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Policies to Rebalance Housing Markets in New Zealand

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  • Calista Cheung

Abstract

A considerable housing boom has been a key feature of persistently large saving-investment imbalances in New Zealand over the past decade. Wealth is concentrated to a greater extent in property compared to most other OECD countries, leaving households and the banking system heavily exposed to a correction in land and housing markets. Supply rigidities and tax incentives that bias savings decisions towards property investment have amplified the increase in house prices, widening wealth inequalities in the form of larger homes for those who can afford them, but deteriorating affordability for the rest of the population. Substantial distortions via tax planning have been evident in rental property markets. Although the 2010-11 budget introduced measures to reduce some of these distortions, further reforms are needed to remove the significant tax bias favouring housing. The economic downturn has increased financial pressures on the social housing sector, with a shortage of public dwellings in areas of high demand. Regional supply constraints reflect inefficient land-use policies and long delays arising from an overly complex urban planning system. The adoption of spatial planning frameworks is a positive step forward, but they should include pricing mechanisms for land and road use that are aligned with broader policy objectives. This Working Paper relates to the 2011 OECD Economic Review of New Zealand (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/NewZealand). Mesures pour rééquilibrer les marchés du logement en Nouvelle-Zélande Au cours des dix dernières années, le boum spectaculaire du marché du logement a été l’une des principales caractéristiques des déséquilibres importants et persistants entre l’épargne et l’investissement en Nouvelle-Zélande. La richesse est beaucoup plus concentrée dans l’immobilier que dans la plupart des autres pays de l’OCDE, ce qui expose massivement les ménages et le système bancaire à un risque de correction du marché foncier et du marché du logement. Les rigidités du côté de l’offre et les mesures d’incitation fiscale qui influencent les décisions d’épargne au profit des investissements immobiliers ont amplifié la hausse des prix des logements, creusant les inégalités de richesse qui se matérialisent par des logements plus vastes pour ceux qui peuvent se les payer alors que l’accessibilité financière au logement se détériore pour le reste de la population. Des distorsions substantielles imputables à la fiscalité sont devenues visibles sur les marchés de l’immobilier locatif. Bien que le budget 2010-11 ait introduit des mesures pour réduire certaines de ces distorsions, de nouvelles réformes sont nécessaires pour supprimer les biais fiscaux significatifs qui favorisent le logement. Le ralentissement économique a accru les pressions financières sur le secteur du logement social, entraînant une pénurie de logements publics dans des zones où la demande est forte. Le caractère limité de l’offre régionale reflète des politiques d’aménagement du territoire inefficientes et des retards importants imputables à un système de planification urbaine exagérément complexe. L’adoption de cadres d’aménagement du territoire constitue un pas en avant positif, mais cet encadrement devrait inclure des mécanismes tarifaires pour l’aménagement du territoire et des infrastructures routières alignés sur des objectifs politiques plus larges. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Nouvelle-Zélande 2011 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/Nouvelle-Zélande).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 878.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:878-en

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Keywords: New Zealand; property tax; housing taxation; housing policies; housing prices; urban planning; housing markets; household saving; land-use planning; land prices; housing wealth; capital gains tax; planification de l’occupation des sols; planification urbaine; prix du terrain; prix des logements; impôt sur les plus-values; épargne des ménages; patrimoine des ménages; fiscalité de l’immobilier; impôt sur la propriété immobilière; marché du logement; politique du logement; logement social; Nouvelle-Zélande;

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  1. Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 2011. "Submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry on housing affordability," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 74, pages 30-38, September.

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