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Concepts: Elasticity of housing supply

How should we think through the dynamics of housing markets?

Conceptually, there’s a very simple answer and a very complex one. The simple version is that housing is just another market, shaped by the interaction of demand – i.e. people turning up with money to buy dwellings – and supply – people building new dwellings to meet demand. Policies can affect the supply side (e.g. by making it more costly or difficult to build new dwellings), the demand side (e.g. by subsidising home ownership), or both (e.g. by imposing supply restrictions to produce local amenities like parks).

And then there’s the complex story, in which we have to think about things like:

  • Interactions between owner-occupation, renting, and property investment
  • The impact of mortgage lending practices and asset values on housing
  • The durable nature of housing, which means that prices can overshoot in a declining market
  • The geography of jobs, amenities, and housing supply – not all locations are equally desirable, which means that houses in the wrong place don’t do much good
  • Government provision of housing services (e.g. state homes) and subsidies for property ownership or renting
  • Industrial organisation in the building sector, including firm size and structure and supply of skilled labour
  • A wide range of local and central government regulations covering building materials, performance standards for dwellings, and the bulk, form, and location of dwellings
  • Etc, etc, etc.

So it’s not usually possible to fully explain housing market dynamics with a simple supply and demand story. However, it’s often useful to start with a clear understanding of that story.

So with that in mind, here’s a key concept for analysing housing market dynamics: elasticity of housing supply. In an earlier post on public transport fares, I introduced the idea of elasticity of demand, which measures how responsive people’s demand for a good or service is to higher (or lower) prices. Supply elasticities are much same idea, but on the supply side of the equation.

Elasticity of housing supply is an important concept because it provides an indication of how many new dwellings will be constructed in response to an increase in prices (or demand). For example, an elasticity of less than 1 would indicate that developers are relatively unresponsive to increased demand – i.e. if prices rise by 10%, it will cause new housing construction to increase by less than 10%.

It’s easy to see why this is an important metric. In the aggregate, a relatively “inelastic” supply will mean that the housing stock will struggle to meet demand in a growing city. But aggregate lasticities aren’t everything – if new dwellings can’t be built in areas that are proximate to jobs and amenities, bad things will still happen

Supply elasticities can be measured empirically by looking at how markets have evolved in the past. In fact, a number of people have done just that.

In their 2012 housing affordability inquiry, the Productivity Commission surveyed some of this literature (see pages 33-34 of their final report). They published this chart comparing long-run elasticity of housing supply in 21 OECD countries, including New Zealand. Remember, higher numbers indicate more responsive housing supply:

Productivity Commission elasticity of housing supply chart

New Zealand’s elasticity was around 0.7 – on the inelastic side, but still within the top 1/3 of the countries in the study. In other words, neither terrible nor fantastic. We have historically had a more elastic supply of housing than the UK or Australia, but we’ve lagged behind several Scandinavian countries as well as Japan, Canada, and the US.

Now, elasticity of supply is influenced by a number of factors. Building industry capability and productivity plays an important role. So do geographic constraints – a topic I’ll come back to in a future post. State house construction can also play a role, by ensuring that building activity doesn’t bottom out when prices dip. And, of course, planning regulations and consenting processes play a role. But how much of a role?

Unfortunately, we don’t have any good international comparisons of planning policies. However, the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business report publishes some data on the ease of obtaining building consents, which provides a rough indication of the stringency of countries’ planning processes.

Here’s the upper echelons of their 2015 rankings. As you can see, New Zealand is ranked as the second easiest place to do business. When it comes with dealing with construction permits, we’re ranked 13th – ahead of countries like the United States (46) and United Kingdom (45) but behind Hong Kong (1), Singapore (2), and, oddly, Iraq (9).

World Bank ease of doing business rankings

Here’s a bit more detail on how Auckland’s consenting processes stack up. We have fewer procedures, a shorter consenting timeframe, and a lower consenting cost than the average OECD country:

World Bank NZ ease of dealing with construction permits

So what does all this data mean? I think there are a few lessons we can – and can’t – learn from it.

The first is that perhaps we don’t have as many problems as we think we do. I have to admit that I was surprised by these figures. I was expecting our elasticity of supply to be lower and our consenting processes to be ranked lower. But perhaps – as with Auckland’s congestion – our problems aren’t that bad when put in international perspective. Kiwis do tend to prefer doing things efficiently, and NZ’s not large enough to require overly cumbersome bureaucratic machinery.

The second thing is that there is room to improve. There is almost always room to improve. New Zealand’s housing supply is still inelastic, which suggests that we may have trouble accommodating growth. Although the World Bank’s data on the ease of obtaining building permits seems to suggest that regulatory processes are less onerous here than many other places, who really knows? There are likely to be gremlins in any bureaucratic process.

The third lesson is that there are multiple paths to a well-functioning housing market. The countries with the highest elasticities of housing supply don’t have a lot in common with each other when it comes to policy frameworks. The US has a different set of policies than Japan or the Scandinavian countries. And it’s also the case that some countries have affordable and livable housing even though their elasticity of supply is low – Germany or the Netherlands, for example.

This is, in a way, really good news. We don’t have to go searching for a single “silver bullet” policy framework. There are different paths we could go down to improve the functioning of our housing market.

What do you make of these comparisons?

41 comments to Concepts: Elasticity of housing supply

  • RB

    There’s also the geography and size of population (market size / benefits of scale) to consider along with the issues of material supplies. For example it will be far easier and quicker (and therefore cheaper to buy) to erect 1000 new (pretty much identical) homes in a new subdivision on the Gold Coast than here in Auckland. There is more land, it’s flat, the numbers of homes being mass produced is larger and cartage of materials is in bulk and all to one place. Building (there are a few exceptions) in Auckland or NZ as a whole is usually a series of one-off projects, with different styles, plans etc, which affects costs, compliance and speed to completion. No opportunity (again there are a few exceptions) for bulk compliance of 200 type A homes, 150 type B homes etc.

  • Bruce

    A lot of those inelastic countries have been around with large populations for a long time. They have already built most of their housing and infrastructure to the point where they can just take the slow and steady route to development rather than race and crash. NZ by comparison is younger, still growing fast, still building infrastructure. This is further exaggerated by having one of the most relaxed immigration policies in the developed world (over 1% pa). This is far too high (especially when we already have a housing shortage and unaffordable housing).

  • Lord Maths

    Almost every single discussion about housing prices seems to focus on supply. If the War on Drugs has taught us anything, it’s that supply-side interventions are bound to fail unless you address demand. Smugglers and meth cooks will always find a way; as risk increases so does price.

    The same applies here. Unless we directly address inordinate and unnecessary demand (and before you say growth is good, would you say that more people driving is also good?) we will always face supply-side problems. The answer is very clearly to modify demand through a set of policies.

    PS I own my house and have no problem if it deflates. It’s a house, not an investment. I live in it.

    • Max

      Except that choking off demand means a lot of negatives too. And it doesn’t even account for the fact that much of the demand is inherent NZ growth, not immigration.

    • Peter Nunns

      The War on Drugs analogy proves the exact opposite. The US has put a lot of effort into reducing demand for drugs, including imprisoning an unprecedented share of its own population for drug use. And it’s failed in actually reducing use of drugs.

      The only lessons we’ve learned from the War on Drugs are:
      1. Trying to control people’s personal consumption habits is a bad idea that will cause more problems than it solves
      2. If you task government bureaucracies (police forces, in this case) with doing something fundamentally stupid, they will serve as an impediment to changing policy in a more sane direction.

      Back on to housing, as I wrote in the post, demand-side pressures are certainly important. However, I think you’re over-optimistic about our ability to address them. History shows that policies to redistribute growth (a) don’t work in the first place and (b) have undesirable side effects. For example, restrictions on immigration are (a) bad for immigrants, who can’t take the opportunity to raise their living standards, and (b) bad for the NZ economy, which often needs the influx of skills and ideas. To put it another way: aren’t you glad Auckland’s cuisine has improved since the 1980s?

      Supply-side solutions, on the other hand, seem to have much more benign/positive consequences. Raising construction productivity is a bit of a win-win for both builders and home-buyers. Improving consenting processes is, again, a win-win for consenting authorities, builders, and home-buyers.

      • mfwic

        I am not sure the War on Drugs is informative for housing. People on drugs dont tend to make rational price based decisions on the quantity of drugs they would like to take next. (inelastic demand). Instead every fibre of their body tells them to get some more whatever the cost to them or their family. I would hope we haven’t got to that point with property.

        • Stu Donovan

          NZ is totally addicted to property. It drives me insane. Honestly, one of the best things about not living in NZ is that I can go to parties where people don’t talk about property all the fudging time.

          • mfwic

            yes ok 🙂 but its not quite the same. We do property because we are greedy. That fits with price theory. People do drugs because they can’t help themselves. The evidence is when the price of drugs goes up crime increases as addicts seek more extreme ways of supporting their addiction. Most economists who I have read support liberalising drug laws to reduce the effects on the community then helping get people off the worst drugs. Prohibition didnt work with alcohol and it currently doesn’t work with any other drug.

            Property on the other hand responds to population. 15,000 people per year coming into the country might be sustainable but 60,000 probably isn’t.

          • Stu Donovan

            I see your point.

            But I don’t think you need to worry about 60,000 net gain per year. It’s an unusual spike that is set to subside, i.e. we’re probably at or past the top of the migrant cycle and the NZ economy now looks set to cool.

            And 60k is not that much really. We’re talking about 2-3% p.a. nationally. Yes most of this comes to Auckland, but if they can’t be accommodated here then some of the demand will shift, and that’s got to be good for smaller regions.

            Thinking more broadly, it’d be good if NZ had policy and institutional frameworks that were sufficiently responsive to accommodate this rate of growth. Otherwise everytime the NZ economy gets up to steam and starts attracting people to live here we’ll run into a housing bubble :(. So my take on it is that the latest surge in net migration has simply highlighted policy issues that we should have been addressing anyway, especially around the elasticity of housing supply.

            Finally, if I was looking at curbing demand for housing (e.g. in the interests of macro-prudential stability), then it wouldn’t be migration that I’d be trying to manage: It’d be lending criteria and tax policies. In terms of lending criteria, I agree with the Treasury that we should probably look at an income multiplier cap on borrowing. Moreover the latest surge in house prices really is the Government’s fault: They denied there was an issue and attacked Labour’s CGT for years before finally caving and acknowledging that there actually was an issue.

            Even then they’ve proposed only very weak demand-side policies, e.g. 2 year brightline test for property purchases.

            All seems like too little, too late. But despite the house price inflation I think the growth will be good for NZ. Maybe we’ll even get an Ikea …

          • mfwic

            The reason I dont agree with you Stu is that the price rises in houses are a real price rise due to the interaction of supply and demand. They are not a monetary effect so it isnt inflation, it is simply that the price needs to be higher to allow the market to clear. Using monetary policy to alter a real price change is probably going to make matters worse. Evidence is that supply is at the inelastic end even in the long run. We could all accept it in the short run because it takes a while for the housing market to respond. But given it is a long run supply issue and probably also a long run demand issue for Auckland then monetary policy is never going to solve it- it will only kick the can a bit further down the road. IMO if we want cheaper housing in Auckland then we need to address the long run supply but we also need to own the demand issue and work on that. Allowing 60k even in the short run is about as daft as they can get. Immigration is the only tap you can turn instantly but they refuse to do so. How hard would it be to say none coming in while people choose to stay. It works for night clubs it would work for nations as well.

      • Bruce

        ” History shows that policies to redistribute growth (a) don’t work in the first place and (b) have undesirable side effects. For example, restrictions on immigration are (a) bad for immigrants, who can’t take the opportunity to raise their living standards”
        I could not give a flying rats ass about whether restricting immigration is bad for immigrants. This is our country (all of us born here and those that have previously settled and made it a home). If we don’t want more people here then that is our choice – not theirs!
        If you are having a party with 50 people chances are it’s a good time for all. If a bunch of gate-crashers turn up and you suddenly have 200 people chances are it won’t be a good experience for all (certainly not for the owner) and only benefits the gate-crashers.

        As for your comment about cuisine, sure I think everyone appreciates a variety of food that is now available. For every single restaurant/food outlet in New Zealand to have half foreign workers would likely require in the region of 150,000 people. We currently have over 600,000 Asians alone (not counting other ethnicities who have a high propensity to work in the food service industry). We have far more than would ever be needed for the food service industry. So whilst some immigration is good for things like food diversification etc what we don’t need is hundreds of immigrants to do an unskilled job like being a real estate agent!

        • Peter Nunns

          Rowan Atkinson parodied your view best: “Now, a lot of immigrants are Indians and Pakistanis for instance, and… I like curry, I do! But now that we’ve got the recipe, is there really any need for them to stay?”

        • Stu Donovan

          Bruce,

          You may not give a “flying rat’s ass” about what’s good for immigrants, but in my experience such views are not shared by NZers in general. More specifically, many of us (e.g. myself and Peter) do emphathize with the desire of people who want to migrate to NZ so as improve their lives.

          Last time I looked NZ First was not polling that well. You can also look at Dave Dobbyn’s song “welcome home” (https://youtu.be/hQlVmvXAGLI?list=RDhQlVmvXAGLI), which was rather popular when it was released, to see that there are relatively large proportions of the NZ population who are quite open to immigration. I’d suggest you read the comments; you may find that your love for NZ is shared by a lot of people who don’t share your views on immigration.

          So while you’re entitled to your views on immigration, I don’t think they are widely shared and hence you can’t necessarily jump to policy recommendations on that basis. Just saying.

          Finally, from where I’m sitting the elasticity of housing supply has nothing to do with immigration — so I’d suggest we stop talking about the latter and instead get the thread back on topic. To put it another way: Even if there was no net immigration from overseas we’d still want an elastic housing supply to deal with natural increase and domestic migration.

          • Lord Maths

            So you want people coming to NZ who want to improve themselves, not improve NZ?
            Surely that’s importing selfishness?

          • Peter Nunns

            Personally, I’d describe it as exporting generosity and an egalitarian desire to give people a fair go. Values that most New Zealanders are proud of.

            In any case, most migrants I know are grateful for the opportunities that migration has offered them and eager to give back in return.

          • Bruce

            I suggest you read the following piece by Greg Clydesdale from Lincoln University: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/opinion-reduce-immigration-increase-wealth-159904

            As for your statement about what most kiwis want, do you speak for kiwis? I don’t recall seeing any proper survey in NZ where the majority of people have said they want higher levels of immigration. In fact the opposite is true – most people in NZ want less immigration.

            “Even if there was no net immigration from overseas we’d still want an elastic housing supply to deal with natural increase and domestic migration.”
            Yes our housing supply needs to be more elastic (although might be nice to see a more sustainable level of building rather than boom and bust).
            However without these high levels of immigration (we have one of the highest levels of anywhere in the world especially amongst developed countries) and our inelastic housing supply we have not been coping with the influx (particularly in Auckland). This is causing irreparable damage to the NZ economy (OCR higher than it would otherwise be, house prices that are unaffordable in Auckland and spilling over into the rest of the country, massive infrastructure expenses driving up building costs to house these new arrivals, environmental damage, etc). There will be more people living in Auckland that weren’t born in NZ than were born here by 2030. How on earth is that good for our country?! China has a non-asian population of 1%….. ONE PERCENT! Ours is approaching 20% and only accelerating. New Zealand’s advantage is our relatively clean green environment and low population. The world needs more and more food from less and less productive land. New Zealand has an important part to play in this and effectively our agricultural income is distributed amongst 4.5m people at present, the more people that move here the smaller the piece of the pie for each person. Each extra person wants the new TV, the clothes and goods manufactured overseas etc. We have a minimal trade surplus (plus a large current account deficit), as each extra person spends more NZD overseas this will result in us having a trade deficit and exacerbate our current account deficit (not counting the propensity of immigrants from developing countries to send income home to those countries – further undermining our tax base).

          • Peter Nunns

            Hi Bruce

            You’ve had plenty of space in the comments section to air your anti-immigration views. Any time the topic comes up – even tangentially – you end up arguing obsessively about the topic, and making a number of comments that are borderline disrespectful to other members of our audience. (Such as the implication above that Asian New Zealanders only ever work in the food services industry or “unskilled jobs like being a real estate agent”.)

            In addition, I would note that you constantly conflate “immigrants” with “Asians”, even though (a) British people make up the largest contingent of immigrants to New Zealand and (b) a growing proportion of Asian New Zealanders are born in New Zealand. I don’t like to draw conclusions about how other people are thinking, but this smacks of xenophobia.

            In other words, your comments on the topic violate user guidelines 8 (no “obsessive arguing in a thread or threads”) and 1 (“Treat other members of the community with civility and respect”). Future comments in this vein will be deleted.

          • Bruce

            Editor’s note: This post has been deleted following earlier warnings. Once again, obsessive arguing in comments is discouraged.

      • Lord Maths

        I’m unfamiliar with the US and largely familiar with NZ
        Almost all of the focus in NZ is on drug suppliers and manufacturers.
        Very little focus on users whether punishing or rehabilitating them

        And it hasn’t worked. Supply-side fails.

        • Scott M

          Stu – your comment suggests everybody considers policy factors and then votes accordingly. I don’t think all voters are created equal in that regard.

          A great bunch of voters will vote for “tax cuts” and in the next breadth bemoan the lack of investment in transport infrastructure.

          As with immigration voters may take a personal or emotional view point on the matter and not concern themselves with the structural issues mass immigration creates.

          You saw the European countries closing the borders pretty quickly onnce they understood the sheer number of Syrians there were crossing the borders.

          • Stu Donovan

            Not what was I was trying to imply.

            Bruce said “This is our country (all of us born here and those that have previously settled and made it a home). If we don’t want more people here then that is our choice – not theirs!”

            I was responding to his “if” and simply pointing out that many people’s views on immigration, including my own, are actually informed by what immigrants themselves want. I guess because we try and empathize with other people’s aspirations?

            Anyway, my main point was (and I’m not being nasty about this in a popularity contest kind of way): I don’t think Bruce’s views are shared by many kiwis. I could be wrong!

  • As I am unable to see this through the links provided (maybe I can, but I can’t seem to navigate it)….regarding their ranking of NZ 13th when dealing with construction permits, is the ‘Dealing with Construction Permits’ table above Auckland specific (you indicate it is) and are those the time-frames listed targets or are they actuals?

    • I am guessing the 30 days (for example) for a resource consent is the 10 days to review the application and then the 20 days when the clock is ticking……so it is the council’s target? So all the data used to rank NZ is target data, as with the rest of the world. So comparing one perfect plan with another perfect plan. It in no way accounts for why different council’s/districts/areas anywhere hold up consents/inspections/clock stopping…..or any of the issues within the system (applicant faults or otherwise). It doesn’t compare the efficacy of our system with efficacy of another system anywhere.

      As you say, maybe we don’t have this information, but if I am right in assuming this is target information, I don’t personally think that a comparison of targets is ideally labelled as ‘Ease of Doing Business’!

      • Peter Nunns

        Yeah, it’s an indicator only – and, as you note, not a perfect one. I’d included it not because it proves that everything’s hunky dory, but because it _doesn’t_ clearly show that our performance is terrible. If NZ was ranked 50th, it would be immediate cause for alarm. But as we’re ranked 13th, it seems more appropriate to say, “hmmm, doesn’t seem too bad but perhaps it’s worth investigating further.”

        The Ministry for the Environment publishes a periodic survey of consenting outcomes for local authorities in NZ. It’s rich on data but a bit hard to draw out clear interpretations: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/RMA/rma-survey-2012-2013.pdf

  • Phil

    “State house construction can also play a role, by ensuring that building activity doesn’t bottom out when prices dip”.

    Interestingly, if you did this wouldn’t it show up as even more inelastic supply, because supply is not reacting to prices?

    Also, the chart of elasticity of supply is for NZ as a whole, not Auckland. My dataset goes back to 1976 and from that, it looks like Auckland had the same number of annual consents in 1977 as is does in 2015… That’s not even adjusting for population.

    • Stu Donovan

      yes I think you’re correct. If state housing policy developed dwellings in response to demand rather than price then this would tend to reduce the elasticity of supply. I wonder if this is why countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have 1) stable house prices and 2) low elasticities of supply.

      And yes you’re also correct that the elasticity of supply is for NZ as a whole. When you say “number of consents” do you mean 1) number of building consents or 2) number of dwelling consents? If it’s the former then it may underestimate supply if multi-unit dwellings make up an increasing proportion of supply …

    • Peter Nunns

      Insightful comments… good spotting on the likely impact of countercyclical state house construction on elasticities. As Stu said, I suspect this is one of the reasons for varying outcomes between different European countries. I saw a quite good chart of construction trends in the UK over the last 70 years (in this LRB article) – showing that the withdrawal of councils from housing provision wasn’t followed by any significant uptick in private building.

      As far as Auckland goes, I’d make two observations:
      1. Grimes and Aitken (2010) analyse regional housing adjustment in response to demand shocks, over a similar period (1980s-mid 2000s) as Sanchez and Johannsen. They find slightly higher elasticities in urban TLAs (~0.93) than in rural TLAs (~0.64). Apparently – I asked Arthur – Auckland was at the upper end of the range for the urban TLAs.
      2. Nobody’s done an updated study to determine whether elasticities have risen, fallen, or remained the same over the last decade. My guess, based on consenting and Census data, is that elasticities have probably fallen in Auckland.

  • Harriet

    As always the answer is broad and not narrow. We have to look at all options not one silver bullet my suggestions are as follows

    1. End the academic ellist culture of this country where people think if you don’t go to Uni you are an idiot and a failure. Let’s get the young men and women who the school system completely fails abd get them into trades. More tradies = more people to build infra and housing.

    2. Implement the productivity commissions proposals on building sector.

    3. Build the right infra like PT rapid transit to unlock land for the housing I.e “Northwest Metro” let’s get the NW right before we build it all up, CRL etc.

    4. Reform RMA to ban Councils from zoning restrictions that have no relation to the public Heath, real heritage or environment I.e balcony requirements, character requirements and MPRs. Create a uniform zoning system of 5/6 zones that are simple and all councils have to use. Also shall issue permits rather than May issue as well as reduced times they have to process permit.

    6. LVT tax reform introduce LVT to replace income/corporation/resident withholding to shift taxation from wealth creation and labour to taxing ineffient land use.

    • Stu Donovan

      Ooo … I like all those suggestions. Have you considered running for Mayor?

    • Lord Maths

      The school system doesn’t “fail” anybody, people fail the school system.

      If you can’t jump over a 2m wall, that’s not the wall’s fault.

      • Scott M

        I find it interesting how much focus the govt. is putting on the RMA and Building Act and very little on the Commerce Commission and the abysmal job it does ensuring competition in NZ markets.

        Why are we not discussing breaking up Fletchers and their stranglehold on the building industry?

        Also seems to be little focus on Reserve Bank rules for the banks and the effect thats having on house prices.

        Both examples of how you cant have data without applying a value system to it, and National are showing their true colours in that regard.

    • James

      I particularly like the idea of the 5 to 6 zones that all Councils must use. Nothing new here (similar systems are used internationally). It has always perplexed me that NZ has about 60 local councils, all facing similar (if not the same issues) and they are developing, independently or each other, slightly different ways of addressing the issues. Obviously there is a democratic component here, but it still seems to be a extremely inefficient way to develop policy and regulations.

      Also from my perspective – design requirements for balconies or windows or room size can be directly linked to public health and therefore there is justification for regulation. An apartment with no outdoor space, or inadequate light/ventalation = an unhealthy and unhappy occupier. A driver for good design is improved health and amenity.

      • Peter Nunns

        The Unitary Plan seems to be a major step forward in terms of standardising zoning. It consolidated perhaps ~50-60 residential zones from legacy councils into 6. It will be interesting to see whether any other councils will choose to piggyback on this approach.

        My intuition is that rules around bulk and form of buildings (e.g. height limits) could easily be standardised. Minimum lot size rules pose a bit more of a challenge. The Unitary Plan removes them from several residential zones, which seems sensible given high land prices. However, smaller councils probably rely upon minimum lot size rules to do infrastructure planning – e.g. it’s easy to know how big to make the wastewater pipes if you can calculate the maximum number of dwellings based on total land area. I couldn’t say whether this is efficient without further analysis, but it’s an example of the type of challenge you’d get.

        • mfwic

          Yes except there are now dozens of precincts within each zone making it harder to figure out than it was before. Prior to amalgamation you looked up the relevant District Plan online and everything in it was relevant. Now you have to wade through a much longer document looking for what applies to your site. Standardising rules hasn’t given any benefit to anyone.
          Supporters of amalgamation claimed there were too many documents, but you only had to look at one at a time. Now you are stuck with all the regional rules and local rules and precinct rules. Who is better off? And for that matter why shouldn’t each community decide whether they want to protect daylight to their windows using a different rule? Or what size side yard is best in their borough?

          • Peter Nunns

            One thing I’d like to see is a better mapping tool for getting planning information. It would be nice to be able to click on a map and get comprehensive information about the zones, precincts, and overlays on the selected property, and what development controls apply on the site as a result.

            The Council’s Unitary Plan viewer does this to an extent, but it’s not very intuitive to use.

        • James

          I hope other councils do look towards a more consolidated approach.

          I take your point on growth modeling and infrastructure asset management. It does get more tricky with no minimum lot size to work with. But the flip side is using lot size alone (which a lot of smaller Councils do) is a blunt tool. I’m sure with better collaboration and pooling of resources between smaller Councils they could fund/develop quite sophisticated growth modelling tools

  • kelvin

    There is also a lag as well. It will take some time for the supply to meet. Sometimes the supply will continue after the bust. So the lag can affect the length and extend of the propert cycle.

  • Evan James

    Hey, like it or not, we are actually not doing too badly on a world scale. So maybe there are some areas where we could be doing better, but let’s be careful we are measuring our apples with apples from another country similar to ours, and don’t look to a country with no affinity to ours for solutions