Duncan Garner: What's expected from Government's significant housing announcement

OPINION: The Government is set to make a significant housing announcement on Tuesday morning.

It's concerned that house prices have gone too high, too quick, locking out first home buyers.

I asked Grant Robertson three years ago, does he want prices to drop? He said he wanted them to "go up more slowly". 

That position hasn't changed.

But Robertson's biggest problem will be managing expectations. The truth is the housing market is a beast that Robertson can't beat.

So on Tuesday Labour will likely increase the size of the home buyer grant under Kiwisaver and make it available to more New Zealanders. And as we reported on The AM Show in January, it will extend the bright-line test to 10 years  - that's like a capital gains tax if you buy and sell a property within 10 years.

Labour must also build more affordable houses but the spectacular Kiwibuild failure shows us it doesn't know how to.

So can Labour achieve anything? Maybe at the margins.

House prices have risen 20 percent in the past year and the Reserve Bank is still expecting prices to rise a further 22 percent over the next three years.

Workers and their wages simply can't keep up. 

The NZ housing market is worth $1.5 trillion, yet has mortgages of just $300 billion over them.

It means those in the market already have a significant leverage. They can borrow easily and snap up property by knocking over the first home buyers.

It's eyes on stalks stuff for those trying to get into the market who must first save a $200,000 deposit then convince the bank they can service a $750,000 dollar loan.

So good luck today Grant. Many have tried and failed to fix housing.

But may you be granted the silver bullet of success that tames it once and for all.

Hmm, perhaps I should work in the Tui marketing department?

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.