The Herald and Housing Affordability

The media are once again going off on the topic of housing affordability, after the release of the latest report by Demographia saying that Auckland is one of the most unaffordable cities in the world. A survey of the median house prices around the world has revealed Auckland to be among the five least affordable cities to buy a house.…
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The urban planning conundrum

Since I moved to Auckland, I’ve been trying to make sense of local trends in house prices. Why have they risen over the last decade? Will they keep going up, or crash back down to earth? What’s driving all this? Over the last few years, a lot of the focus has been put on the role of planning regulations in pushing up prices.…
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Demographia fails Urban Economics 101

Every year since 2005, pro-sprawl think-tank Demographia has published a new edition of its “International Housing Affordability Survey“. They report a “median multiple” measure of housing affordability that compares median house prices to median household incomes within a number of cities, mostly in the English-speaking world.…
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Demolishing Demographia? An alternative explanation

My last two posts (here and here) considered Demographia’s recently released survey of housing affordability for 2013, which concluded that housing in NZ is increasingly unaffordable. My first post suggested Demographia’s primary findings were not supported by independent evidence, such as alternative “rent-income” and “home affordability” indicators.…
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Demolishing Demographia? It’s cookie time.

Yesterday’s post considered the recently released Demographia survey on housing affordability. Thanks to everyone who commented; the discussion was useful for honing my thoughts on follow-up posts. Such as this. But first let’s re-cap: Demographia’s key findings were 1) New Zealand has increasingly unaffordable housing and 2) this is the direct result of urban containment policies.…
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