Affordability and the National Policy Statement for Urban Development Capacity

Resource Management

Affordability is a hot button issue with both political and practical overtones. The key practical issue being: Will the parliamentary rhetoric and steps taken in the name of affordability result in a drop in house prices?

One of the Governments latest efforts to address affordability or at least address what it views as a - if not the - key cause (the supply of land for development), is the National Policy Statement for Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC).

It is unlikely that the NPS-UDC, which places a requirement on Councils to ensure sufficiency of supply of land for development, will have a significant effect in Greater Christchurch due to the freeing up of land for subdivision following the Canterbury earthquakes (noting that most of that land had already been identified previously under Change 1 to the Regional Policy Statement).

Equally, and unless a means of requiring landowners to develop land as necessary rather than at a rate that enables the best return is found, it is not considered the NPS-UDC will be a silver bullet for affordability. In other words, barring unexpected shocks, nobodies’ house price looks likely to fall any time soon.

For further information on the NPS-UDC or any matters relating to subdivision and development, contact Cavell Leitch’s Resource Management or Subdivision Teams.

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