There has been a good deal of media and government discussion around how to build more affordable homes. There is much talk about how many new homes we should be building, to meet a growing demand. Any progress or solutions to this will require strong cross-party and community support.
Reflecting on over 40 years in the industry, one of the main adjustments I have seen has been the ratio between land value to house value. Today the house value is the smaller sum, at about 40% of the land value. This is a huge change. Along with this is the big shift in lifestyle choices. Smaller sections, less outdoor use, transport availability, and the cost of building have affected generations as we all try and adapt.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when the average New Zealand family could live off one income and still meet the demands of owning their home. Over time the increase in house and land prices has significantly overtaken the increase in wages. What were once affordable homes are now no longer as affordable.
More recently we have seen a shift in thinking and more people are starting to consider apartment living and the tiny home concept. Container homes have also popped onto the scene as have rental cabins. One thing is for sure, we will all need to adjust to this ever-changing future.
- Dennis Peat & Daniel Hemus
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More information on affordable housing can be found at the Housing New Zealand website here: