Duncan Garner: Rich MPs and their million dollar properties


This article was originally written on March 21st, 2014. I'm re-posting now to show how MPs are neck deep in property, a tax-free investment.

There are millions of reasons why both National and, before them Labour, failed to do too much about housing: the free market is working very well for home-owning politicians thank-you very much.

This is not a conspiracy theory. I just want to point out how much property MPs from across the political spectrum own. It’s mind-blowing, actually. It shows just how good the investment is – if you can afford to get into the market! Sorry first home buyers!

First home buyers have been completely shafted compared to previous generations. Owning property has never been harder for them and never been more expensive. House prices have completely outstripped wage increases. Completely.

Despite politicians from all persuasions lecturing us about investing wisely and warning us to be careful about the property market, most MPs have jumped at the chance to become wealthy through property.

I have chosen to ignore MPs with just one house, like me – we are all relative paupers! But housing has been a tax-free haven for years. No capital gains taxes, no speculation tax, foreigners are free to buy up despite not living here. There are massive loopholes and no disincentive.

New Zealand truly has a free market and it is out of control in many areas. House prices doubled when Labour was in office. And that’s continued under National. Sure Labour now stands for a capital gains tax, but the horse bolted on Labour’s watch. It was asleep as people started to feel very wealthy as prices doubled.

So, check out the list. None of these MPs have a vested interest in a capital gains tax do they? None of these MPs want to get rid of foreign buyers do they? Why would they want the market slowed?

In fact, new stats out today show 13,700 new migrants came into Auckland in the last year. But Auckland built just 5,000 new houses last year – no wonder prices are going through the roof!

Of that number, 6,100 were Chinese migrants. They are buying our houses. China has become the biggest source of net migration in a decade, followed by India with 5,800 – according to Statistics NZ. Al of this helps keep demand high and house prices even higher.

Remember all these MPs are policy makers - they push law through Parliament. Only these 121 people can change the law in NZ, but no one has seen fit yet to pass any law to slow things down.

Have a read, enjoy and, like me, I hope you don’t feel too poor by the end of it.

source: data archive