Housing is planned to be a big focus of the next Government, whoever rules.
Although the election outcome is not yet clear, National, NZ First and Labour had strong housing policies and today, Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer examined NZ First's in more detail, given that leader Winston Peters is needed to form a coalition with National to govern.
Although Speizer said there was no clear election result, key NZ First policies are:
• Reduce immigration - NZF seeks much more restrictive immigration policy than either of the major parties.
• Tighten restrictions on foreign investment, and restrict ownership of houses and farmland to New Zealand citizens and residents.
• Repeal the Emissions Trading Scheme.
• Reform the Reserve Bank Act with an eye to making the exchange rate more exporter-friendly.
• Remove GST on basic foodstuffs, reduce business tax, and index income tax thresholds to inflation.
National and Labour's big push is new housing.
"National has a comprehensive housing plan which will see 200,000 homes built over the next six years - that's the equivalent of building four Dunedins. We're pulling every lever possible to get the job done," that party's policy says.
"We're helping first home buyers get through the door by we're increasing the support we provide them, with HomeStart Grants to provide up to $30,000 for a couple buying their first home. And our government building programme will deliver 34,000 new houses over the next 10 years on government land," National says.
Those 34,000 residences are part of the crown building programme and 20,000 of them will be a mix of affordable and market housing, with many priced under $650,000 and aimed at first home buyers, National says.
The housing market has cooled lately, with Auckland prices either stable or reducing somewhat in many areas. New data will be out next week on September values, asking prices and Auckland sales prices from realestate.co.nz, Quotable Value and Barfoot & Thompson.