What do these people know about real estate?

The Labour Party’s housing plan for first home buyers has a little more than 70% support in a Herald-Digipoll survey of 500 people.

What do these people know about real estate?

The policy is to provide houses for $300,000 and you could build a house for that.

We built a manager’s house last year for $280,000.

It’s got three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a double garage and is clad in Oamaru stone.

But we already owned the land. There aren’t many places in the country where you could buy a section for $20,000.

You could build a more modest house. We built a house for dairy staff last year too. It cost $180,000 for three bedrooms, one bathroom with a lean two single car garage.

That would leave $120,000 for a section and you could probably buy a reasonable one in small towns for that but it wouldn’t get you much in a city, especially Auckland where the biggest mismatch between supply and demand is driving up property prices.

If the media was doing its job as the fourth estate properly it would be analysing the policy.

While doing so journalists might ask where the workers who will build the extra 100,000 houses a year are going to come from when there’s already a serious shortage of labour for the rebuild of Christchurch.

They might also ask whether it’s the taxpayers’ role to get people onto the housing ladder – especially those on middle and upper incomes because there’s no mention of income or asset testing the people who would benefit from Labour’s largesse.



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