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No surprises: Wages haven't kept up with runaway house prices. Some evidence.

No surprises: Wages haven’t kept up with runaway house prices. Some evidence.

Over the last few years, I’ve spent some time looking at and engaging with the affordability debate. For New Zealand, it is a significant but not so hotly contested debate, given the linear rise in wages set against exponential growth of house prices across all of the regions. Here is a less technical graph of […]

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Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Machine learning to predict house prices

Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Machine learning to predict house prices

Here’s an excerpt from on recent research project on Machine Learning for Real Estate and Housing Markets… “…Here we consider all 21 national-level indicators and train models that attempt to predict Auckland’s median house prices. The figure shows the results of this experiment. The data from 2009 through to the end of 2015 was used […]

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An 'innovative' framework for comparing real estate development

An ‘innovative’ framework for comparing real estate development

Approaches to international comparative analysis of real estate development can be used to bring out some comparisons in case study sites. Key layers and mechanisms that can be used to make such comparisons and highlight the investment and finance opportunities that are found in different property market contexts. From this model, comparisons in the financing […]

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What are the motivations for energy efficient refurbishment (EER)?

What are the motivations for energy efficient refurbishment (EER)?

Owner-occupier motivation is multifaceted and complex. It is the precursor to energy efficiency refurbishment (i.e. action) and to encourage a greater uptake such refurbishment better understanding of this motivation is required. Existing motivation models and concepts – typically from a psychology or sociology perspective – give some indication of potential motivations, but have yet to […]

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Mapping Financial Risk and Housing Trends in New Zealand: towards ‘freer’ in a largely free market?

Mapping Financial Risk and Housing Trends in New Zealand: towards ‘freer’ in a largely free market?

For New Zealand, at a national scale housing policy trends have encouraged market engagement given its high proportion of residential ownership, with social housing provision being more a concern for those in need. This is set alongside greater trend concerns over unaffordable housing for the middle class, as property prices have disproportionally risen against wages […]

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Regional house price (sales) trends 2010-2017. An acceleration in Auckland and Central Otago Lakes

Regional house price (sales) trends 2010-2017. An acceleration in Auckland and Central Otago Lakes

Here’s an excerpt from a recent Journal Paper where we see An acceleration in Auckland and Central Otago Lakes since 2013 Median house price trends across regions of New Zealand demonstrate an important skew. Auckland experienced a steady incline from $240,000 NZD in 2000 to $430,000 NZD in 2010, followed by a plateau after the […]

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A Covid-19 Pandemic Retrospective:  Activity being generated in the Real-estate Sector over the volatile period during the COVID19 in New Zealand

A Covid-19 Pandemic Retrospective: Activity being generated in the Real-estate Sector over the volatile period during the COVID19 in New Zealand

The graph depicts the year-on-year percentage changes of the amount of economic activity being generated in the Rental, Hiring and Real-estate Sector over the volatile period during the COVID19 crisis and the economic shutdown of the nation. The figure shows a daily chronology of events during this period, as well as the economic impacts detected […]

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State Housing New Zealand

State Housing New Zealand

Great stories piece on State Housing in New Zealand. Only 4% of total stock but has been an essential part of the fabric since 1906. The first ‘worker’s dwellings’ in Petone, that was Wellington region’s first colonial settlements and already home to a fortified Māori village, known as a pa. https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/state-housing/

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What is Research?

What is Research?

‘Research’ is a term that covers a multitude of activities, but in one way or another they are all about finding things out. At one level this can mean simply collecting information, so that an evening spent on the internet looking up holiday options is a form of research. But at another level research involves […]

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2 years on: Is the Housing Affordability crisis still a crisis?

2 years on: Is the Housing Affordability crisis still a crisis?

Here’s part of an article I wrote for the main online NZ media outlet stuff.co.nz on housing affordability prior to the 2017 election… Talk of a housing “crisis” tends to focus on an increasing number of people not being able to afford good quality, affordable housing – whether through owner-occupation, private renting or social renting. Affordability […]

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Towards Financial Risk and Housing Policy Trends

Towards Financial Risk and Housing Policy Trends

Institutions providing access to housing in all tenures have become further entrenched and exposed to financial risk. Literature on housing policy trends and financial risk cover drivers such as liberalisation monetary approaches, innovation, political commitment, and asset management. A conceptual model is put forward for framing housing policy trends that engage with financial risk (what […]

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Resilience and housing markets: Who is it really for?

Resilience and housing markets: Who is it really for?

Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis, this research examines how resilience theory and rhetoric relating to the economy and housing markets has been translated into policy and practice. The methodology involves a case study of a city (Auckland) with a nationally dominant housing market and high unaffordability. Via secondary literature and a series of interviews we analyse questions connected to resilience […]

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Crowdfunding real estate

Crowdfunding real estate

In  a journal paper we argue that Disruptive Innovation Theory indicates that there is disruptive potential of Real Estate Crowd-Funding (RECF). As an excerpt…”RECF seems to generally align with the classic characteristics of disruptive innovations…RECF may potentially improve accessibility and affordability of real estate finance, thereby helping to address the problem of shortage of real […]

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Improving water quality with rural land use policy: (re)balancing farmland regulation, intensification and financial viability

Improving water quality with rural land use policy: (re)balancing farmland regulation, intensification and financial viability

              Policymakers in New Zealand are attempting to achieve improved environmental outcomes by implementing an output-based approach to non-point-source pollution from intensive agricultural production. Initial emphasis has focused on the nitrogen leached, with the assumption that this can be calculated accurately on an individual-property basis. While catchment-wide nitrogen-loss levels are […]

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My New Edited Book - Routledge Companion to Real Estate Development

My New Edited Book – Routledge Companion to Real Estate Development

                          Real estate development shapes the way people live and work, playing a crucial role in determining our built environment. Around the world, real estate development reflects both universal human needs and region-specific requirements, and with the rise of globalization there is an […]

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Central Otago Lakes has now Surpassed Auckland as the Most Unaffordable Region in New Zealand

Central Otago Lakes has now Surpassed Auckland as the Most Unaffordable Region in New Zealand

The Massey Home Affordability Index takes into account the cost of borrowing as well as house prices and wage levels. This March quarter has seen an improvement in national affordability driven mainly by the fall in house price levels in seven regions. Overall, home affordability improved by 7.0% in this quarter with some improvement in […]

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Rising House Prices Still Drive Housing Affordability Metrics

Rising House Prices Still Drive Housing Affordability Metrics

The Massey Affordability Index takes into account the cost of borrowing as well as house prices and wage levels. This December quarter has seen a decline in affordability driven mainly by the continued spillover of the Auckland house price levels into the regions. Overall, home affordability declined by 2.8% in this quarter with some big […]

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Financing infrastructure development: time to unshackle the bonds?

Financing infrastructure development: time to unshackle the bonds?

It is important to consider the merits of using projects bonds to finance infrastructure investment projects – in particular, the pricing of such bonds and the level of risk premium demanded by the market. In investigating the use and pricing of project bonds, this research used a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. In addition to secondary desk-based study, […]

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Innovative real estate development finance – evidence from Europe

Innovative real estate development finance – evidence from Europe

                This research provides an insight into large-scale real estate projects in Europe and how they are using a more innovative blend of finance. The methodology involved a mix of desk-based study, interviews and case studies. Interviews were held with financiers, policymakers, developers, investors, fund managers and academics. […]

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Methods and models for international comparative real estate development

Methods and models for international comparative real estate development

                      Real estate development is a significant factor in planning the built environment. It shapes the way people live and work, and by doing so enables human activity to evolve. Real estate development forms a contemporary reflection of social, economic, environmental, and political forces at hand. […]

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Boarded Terraces

Dysfunctional Neighbourhoods Exist: More Urban Regeneration Needed

                Neighbourhoods within area-based initiatives that are engaged with regeneration and renewal often experience difficulties of poverty, disadvantage and deprivation. Furthermore, the experience of function or dysfunction is also important when exploring neighbourhoods undergoing transformation. Functioning ‘norms’ could enable residents within particular neighbourhoods to have equal opportunities of […]

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The difference between property bonds and leases – and the consequences for healthcare.

                There are some 487,000 places in long-stay residential care and nursing homes in the UK representing an industry worth some £15.2 billion per annum. Creating leases with guaranteed rental uplifts, a property bond in all but name, now attracts significant investment into healthcare. This is argued to […]

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RICS-Regeneration Finance 1

Innovative Development Finance in Europe

A critical review and analysis of innovative financial instruments for real estate development in Europe will be useful to EU and European national policy makers in public finance and real estate development. Case study examples from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands reveal any national nuances in innovative development finance. The examples chosen were the Battersea […]

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Tax Increment Financing

Lessons in finance bonding for affordable housing

Can finance bonding be centred more on affordable housing as well as infrastructure? Some interesting nuances and lessons can be drawn when using a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) model in San Francisco, especially given the abandonment of California’s redevelopment agencies (RDAs). If historically focusing on policy, the abolition of the RDAs in California may have inadvertently cut-off […]

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Is Building Heritage in Enterprise Zones The Latest Threat or Opportunity?

    In considering heritage for buildings within Enterprise Zones, the central premise has been focusing on economic growth, with less thought given to the wider structural and cultural implications. When looking at an illustrative case study of Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, it appears that conflicts emerge between the objectives of the Enterprise Zone scheme and those of heritage protection, indicating […]

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Valparaiso - 29

Returning to Rousseau – Is there a Contract Between Citizen and State?

          New forms of governance, conditional approaches to public service access, and initiatives to engage citizens in taking on new responsibilities are being developed in the context of the scaling down of the welfare state. The extent to which collaboration and multidirectional accountability can be developed between the state and citizens. […]

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Solutions to the housing crisis – Housing Associations in the Private Rented Sector?

            How do housing stakeholders align future private and public spending to identify investment opportunities and help meet the City’s broader economic and spatial planning priorities – through the private rented sector?The private rented sector represents a growing proportion of the housing market nationally and locally and the only housing option for many households priced […]

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RICS-Fulbright Report 1

Future financing cities through planning and development

It is important to improve understanding of how cities can be better financed to meet challenges over the short and long-term; be they economic, social and/or environmental. The lack of adequate basic urban services and infrastructure is a major challenge in the development of human settlements. With rapid urbanization, governments are increasingly having difficulties to meet […]

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Urban water economics – putting a value, price, and cost on natural resources

Environmental resource issues involving water need to consider third-party external costs (and benefits) – water pollution being one example. Natural resource economics can be applied to this issue and set in the context of water production and consumption in urban areas. Furthermore, the price, value, and cost of zero priced or ‘free’ natural resources such as water generate many complex economic and […]

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Lyon - 27

Motivations for energy efficiency refurbishment

              The existing housing stock needs substantial adaptation to meet national and international carbon reduction targets. The largest proportion of housing is owner-occupied, and will require improvement works which go beyond those measures provided through incentive programmes. Therefore, the motivation of owner-occupiers to perform more substantial energy efficiency refurbishments is […]

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Baltimore - 36

Community self-build schemes enabling holistic solutions for ex-servicemen

              It is worth looking at the impact of community self-build schemes, especially as many have helped ex-service personnel rehabilitate whilst gaining new skills. Promotion of this type of scheme can encourage and inform future projects and to gain political and financial support. Schemes often involve ex-service personnel encountering difficulties in adapting […]

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Gloucester Docks Redevelopment

Should developers pay for public goods and services ? The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

If the public purse is being squeezed we should start thinking about whether private resources should be used to fund public goods and services. When we start to ‘follow the money’ the fuzzy boundaries of public and private begin to emerge. With the rollout of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) administered by local authorities, this question […]

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Florence - 39

Lessons need to be learned from Enterprise Zones and Empowerment Zones

  There is a need to learn lessons when using spatially targeted fiscal experiments if intervention is to generate wider developmental benefit. For Enterprise Zone concept in the UK (1981–2007) and an exported variant to the US, the Empowerment Zone programme (1993–2009) lessons can be drawn to inform the latest wave of Enterprise Zones in England (2011 to […]

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Do we need a prudential approach to financing urban development?

                  Th use of bonded financial mechanisms such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) can lever renewal within a wider policy framework. In an era of low economic growth, straitened finance, and an increasing emphasis on the ‘local’, bonded finance over the long term could effectively smooth property market volatility that […]

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Tax Increment Financing

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as an urban policy for spatially targeted economic development initiatives

Urban policy transfer between the US and UK has long been of interest to researchers and practitioners. Given the recent wider context of reduced direct funding and the absence of a coherent regeneration policy, the introduction of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to the UK is one approach of stimulating spatially targeted economic development initiatives. Questions are raised […]

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Socially Responsible Property Investment (SRPI) as the new sustainable development growth model

In examining the effectiveness of the investment practice known as ‘Socially Responsible Property Investment’ (SRPI), funds and developers make special claims for their regeneration schemes, namely, that they deliver enhanced social benefits. But what in regeneration practice distinguishes SRPI from the actual priorities and behaviours of investors and developers in the sub-sector? Plus what are SRPI regeneration schemes moving […]

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Braddon Street

Low Demand Neighbourhoods – Housing Market Renewal Experience

I completed a PhD from the University of Manchester (2009), that predominantly focused on exploring the drivers and dynamics associated with what I termed ‘low demand neighbourhoods’ – those areas (particularly those in industrially restructuring cities) that have had high void rates, high population turnover, low value and heavy out-migration. Along side this was a […]

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