Mike's Minute: This government has gone mysteriously silent on house prices

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 10:22AM

Mike's Minute: This government has gone mysteriously silent on house prices

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 10:22AM

House price increases break new yearly records.

There's your headline, oh dear. January, in terms of sales and prices, is on fire. 

For the year to January, prices in Hawkes Bay up 22 percent, in Manawatu and Whanganui up 24 percent, in Otago up 19 percent, and in Southland up 28 percent.

Oh dear.

And with those numbers and the rest that make up the national picture, we have laid bare the great underlying fault in left wing governments, our version being the Labour/Green/New Zealand First collection of economic amateurs.

If you are so inclined, and I have been, go back to the almost endless series of press releases the economic wizard Phil Twyford put out about the cost of New Zealand homes, the releases he put out prior to 2017 that is. You'll note the number he's put out post 2017, don't come in quite the same volume or tone.

But prior to 2017 he was incandescent over the scandal that was the housing crisis, and full of beans about his answer. And his answer was the classic left wing answer. The one stop shop to all woes and worries, a Minister with an inflated sense of their economic understanding and a wallet full of taxpayers money.

There isn't a hassle, problem, or crisis that other people's money tossed liberally on the fire of trouble can't put out. Except, of course, it's not true and never was.

Government's don’t control housing, certainly not to the extent they promised they would.

And this is important because, despite the fact you can trip them up fairly easily these days on the shonky ends of their operation, despite the fact that we have a Deputy Prime Minister seemingly immune to any censure from the leader of the country, despite what are a glaring and increasingly worrying array of alleged behaviours, despite all of that, I judge government's on economic performance, for once all the flim-flam and beltway shenanigans are long forgotten, the economy is what keeps us prosperous or in the poor house.

And on that matter they have much to explain. The price of houses, the rise of the price of houses, the access to those houses by first home buyers, all of it was a scandal, all of it was because of economic and fiscal ineptitude, all of it was so easily fixed if only you would vote Labour and put Professor Twyford in charge.

And yet here we are, one term of government later, and what have we got? The regions going through the roof, and the national median price is up over 11 percent. An outrage then, what does that make it now?

Of course home owners love it, always did, and the majority of us are home owners. It's how we save but Twyford never got that. Left wing governments never get it.

So on where we were versus where we are, they have achieved literally nothing. As we said over and over at the time, the market runs its own course, always has, always will.

Judge them all you want on Winston and they rightly will be, but a government that doesn’t understand basic economics is far more dangerous than one that’s shabby around the edges on behaviour and personal responsibility.

Mind you they're guilty of both, aren't they?