Economist Cameron Bagrie predicts when Auckland housing shortages could be alleviated

Auckland's housing shortages could start to be alleviated by as early as next year, an economist believes.

Last week, the Labour Government and Opposition National Party drafted the 'right to build' Bill, allowing homeowners to subdivide and build up to three homes, three storeys high without a consent fight. 

Experts have said the major impacts of the policy would likely be in the next five to 10 years - but some shortages could start being addressed in Auckland as early as 2022, says economist Cameron Bagrie, largely due to the City of Sails' shrinking population growth. The latest figures show Auckland's population shrunk by over 1000 in the year ending June 2021.

"The big unknown at the moment is, what is the exact number in regard to the shortage of housing in Auckland? And it still seems to be a reasonable number but… let's fast forward another 12 months - if Auckland lost a couple of thousand people in the last 12 months, I'd expect that is going to accelerate quite sharply post-COVID," he told The AM Show on Tuesday.

"If you're building 20-odd thousand units in the space of 12 to 18 months, you're going to be eating into that shortage really quickly."

But that could add to the shortages in the regions, he said.

"My personal view is a lot of the housing shortages have been pushed out into the regions - that's where we're seeing the most acute large rises in rents across New Zealand."

Labour and National's policy is expected to deliver up to 105,500 new homes throughout New Zealand in the next five to eight years.