Retirees driving up house prices - Mayor

An ageing population and lower overall salaries in the city have contributed to Tauranga’s place as New Zealand’s most unaffordable city, the mayor says.

Survey results released yesterday show the city has taken over Auckland as the country’s least affordable city for housing.

Tauranga plans to open up new sites of land and increase housing density to address its impending housing crisis.

Mayor Greg Brownless told Morning Report Tauranga’s demographics played a part too.

"We’re deemed as being less affordable because a lot of our residents are retired and those that work perhaps don’t attract the same salaries as in the big cities."

He says housing developers and property speculators were also part of the problem.

"The price of sections and what council’s do is only one part of the whole equation. There’s people speculating on houses, that drives the price up and there are people deciding they’re going to make a vast sum of money from increases in land value, so there’s a whole range of factors.

"The horse has bolted a bit on foreign buyers but I think it’s a good thing [the ban on foreign buyers]. In other countries you can’t just go and buy houses because it distorts the market but a lot of that’s happened already."

He says infrastructure funding from the government would help.

"And [the government] taking over the responsibility for funding a lot of the infrastructure that goes in the ground would be a good thing, then they can take the risk, especially if things suddenly slow down.

"If we could pump out 2000 or 3000 houses that would make quite a dent. I think we’re doing about 1400 to 1500 houses a year at the moment. But of course the more houses that are built the more people come as well."

He says an average three-bedroom property in Tauranga could range between $500,000 and $600,000.



Posted on 24-01-2018 23:12 | By The Caveman

does this so called mayor exist on ??? I am aware of people from Wellington that were buying properties in Tauranga 25/35 years ago (in their mid 40’s) - to RETIRE too. Does he know what the age demographic is for Tauranga ?? 40%+ OVER 50 years of age. About time he woke up and got to realise who his residents really are!! 40% over 50 - with FIXED INCOMES, 40% under 30 (with kids that go to school) , and the rest in between.

What a wally

Posted on 24-01-2018 19:34 | By maildrop

Out of control Councils spending money like it grows on trees is helping push the prices up. You’re feeding the beast with all the Council redevelopment. And in the process we are getting ripped off by consultants, designers and building companies charging exorbitant prices. You silly man.

The guy is nuts

Posted on 24-01-2018 19:27 | By maildrop

Who does he want to come here and pay for all his ridiculous spending plans? Muppet

Houses vs greenspace??

Posted on 24-01-2018 16:48 | By Gloria Cooke

When there is a need for reasonably priced housing why is the Council getting rid of several houses between Leander and Carysfort Streets to put in a small green space which will be used by very few people. Plus the cost of printing the brochures and little stickers of swings, slides, etc, which was a waste of money. There are plenty of green spaces already around the Bayfair area so sell the houses as is and put the money towards something more constructive.

Distorted thinking!

Posted on 24-01-2018 12:56 | By CC8

Where does Mayor Brownlees get off blaming retirees and businesses ( investors and developers) for the lack of affordabilty? I have never seen a property developer who "gave away" his business . Yet there is a funeral director elected to represent the people of this city , who managed to do just that with his business. I wonder who is/was really making the money in this town? Mostly out of the elderly and retired people too!

Retirees driving up house prices?

Posted on 24-01-2018 12:25 | By Val.M

I dont believe it! First time have ever heard such a statement! Come on Council- surely you have a better excuse than that!

Who is wagging the dog? speaking Gobbledegook

Posted on 24-01-2018 12:10 | By CC8

So now council staff/management now has the Mayor wimping out, defending their inadequacies and failings , instead of telling them to get their act together. I suppose developers are supposed to work for free and investors are supposed to let houses for less than they cost them? Someone has to supply rental housing. If those willing to take the risks are wrong in wanting to make a living , maybe the Mayor should direct council staff to buy all houses on the market and let them out for affordable " prices. That would make the city grow wouldn’t it? Yes ,... grow into a stagnant mess. Instead of building edifices that they think they will be remembered for, the current crop of Councillors could maybe look at growing industry and opportunities .. instead of making life hard for business.

Maybe I'm missing the obvious here....

Posted on 24-01-2018 11:52 | By groutby

...but the headline says: "Retirees driving up house prices" does that work Mr Mayor?. ..if someone works his/her butt off for 40-60 years and has a nice house to retire in purchased many years ago perhaps, pays obscene amounts of ever increasing rates for services probably not used, how does that "drive up house prices"?....of course there is capitol gain over the years, you don’t have to be retired to get that with property...There seems to be a growing cry of " rich retirees" having stuff that others have not...I suspect many of these people of retirement age have still got substantial mortgages to service to be able to live in this beautiful city...much like younger folk some of whom aren’t that keen on working and want ’IT’ all today!

Little change from $10 Tauranga

Posted on 24-01-2018 11:42 | By backofthequeue

With all due respect to the Mayor I think he is being far too simplistic citing retirees as a major influence on these survey results. Tauranga has always been a retirement destination so if a sudden influx of retirees are driving up house prices who then is responsible for the record number of children enrolling in local schools? Pressures have been building in this city for several years and Council is being disingenuous pointing the finger anywhere but at themselves.

Mayoral recitations?

Posted on 24-01-2018 11:18 | By MISS ADVENTURE

No sorry mate, retirees are adding to the value of property by buying them. many have excellant incomes. This is not an election period and the drival just keeps flowing. Someone please tell the truth. Tauranga is unaffordable becasue there is a shortage of consented land for sections, there is high demand and no supply so that simply means the price goes up until the demand drops off to match supply (little) result hge price rises and so the overall result is a massive hike in sale values = unrealistic = unaffordable.


Posted on 24-01-2018 10:54 | By fletch

We have lived here since children, worked here,bought our houses and paid for them. Now we are retired and still living here. Where would you like us to go if we are causing that much of a problem?

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