PM Jacinda Ardern gets prickly over Marama Davidson's wealth tax comments, says she is 'concerned' over house prices

Jacinda Ardern says one of the things that sets her Government apart from the National Party is Labour's concern over skyrocketing house prices.

The median house price in Aotearoa recently hit $750,000, and in Auckland it's soared past $1 million.

In an interview with The AM Show on Monday, Ardern said she "has concerns" about New Zealand's housing market.

"I don't want to see this ongoing escalation that is making it increasingly difficult to get first home buyers into houses, and that is something we're concerned about - and that's a different view to the previous Government."

She says when National were in Government "there was not particularly a view that escalating house prices were a problem".

"We take a different approach - that's why we have banned foreign buyers in the residential market, why we extended the bright-line test, why we're working on the RMA."

While she admitted the current market is unsustainable, she said "periods of plateaus" make it possible for people to pull together cash for a deposit to "try" and get into the housing market. 

Despite ever-increasing prices, first home buyers have broken records this year.  Property analyst CoreLogic reports first home buyers now make up 24 percent of the market share - an increase from the previous record of 23 percent a decade ago. But Ardern says this is not good enough, 

"I do not sit on that and say it's sufficient," said Ardern. 

"I know there is more we need to do."

Ardern also addressed comments from Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, who told Stuff the Government should look at wealth taxes to even the playing field after it failed to bring in a Capital Gains Tax. 

Ardern has drawn criticism for her failed efforts to bring in a CGT -  a policy that she has promised she will not bring in while she leads the Labour Party. When confronted with Davidson's comments, Ardern prickled slightly.

"There's a few things I would dispute there," she said.

"This idea that somehow I'm trying to bring in a CGT through the back door I refute - the reason we couldn't continue the CGT is I could not get the support of the Government which is representative of New Zealand."

She says the Greens are entitled to their own opinions.

"As a Party they will continue to share their view -  it won't always be our view but that's their prerogative." 


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