Ardern defends old tweets from opposition criticising rising house prices - 'I have not changed my view'

Jacinda Ardern is defending her old tweets about housing while in opposition, saying her view remains the same now she's leading the Government.

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The Prime Minister says she's "not going to be defensive" about admitting there's a problem with rising house prices in New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

In 2015, Ardern tweeted: "John Key just told the gallery he doesn't think Auckland houses are over valued. THEY'RE EARNING MORE THAN PEOPLE!!! For the love of.."

Last week, though, New Zealand’s median house price continued to soar, with Auckland hitting $1 million in October and the median house price across New Zealand increasing by 19.8 per cent, from $605,000 in October last year to $725,000, according to The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

The Prime Minister this morning told TVNZ1's Breakfast she was "not going to be defensive" about admitting there's a problem with rising house prices in New Zealand.

"I have not changed my view. I am not going to sit here and say, and that's a difference between us and the last Government — they didn't say increasing house prices is a problem. We do."

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The National Party leader says no one wants to lose their life savings and be left with debt if the housing market crashes. Source: Breakfast

Ardern said New Zealand needs to keep on top of the supply issue, especially providing for people on low incomes.

"That's why we've had billions of dollars going into that public housing build and we've already said we're accelerating that. We want 18,000 public houses built," she said.

"Of course, I want home ownership increasing in New Zealand. I also want people to have jobs, I want our economy to grow in a sustainable and inclusive way. So we have all of these things as part of our agenda."

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The housing market is red hot, yet despite high prices sales are soaring too and a lot of people are in the market for the first time. Source: 1 NEWS

Last week, the Reserve Bank moved to roll out a Funding for Lending Programme, which intends to see reduced costs for banks with an expectation that is passed on for home loans and businesses. 

"The Reserve Bank's made that decision. While that's for them we do have the ability to say it's up to the mainstream lenders how they lend and who they lend to so our plea to them is we want to feed the productive economy right now," Ardern said.

"Not all who are entering into the housing market are doing it because they're a first home buyer. At the moment, interestingly, that's where we're seeing the growth and investors are staying about the same. But our plea to those mainstream banks is we want growth in the productive economy and you have a role to play in that."

However, Ardern also added the problem in New Zealand's housing market has been mirrored throughout the world amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We've had escalating house prices for some time, but what we're seeing right now is a lot of heat," she said.

"What I'm interested in particularly is in areas, where they don't have as much of a supply problem as we do, are also seeing problems. So the UK is seeing house price increases, Germany, the United States. So there's a bit of commentary at the moment about what's happening globally around housing and the fact people are looking to housing in this Covid environment."

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Orr spoke to Breakfast after new figures showed median house prices surged nearly 20 per cent in the past year. Source: Breakfast