Businesses' confidence about their 'own activity', as opposed to the wider economy, fell to a five year low. Construction sector confidence crashed. It's time the Government and the Reserve Bank looked at stimulating the economy to fix our infrastructure deficits, lift inflation and keep unemployment falling. Phil Twyford set the upper threshold for couples bidding for KiwiBuild homes at $180,000, which sparked outrage but was needed to ensure enough demand for the 100,000 homes. It highlighted how unaffordable the $650,000 cost of KiwiBuild homes in Auckland has become, and why land price falls are needed to improve affordability. Dame Margaret Bazley's report into sexual assaults and bullying at Russell McVeagh revealed a toxic culture for women. The IMF encouraged the Government to use its balance sheet to fix infrastructure deficits. Donald Trump is set to ramp up his trade rhetoric in meetings with Nato, the Queen and Vladimir Putin over the next 10 days.
Talkback lines and social media ran hot with outrage over the $180,000 income threshold for KiwiBuild buyers, but the Government needed it to be that high to avoid dumping houses into the market and driving down prices. Nearly 6,000 buyers applied for the KiwiBuild ballot on the first day, which would soak up three years of production. Dame Margaret Bazley’s review of the Russell McVeagh's sexual assault cases exposed by Newsroom will be released later today.
The Reserve Bank held interest rates at record lows and repeated its neutral view that it could either raise or cut rates. Business confidence fell again back to its post-election low. Labour scrapped its KiwiBuild visa policy forcing employers to take on an apprentice for each migrant. Instead, it will streamline the hiring of migrant workers to fill a 30,000 construction workers shortage. Shane Jones said John Key lobbied him to exempt the Te Arai land development from foreign buyer rules.
Donald Trump's moves to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and start trade wars with Europe and China created further fallout for oil prices and Harley Davidson. Winston Peters said he wanted houses to be affordable for people on the living wage, but only if house prices did not fall. That would imply a 100 year wait for Aucklanders on the living wage.
Up to 80 percent of KiwiBuild homes could be prefabricated, but hopeful buyers may find it difficult to organise the finance they need.
Developers of multi-storey apartment blocks and hotels will be able to invite in foreign buyers again under changes to the Government's foreign buying ban law. Conveyancers also dodged a bullet and telcos got an exemption, but retirement village operators failed to win the exemption they hoped for. Nikki Mandow looks at the winners and losers in the select committee's changes to the Overseas Investment Amendment bill.