Prime Minister John Key stands by housing affordability comments

By Alicia Burrow

The Prime Minister's standing by his comments about housing still being affordable in New Zealand.

Yesterday he remarked that website Trade Me has plenty of homes for sale for less than $500,000.

Today he couldn't answer how many of those were realistically being sold for more at auction, but believed some prices were as low as $350,000.

He maintains it's incorrect to say there are no affordable properties available.

"Not everyone's going to be able to afford to buy a home but that's not a new concept it depends on everybody's circumstances, some people earn more and some people earn less but there are a lot of people getting into the housing market at that level, and they can afford it".

When questioned about first home buyers feeling he's out of touch with reality and that housing is unaffordable, he pointed to the First Home Buyers Scheme.

He admitted it's without doubt that some young couples will begin on the property ladder with an apartment, but says that's true everywhere in the world.

"That's the stair-casing affect that happens with housing in a lot of countries around the world's mis-representing the situation to say that there are no properties under that (the $500,000) price."

And he's playing down the power struggle between Auckland Council and the Government over how best to ease the housing crisis.

He said the Government's comments about Auckland Council's handling of the issue shouldn't be taken as criticism - they've actually been working collaboratively together for some time.

- Newstalk ZB

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