Caution needed on value capture

As tempting it may appear to tap into land value uplifts, we need to be cautious. The model can work – but we need to apply it only in the cases where it can work. [...]

First principles on planning

The Productivity Commission should welcome Minister English’s invitation to look at the first principles of planning. It should ask the most basic question: What, if any, planning system does a country like New Zealand really need? [...]

Land rules deter competition

Land regulations are a cost and concern to New Zealand businesses, and they are probably a factor affecting the cost of living through land prices and competition effects. [...]

Affordable housing is more than a motherhood statement

In considering housing and planning reforms, we need to understand why New Zealand’s housing market is failing to adjust to increases in demand. This is the core question. Once we have found the answer, we will be able to design policies that will restore housing affordability. [...]

Planning and the economy: a complex relationship

What sounds like a paradoxical experience may not be so much of a paradox after all. House prices, quality of life and economic growth are very much interlinked in Britain's recent history, and it is not always easy to disentangle the three. However, if we want to understand why they are connected, it is necessary to subject them to an economic analysis, and that means analysing the way Britain's built environment has been planned. [...]

Land supply at heart of home-front problems

For policymakers, the lesson is clear. If they are concerned about housing boom and bust cycles, they have to quash the expectation that house prices will continue to rise. To do that, they need to examine property markets with long records of house price stability, and learn from them how to ensure that when more housing is needed, more can be built. [...]

High cost of living will make our competitiveness suffer

A combination of high costs and poor quality is seldom a recipe for success – not for goods and services, and certainly not for countries. There is a danger that Britain will lose its most qualified people if they prefer a better and cheaper life abroad. It is equally likely that Britain will fail to attract highly skilled foreigners who are deterred by its reputation as an expensive and unsatisfactory place to live. Both would be equally disastrous for Britain's economic future. And for this reason alone tackling the problem of Britain's high cost of living is worth every effort. [...]