If Peter Thompson could make one change to improve New Zealand it would be to reintroduce apprenticeships/cadetships to improve quality of builders, plumbers and electricians, which will assist, with the building of more property.
Thompson's top business priorities in the next 12 months are:
Better customer service to our clients
More investment into IT and marketing
Improve profitability even further.
His best achievement in the past 12 months was: "Celebrating 90 years as a company still under same family ownership".
Thompson is upbeat at the resurgence of the real estate business in Auckland over the past year, after a tough environment characterised by five relatively lean years.
"The real estate industry in both Auckland and Christchurch is significantly better than 12 months ago though the rest of the country has been slower to adjust," says Thompson. "But it is now starting now to see similar advancements.
"I also feel, talking to people in the streets, that there is more confidence than 12 months ago."
Thompson has long stressed that one of the big issues around housing affordability is the unwillingness of many younger New Zealanders to "start small" and in suburbs they can afford. He recently gave a speech to the Business and Parliamentary Trust on how to get people into affordable housing.
He cites growth projections for Auckland, coupled with a lack of supply as key factors pushing up house prices. "When too many people chase too few homes, there is only one result. Prices go up."
He says Auckland City's records show that in the past 10 years, the average size of a new dwelling has increased by 50 per cent and is now 220 square metres.
Many first-time home buyers today see the start point in terms of the standard for their first home as the end point they enjoyed when living at home with their parents.
Thompson reckons political leaders should form an accord ("it is a leadership issue").
Clear planning bottlenecks; simplify things and tighten the appeals process
Develop schemes to assist people into housing
Foster financial prudence and realism
Build planned communities to accommodate people at all stages of their life cycle
Welcome private residential investors with open arms. And ensure the tax regime enables them to achieve a fair return on their investment.