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Wellington, Queenstown get housing accords

Wellington and Queenstown are the latest districts to be singled out for housing accords.

Tuesday, June 24th 2014, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

The Housing Accords and Special Areas Act allows districts with significant affordability issues to enter into agreements between the local council and Government to work to improve housing supply.

Wellington’s accord will allow for extra 7000 homes over the next five years.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said: "This housing accord will give us access to fast-track planning and consenting tools that will bring more houses to market more quickly."

The accord would give the council access to powers to streamline and speed up regulations to manage development.

It would also help developers build more homes quickly, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said.

"Increasing the supply of good quality housing will give people choice and make sure homes are more accessible across a range of different price points, from apartments in the city to first homes in our suburbs. There will be something for everyone," she said.

Wellington's housing market is rated as "severely unaffordable" by Demographia, with a median house price 5.5 times the median income.

Queenstown has a median house price of $664,000 and Smith said it was one of the least affordable in the country.

“I am keen to explore how we can address these challenges through a collaborative approach between the council and the Government.”

Government has already agreed accords with councils in Auckland and Christchurch, and negotiations are under way with Bay of Plenty.

Smith said: “We have seen good progress made under the Auckland Housing Accord, which has a focus on fast-tracking housing developments. However, the housing issues in each city are different and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the accords.”

He said Queenstown’s issues were different to other centres’. “Queenstown is unique in the high number of homes that are owned for holiday purposes and the high demand from people working in the tourism and hospitality industries who tend to be on lower incomes. There is also little land close to the town centre that can be easily developed for housing. These are some of the issues that will need to be carefully considered as the council and Government develops a Housing Accord to improve affordability in the Queenstown Lakes District.”

The council will now work with the Government to draft an accord and once finalised it would investigate ways to increase the housing supply to meet the housing targets.

Various potential approaches will be investigated. They could include the creation of special housing areas,' which would give developers an alternative resource consenting process to that provided under the Resource Management Act and could enable a faster and less expensive consenting process.

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ANZ 5.19 4.15 ▼4.04 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.65 ▼3.54 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.15 4.09 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.65 3.59 3.89
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Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.15 4.95 4.95 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
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Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 - - -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
Housing NZ Corp 5.19 ▼4.15 ▼4.09 ▼4.39
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.65 3.85 3.95 3.89
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.34 4.74
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.59 3.99
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.69 4.79 -
Resimac 5.30 4.86 4.14 4.19
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RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.69 3.69 ▼3.89
Sovereign 5.30 4.15 4.29 4.55
Sovereign Special - 3.65 3.75 4.05
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.65 3.59 3.99
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 4.15 4.09 4.49
TSB Bank 6.09 4.65 4.59 4.85
TSB Special 5.29 3.85 3.79 4.05
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.65 ▼3.54 3.99
Median 5.35 4.15 4.09 4.19

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