The Housing Crisis - latest report
Almost 90% of Auckland properties sold in 2016 have been bought by people with money, according to shocking new revelations from the Centre for Equality, Social Justice and Free Stuff.
And according to recent audits, it's not just Auckland. Regional centres such as Tauranga, Hamilton and Whangarei have also seen a growing number of properties sold to "people who can afford them", according to a Real Estate industry insider.
"It's something we are seeing more and more of. Some people are saying, "if you give me enough money, you can have my house", and other people are saying, "OK, here you are", and giving them the money and getting the house as a result"
Centre for Equality, Justice and Free Stuff director Anne Dowt says this is an alarming trend and is calling on the government to intervene. "It's hard enough for most young people to own the latest designer bikes and wearable technologies", she says.
"Expecting them to have money to buy houses is just not fair. And if they are frozen out of the housing market with its potential for fast, untaxed gains, how else are they going to get money to live on? It's a vicious circle".
"People with money, who are typically older, employed people, have this enormous advantage; it's distorting the market in favour of a generation who systematically abuse the environment and have very little buy-in to the bicycle in general. Something has to be done about it so young people can have several homes of their own"
Department of Housing spokesperson Ivan Icebatch said the government was powerless to prevent people with money from buying houses as it was currently a legal transaction in a market which neither regulated nor controlled by the state.
Miyun al Miyun, Deputy Chief Rights Officer at the UN Commission for Human Rights, confirmed that house ownership was a primary human right, and a net capital value increase of 20% per annum was now officially a subsidiary right. She added that the Commission was considering adding a clause which conferred the right of preferred location.
Ann Dowt says the banks are to blame for the current situation. Cheap mortgages for employed people were shutting under 30s out of the housing market.
But Banking Association Chief Executive Robin U Blined sees things from a different perspective: "At times like this, we see ourselves as a sort of latter day Robin Hood. With interest rates so low, only the very rich bother having deposit accounts, but even the lowest earners can afford to borrow. So we are effectively taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It's very rewarding, morally if not financially."
"But the alternative is going to be equally unpopular", says R U Blined. "Very high interest rates, the sort we banks love, will lead to very low house prices. But no-one will be able to afford a mortgage, so it's still bad news for the young and unemployed, I am afraid.
My advice to them is get a job, work hard, save diligently (with us, haha) and one day, when they have enough money put aside, they can buy a house. That's how it worked in my day, stood me in good stead"
Anne Dowt refuses to accept this. "It's not about money, it's about shelter. Here in New Zealand, we have millions and millions of homeless people, most of whom are young graduates with a huge amount to offer society, as long as they live in the right place. They deserve some form of shelter, just as they deserved breakfast at school when they were younger. And they deserve to be able to own their shelter. If they happen to make a profit from home ownership, I expect most of them will donate it to Greenpeace, rather than squandering it on Audis and holidays in Fiji like their parents have done. It's not a motive for home ownership for young people in the 21st century."
With the market at an all time high, the next move for house prices is uncertain, with many people predicting a crash which will make homes much more affordable. But right now, one thing is for certain. If you don't have money, you can't buy a house, especially not one in the centre of the most expensive city in Auckland.