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Action on price-to-income ratio the key issue for housing affordability, says Chief Economist

Published: 30 September 2015

Auckland Council Chief Economist Chris Parker has called for council and the Government to continue to work together and set a goal to achieve a home buyer’s price-to-income ratio of five to one by 2030.

The recommendation is made in a new economic report, released today, called Housing supply, choice and affordability. It was commissioned by Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.

The report identifies a range of levers on both the supply and demand side that could be considered, and shows that both Auckland Council and the Government have applied many levers.

However, it is clear that not all the levers can be applied as they may conflict or not fit from a cultural or social perspective.

The council’s Chief of Strategy Jim Quinn welcomed the report, as it continues to challenge our thinking and encourages all parties to continue to take a unified approach to Auckland’s housing challenges.

“What is clear is that a continued, joined-up response to Auckland’s housing challenge is absolutely necessary. We have already made huge strides in that direction with the Auckland Housing Accord and Special Housing Areas, but there is still more to be done as the report suggests,” Mr Quinn says.

“The report reinforces what has been done, and I hope that it will help inform the debate and council’s ongoing strategy for advocacy and action. This will help shape and focus our thinking on our next steps forward, so that we can make Auckland the liveable, affordable region we want it to be.”

Author of the report, and the council’s Chief Economist, Chris Parker says that the proposed strategic target in the report is ambitious, yet achievable.

“Creating a target to reduce the price-to-income ratio down to five to one will continue to focus our efforts, and that is what I hope to convey in this report,” Mr Parker says.

“To my mind, there is not one silver bullet available to fix the problems we face, but employing a multi-layered collaborative approach that uses the best mix of the available tools we have could make a real difference in reaching that five to one goal.”

For further information please contact:
Katherine Forbes, Senior Specialist Media, 021 872 680.