In a nutshell, it's a steady as she goes approach. National stress that the work they've started doing should continue and will start to have effect. The approach seems to be based on the premise that housing supply and red tape is the issue.
- Build 20,000 new houses for private sale in NZ.
- Make it easier to build houses by tweaking the RMA.
- Keep using Special Housing Area, lending to local Council's to build infrastructure and selling Crown land for new housing developments.
Labour seems to be sitting on a fence a bit between the issue being housing supply, versus speculator demand. Their solution combines building more houses and looking into taxation - but without giving firm specifics of what that tax might be.
- Build 100,000 houses to sell to first home buyers.
- Restrict residential home ownership by non-residents.
- Tax capital gains on investment properties sold in the first five years.
- Expand programs that support Maori home ownership.
- Remove limits on Auckland urban boundaries and density.
- Create a tax working group to look at a Capital Gains Tax (that wouldn't include the family home).
The Opportunities Party
Gareth Morgan and TOP seem to have the plan that differs most from other parties. They point out that demand from speculators and a tax loophole when it comes to property is the issue.
- TOP want to tax income from all assets (including the family home) at a rate of about 1.5%.
- The extra earned from that Wealth Tax will then be redistributed as income tax (about 30%) - making 80% of NZ better off.
- For over 65's, the Wealth Tax could be paid off, or accumulated into a loan that became payable upon the sale of the house or death (effectively becoming and estate tax).
- Morgan points out that these measures are what the last 2 tax working groups have recommended.
NZ First also falls in the housing supply being the issue camp. More houses and easier building is their focus. They don't really identify how they are going to pay for the plan.
- Build 140,000 houses for first home buyers.
- Restrict land ownership to non-residents.
- Change the building process to allow faster approvals for new housing.
- Encourage local authorities to provide more affordable housing and land.
The Greens have a pretty similar approach to Labour with it geared up a little bit more. They want a Capital Gains Tax, but again, it doesn't include the family home.
- Build 10,000 homes to sell to low income earners through a rent-to-own scheme.
- Introduce a Capital Gains Tax on all assets except family homes.
- Restrict residential property ownership by non-residents.
- Close negative gearing and combined collateral exemption loopholes.
- Allow student loan borrowers to defer student loan repayments to save for a home deposit.
The Maori Party also focus on the supply issue, with their Maori focussed twist to it. They want to build more homes, but also give Maori and Pasifika a bigger voice and more jobs in the construction sector.
- Build 90,000 more homes for social housing and private sale.
- Establish a Minister for Maori and Pasifika Housing.
- Increase financial support for low-income first home buyers.
- Subsidise private developers to include affordable houses in new developments.
- Add more Maori and Pasifika in the construction sector.
As you'd expect, ACT takes a less invasive approach - focusing on the tools to let individuals and businesses self correct the market. By cutting down on rules, they also focus on the supply side of the equation.
- Replace the Resource Management Act with less rules.
- Abolish the rural-urban boundary.
- Share GST from housing construction with local councils.
- Replace building safety and quality standards with mandatory private insurance.
When you run through all those approaches to housing, there is a definite trend from the 6 established parties - that supply is the issue and by building more houses, the market will correct itself. While the more left leaning parties like Labour and the Greens do look at the demand side of the equation, TOP is the real outlier with a dramatic tax change proposed.
Hopefully this gives you a bit more insight and understanding into what all the parties want to do when it comes to housing this election!