Auckland businesses should look to the regions: Chamber

Tuesday 9 April 2013

A solution to Auckland’s housing affordability crisis could lie just outside the city’s boundaries, a business lobby group says.

By The Landlord

Quotable Value’s latest statistics, released today, show Auckland house price growth continues to escalate, with prices now 11% up on a year before.

Valuer Kerry Stewart told Landlords that it was nearly impossible for most first-time buyers to get into the Auckland property market.

By comparison, prices in most regional centres are flat, or only up slightly.

Rotorua's prices have risen just 0.5% over the past three months and Whangarei's are down 0.9% over the same period.

The Northland Chamber of Commerce said businesses should be encouraged to consider moving into the regions – to help the firm’s bottom line, boost the regiond and provide an attractive lifestyle for employees.

Chamber chief executive Tony Collins, based in Whangarei, said: “Commercial rents are lower and  average house prices are half what they are in Auckland. But we’re less than two hours’ drive away.”

Media firm APN moved its financial hub to Whangarei and reported cost savings and reduced staff turnover.

Collins said a redistribution of industry throughout regional New Zealand would take the heat out of Auckland’s housing market.

He said that would be a much more effective solution than the macroprudential tools the Reserve Bank is considering, or a hike in the official cash rate.

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