8 May 2014

Auckland needs to speed up sprawl

9:04 am on 8 May 2014

A Government-funded report says Auckland needs to accelerate both its sprawl and high-rise development to reduce the rising cost of housing.

The report by NZIER is funded by the Reserve Bank, Treasury and Ministry of Transport, and floats ideas that challenge both Government and Auckland Council Policy.

The report says Auckland expanding the urban area by 25 per cent by 2031 - a decade sooner than the council plans - will help lower housing costs.

It also says investing more in transport infrastructure will also lower housing costs, a challenge for the Government which would have to fund most of it.

Its author, senior economist Kirdan Lees, says Auckland needs to spread faster with better transport links, and the impact of height restrictions on higher density housing also needs to be looked at.

The report makes passing reference to 1 per cent higher income tax to fund transport projects, and points to the tax treatment of rental housing as a contributor to the rising prices.