New Zealanders will have to shell out hundreds of dollars more for their new homes, apartments and factories over the next few years as the country grapples with a building shortage and a high cost of living, new figures show.
The new government has said it will set up a $30 billion fund to help with repairs and rebuilds, but the country’s government-run National Building and Construction Authority has warned it will not provide funding to help rebuild from the crisis.
New Zealanders are among the most vulnerable in a housing market that is teetering on the edge of collapse.
There have been a number of building collapses in the past two years, and many have been caused by severe weather, according to the National Building Industry Association, which represents the building industry.
In 2016, a $5.8 billion building project to build a new airport terminal was abandoned after a series of safety issues.
More than 40 percent of the country is currently underwater, with an average household spending just over $3,500 per year, according the NZME.
This means Kiwis are spending almost three times more per person than they do for housing, and about seven times more than the average household in the United States.
That is expected to increase dramatically as the economy slows, with a projected rise of 4.2 percent in 2019, according figures from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
And this will add up to $1,049 per person by the end of 2019, or $3.3 trillion over the course of the next decade, the institute said.
“It’s a big deal,” said New Zealand Housewife’s Association president, Jenny O’Sullivan.
It’s not the first time New Zealand has experienced a shortage of housing.
Before the financial crisis, there were nearly 100,000 vacant homes, which the government sold for scrap.
But that is now down to about 25,000, as builders work on a major overhaul of the national housing market, with plans to build more than 2,000 new homes a year.
Some of those homes will be for people who are being forced to leave their homes because of a lack of affordable housing.
In recent years, there have been more than 300,000 applications to buy homes, a significant increase from just 40,000 in 2015, according an analysis from The Conversation.
Meanwhile, the cost of housing has increased.
Last year, a single person earning $20,000 per year needed an average of $19,000 to buy their first home, and $35,000 for a second.
For a person earning more than $50,000 a year, the average cost of a new home has increased from $31,000 last year to $40,000 this year, The Conversation calculated.
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