you may have noticed that things are beginning to sloooow down. The New Zealand Herald enjoys using headlines including the word ‘dramatically’, but we’re not so sure about that. We obviously know that New Zealand has recently gone through a major housing peak. With the average home in Auckland and Queenstown hitting the one million dollar mark, our national housing peak is no secret. When things start coming down from the million dollar mark the lack of buyers is always going to be noticeable. But is it the most predictable housing downturn in the last 40 years?

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Lets get more efficient at building homes!

Model T

We are just three months away from electing a new government. That’s right; the New Zealand political mudslinging season is truly underway. Housing, whether it be homeless people sleeping in cars, the local marae or the general affordability issue, it’s fair to say that the big kahuna of the election will be housing (as the rest of the economy is ticking along). While policy announcements and tax cuts make for column inches in newspaper, it doesn’t get us any closer to a more balanced housing market.  I am talking about a housing market that allows first home buyers to afford a nice place of their own and to go out for the occasional “avo on toast”, as well as all the mum and dad investors not having to worry about the value of their multiple dwellings bottoming out. An unrealistic utopia? Perhaps. I believe that if our industry was more efficient, the production of homes could increase significantly.

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Auckland Traffic: Time to just suck it up?


The annual Auckland March Madness on our roads has come and gone. Did you notice it or has Auckland traffic been insane since the New Year? Well regardless of the time of year things are looking set to be a lot worse traffic wise. Sure we have more residential capacity (or are at least trying to have more capacity), but that means more people on our already chocka roads. Read more


There is no ‘town planning’ anymore

For some unknown reason I have been hosting and presenting to monthly delegations of Chinese “officials” who manage and run cities of between 2-6 million people from all over China.  I get the sense we were found by a google search.  Anyway we now have a snappy presentation and everyone seems happy.

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Less development controls = more houses = more affordability

For the better part of the last two years journalists, property experts, politicians, developers, council leaders, prospective council leaders, real estate agents and town planners have all been sharing their opinions on what will ease Auckland’s, and subsequently New Zealand’s, housing crisis.

There has been a lot of talk, a little more building but still one hell of a supply-demand problem. Read more

St James restoration

Mark Benjamin and MHG are working on the resource consent application for the restoration of the St James.  A documentary is about to screen on the initial restoration of the theatre.