Geography and housing supply dynamics

Last week, I introduced the concept of elasticity of supply with respect to price as a useful measure of housing market dynamics. Supply elasticities measure how responsive builders are to an increase in demand. In other words, when people turn up wanting dwellings, how quickly do the tradies start building more? Supply elasticity can in turn have a big, long-run effect on prices. If the building sector is consistently slow to respond, it creates the condition for an ongoing shortfall in supply, which means that people will bid up prices more. My post last week took a look at some of the (limited) international comparisons of planning regulations, which seem …
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Auckland Geography works against roads

When I first started reading this op-ed in the heralds motoring section the other day I thought “here we go, this is sounding like someone wanting to push some form of petrolhead nirvana” Paul Charman says stop your complaining and celebrate the people who get us through the Queen City’s roading maze If quantum physics allowed it, somebody should journey back to 1840 and shoot Governor Hobson. Ideally this would be after he organises the Treaty but before he names a town after the Earl of Auckland, and sites it between Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. The location was great for the 200 or so “sailing-ships-are-us” brigade here 170 years ago but …
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Myth Busting: Aucklands Geography

Myth: Auckland isn’t geographically suited to public transport. I’m not sure where this myth even came from but if I had to guess, it would have been from the 50’s or 60’s, the same time that many of our transport myths originated from those looking to justify building the motorways instead of public transport. The theory goes that cities like Wellington are more suited to public transport, and in particular rail, due to the the geography largely forcing development into a couple of long thin corridors. As such, Auckland which extends out in all sorts of directions is said to be more suited to car based transport. At first that seems …
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