The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market to be monitored at a more detailed level, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“This Housing Affordability Measure gives more detailed data than other measures offer and allows a better understanding of housing affordability trends. It has been developed independently by Statistics New Zealand and MBIE, with Ministers being informed but not deciding on the measure. The advantage of this new statistic over other measures of affordability is that it is more sophisticated, enabling the affordability for first home buyers and renters to be separated and the measure to be applied to a more specific area,” Dr Smith says.

“Being able to assess housing affordability at a local council level, and a ward level in Auckland, will help central and local government policy-makers identify and respond to affordability challenges that are specific to each housing market.

“Local authorities will immediately be able to use this measure to meet one of their requirements under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity.  The National Policy Statement requires high and medium growth councils to begin monitoring housing affordability (and other market indicators) on a quarterly basis from 1 June 2017. This new measure will help ensure councils’ planning policies support improved affordability.”

MBIE released the measure today as an “experimental statistical series”, meaning it will continue to be refined to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose. The Ministry welcomes feedback on the new measure.

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