exploring solutions… www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org
Performance Urban Planning

This website is dedicated
to the memory of
“The fathers of affordable housing”



Former Fellow - Urban Development Institute of Australia

Former President –
Southern Division – Property Council of New Zealand

Co author – Annual
Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey


+64 3 343 9944
Christchurch, New Zealand

The Housing Bubble:
The Planner’s Role and Lessons Learned
| Planetizen

New Zealand Planners Support Demographia

Harvard JCHR Median Multiple Tables 1984 - 2006
(open … click tab … bottom page)


Planet of Cities by Shlomo (Solly) Angel

Housing Policy Matters
A Global Analysis

(Google Book Version)
Professor Shlomo (Solly) Angel

Sprawl - A Compact History(Google Book Version)
Professor Robert Bruegmann

The City: A Global History (Planetizen Podcast Review)
Joel Kotkin

Edge City:
Life on the New Frontier

Joel Garreau

Levittown: Expanding the American Dream
(Google Book Version) -

Parkinsons Law
C. Northcote Parkinson

The Freedoms of Suburbia Paul Barker

Generation Rent
Shamubeel & Selena Eaqub

Time Magazine - 1950

The Levitt Story

Planetizen: Planning and Development Network

The New City - Australia

Save Our Suburbs - New South Wales, Australia

Houston Strategies

New Geography

Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canada

MacroBusiness Australia

Levitt & Beyond

Levittown - Pennsylvania

William J Levitt – Wikipedia

Angus Maddison Historical GDP Tables 1 - 2008 AD (excel)

Angus Maddison - Homepage

Order without Design - Alain Bertaud | The MIT Press Release October 2018

The 1980s Texas housing bubble myth by Leith van Onselen



Municipal Utility Districts – An Introduction

Texas MUDs by Joe Allen & David Oliver

MUDs - National Public Finance Guarantee Paper

Spillette: What's not being said about MUSs - Houston Chronicle

Texas housing: A conversation with economist Dr James Gaines - Dallas Federal Reserve


Archive - Cantabrians Unite website - front page



Productivity Commission

Statistics New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Treasury

Housing Foundation

The New Zealand Initiative

Infrastructure New Zealand






General update - September 2020



Welcome to Performance Urban Planning

As a long term commercial development practitioner and former industry leader in New Zealand, I was approached by colleagues back in late 2004, expressing concern that the public was not being provided with sound structural information on the state of the urban housing markets within Australia and New Zealand. [more]

The Fathers of Affordable Housing

Following World War 11, after decades of earlier failed attempts by themselves and others, the Levitt brothers Bill and Alfred with their entrepreneurial genius, created the modern production construction industry we know today.

Levitt & Sons provided young single earner American families with annual household incomes of $US3,800, new starter homes for $US8,000 — 2.1 times annual household incomes. The mortgage required was 18% of the single earner annual household income.

We have paid a huge price for forgetting this history.

All involved with urban land use issues need to relearn it.

HOUSING: Up from the Potato Fields -Time 1950 Cover Story


For metropolitan areas to rate as 'affordable' and ensure that housing bubbles are not triggered, housing prices should not exceed three times gross annual household earnings. To allow this to occur, new starter housing of an acceptable quality to the purchasers, with associated commercial and industrial development, must be allowed to be provided on the urban fringes at 2.5 times the gross annual median household income of that urban market (refer Demographia Survey Schedules for guidance).

The critically important Development Ratios for this new fringe starter housing, should be 17 - 23% serviced lot / section cost - to balance the actual housing construction.

Ideally through a normal building cycle, the Median Multiple should move from a Floor Multiple of 2.3, through a Swing Multiple of 2.5 to a Ceiling Multiple of 2.7 - to ensure maximum stability and optimal medium and long term performance of the residential construction sector.

2020 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Media Release

Demographia In The News

Hugh Pavletich In The News


Access New Zealand IPSOS Issues Monitors



Rising regions make NZ's housing market less affordable … Catherine Harris … Stuff NZ


All sectors of New Zealand housing market 'severely' unaffordable: survey … Eleanor Ainge Roy … The Guardian


A Look at Demographia's Latest Housing Affordability Survey … Hites Ahir … Global Housing Watch Newsletter / IMF


Demographia: Australian housing among world's most unaffordable … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Australia


New survey ranks NZ's most and least affordable cities … Anne Gibson … NZ Herald


Tired of the traffic hassles and back-to-work blues? Thought of moving to Christchurch to get a better life and lifestyle? That city turns out to be by far our most affordable when incomes are compared to house prices.

Down south, the house prices are low but the incomes are high and out of eight areas just surveyed throughout New Zealand, Christchurch house-buyers have by far the best deal financially. …

… read more via hyperlink above …

New Zealand's biggest social scandal - Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, New Zealand Initiative


Ipsos NZ Issues Monitor November 2019


Eric Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom … Interview … YouTube


Zoom CEO's Wealth Jumps $6.6 Billion After Sales Crush Estimates … Sophie Alexander and Nico Grant … Yahoo Finance


Eric Yuan - Wikipedia


One In Four Workers Say They Are Working Entirely From Home: Gallup … Zerohedge

…How have our lives changed this past 50 / 75 years due to Malcom McLeans creation of the modern container industry ?…

Malcom McLean creates the modern container industry … VIDEO … The New York Times


How Judith Collins (NZ National Party Housing Spokesperson) has more in common with her arch nemesis, Phil Twyford, than one might be led to believe … Jenee Tibshraeny VIDEO INTERVIEW … Interest Co NZ


Whakatane teacher feeling impact of housing unaffordability 'threat to middle class' … Susan Edmunds … Stuff New Zealand


Kiwi homes pass $1.2 trillion in value, Core Logic says … Rob Stock … Stuff New Zealand

2 Historical Reminders…


…Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford explains . essential viewing…

. in 2 1/2 minutes on Facebook . . 1st Reading . . 2nd Reading .





Councils to have less reason to say 'no' to new housing … COMMENT Dr Eric Crampton … Newsroom

…A leading legal firm explains…

Infrastructure Funding and Financing Act 2020 implemented with Simpson Grierson's help … NZ Lawyer


The Act represents a "significant milestone" for infrastructure funding in New Zealand, the firm says

By Jacqueline So
15 Aug 2020

The government has implemented the Infrastructure Funding and Financing (IFF) Act 2020 with Simpson Grierson's help.

The firm said that the Act is "designed to support a new special purpose vehicle funding and financing model for the provision of bulk infrastructure for housing and urban development."

"It is expected to enable a number of viable bulk infrastructure projects to proceed that would otherwise be delayed by the financing and funding constraints impacting many local authorities across the country," the firm said.

Simpson Grierson said that the legislation's implementation is a "significant milestone" for infrastructure funding in New Zealand.

"The IFF model will add another tool to the funding and financing toolkits available to many local authorities," said Josh Cairns, the firm's lead partner in working on the transaction.

Cairns said that the project has become especially important, with local authority funding and financing headroom constantly being under the pump. The economic blow dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic has also amped up the pressure in many cases.

"Ultimately, the model should help local authorities to facilitate development and keep up with demand for housing, access, and services," he said.

Simpson Grierson's infrastructure team was chosen to collaborate with the Treasury and the Department of Internal Affairs on the Act in late 2018, and has been assisting in the development of the IFF program. The team will continue to provide advice on the IFF model's implementation.

Fellow partners Jonathan Salter and Simon Vannini; special counsel David Cochrane; and senior associates Mace Gorringe, Graeme Palmer and Lizzy Wiessing remain part of Cairns's team.

National Party pledges consolidation of several existing entities into a national infrastructure "bank" to provide finance and advice for central and local government infrastructure projects … Gareth Vaughan … Interest Co NZ

National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD) … NZ Ministry of Housing & Urban Development


Urban Development Act 2020 … New Zealand Government




(The Randerson Report) Resource Management System (New Zealands Planning Law): A comprehensive review … NZ Ministry for the Environment


New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand … Scoop NZ News


Working from home here to stay after 4 in 10 Kiwis did it during Covid lockdown … Stuff NZ


The Conversation: Have we just stumbled on the biggest productivity increase of the century? … New Zealand Herald

UNITED STATES . Nationally new lots (sections) median price $49,500 .. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports…

Lot Values Hit Record Highs (U.S 50,000 median price per serviced Lot) … Natalia Sineavskaia … U.S National Association of Home Builders


Why are New Zealand houses so expensive ? … VIDEO Charlie Gates … Stuff NZ


Cantral Bank of Ireland - Mortgage Measures

…What do the Irish know, that the Kiwis and Aussies have yet to learn ?…

Structural Definition of an Affordable Housing Market - Performance Urban Planning


Federal 'Fair Housing' Policy Set for a Major Overhaul … Christian Britschgi … Reason


Nationalising rail networks is the 'only option' as deals stall (passenger numbers plunge 70%) … Oliver Gill … UK Telegraph (behind paywall)e


Rental market 'flooded' with former Airbnb properties … Susan Edmunds … Stuff NZ


Coronavirus: Poll shows Kiwis back harsh measures but are extremely worried about virus … Henry Cooke and Luke Malpass … Stuff NZ


Here's what you need to know before you consider a mortgage holiday … Susan Edmunds … Stuff NZ


Complicated Mathematical Models Are Not Substitutes for Common Sense … Philippe Lemoine … National Review


Government Salaries Explorer - The Texas Tribune


'Bloated salaries' at Christchurch council where 1 in 4 earn over $100k … Dominic Harris … The Press / Stuff NZ


OPINION … Christchurch rates: Just a little bit more? No, enough already. Stop it. … Mike Yardley … The Press / Stuff NZ


List of countries GDP (PPP) per capita … Wikipedia


Here's the typical home price in every (United States) state - and what you can actually get for that money … Business Insider Australia

Coronavirus: Selwyn considers rates freeze amid efforts to reduce Covid-19 fallout … Dominic Harris … The Christchurch Press / Stuff NZ


Average rents increased by more than 10% in many parts of the country in the year to March but growth was much more subdued in Auckland and Christchurch … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ


Thousands of Kiwis stop loan repayments as the financial impact of COVID-19 hits … Newshub News at 6


Coronavirus: Cabinet approves new legislation to fast-track resource consents and boost economy as it emerges from lockdown … John Anthony … Stuff NZ


Dire warnings that property development will shrink without Govt help … Marta Steeman … Stuff NZ


Coding that led to lockdown was 'totally unreliable' and a 'buggy mess', say experts … UK Telegraph


OPINION Economic vandalism destroys important legacy … Danien Grant … Stuff NZ


New Reserve Bank figures show that household debt to income ratios continued to blow out right up till the lockdown - and first home buyers were in the frontline … David Hargreaves … Interest Co NZ


U.S. homebuilder confidence rises in May … Reuters / Yahoo Finance


Young People Are Rushing To Leave Big Cities In Favor Of "Less Infected" Suburbia … Zerohedge


First home buyers in Christchurch keen despite Covid-19 economic downturn … Liz McDonald … The Press / Stuff NZ


Nobel Prize Winner: Lockdowns Are "A Huge Mistake" … Zerohedge


Neil Ferguson's Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time … UK Telegraph


Karl Friston: up to 80% not even susceptible to Covid-19 … Lockdown TV




Learning from Levittow … Ross Elliott … The Pulse


How Taiwan was coronavirus-ready while the U.S. got caught with its "pants down" … CBS


Mike Hosking: Government is spinning bollocks over border blunder … NewstalkZB


Pandemic-Weary New Yorkers Spark Housing Boom In Suburban New Jersey … Zerohedge


The Coming Urban Exodus … Daniel Henninger … Wall Street Journal


Even before coronavirus, census shows U.S. cities' growth was stagnating … William Frey … Brookings Institution


Millennials moving to regional areas, report finds, as housing affordability and lack of commute lure them from the city … Australian Broadcasting Corporation




Public discussion needed on how to safely reopen NZ's borders - Sir Peter Gluckman … TVNZ


Since March the number of people leaving this country has exceeded those arriving by a substantial margin … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ


77% of Aussies yearn for a house with backyard (Westpac Bank Research) … Leith van Onselen … Macrobusiness Australia


Kiwis prioritise home with backyard over luxury features … Westpac Bank New Zealand


Heartland interviews Michael Shellenburger on his new book Apocalypse Never


'Middle-class disaster': Inner-city professionals take biggest financial hit from COVID … Charlotte Grieve … (Melbourne) The Age



Coronavirus: The Under-40s Dilemma … Zerohedge

The future is grim for shopping malls … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Australia


A review of things you need to know before you go home on Wednesday; the credit squeeze start to bite, big NZGB issue, AT public transport ridership dives, swaps stable, NZD firm, & more … Interest Co NZ


New Zealand residents have been leaving the country at a greater pace than they have been arriving back … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ


Ipsos NZ Issues Monitor July 2020


A Look Inside The $52 Trillion Bubble That Has "Hijacked China's Economy … Zerohedge


In China's Surging Property Market, Falling Rents Point to Economic Pain … Jonathan Chen … Wall Street Journal

…The important Matthew Pottinger, Nelson, NZ. Countries Housing Inflation Live Graph from 1980 . data The Economist

…essential viewing…

Australia takes silver medal (New Zealand a disgraceful gold) in global house price (inflation) race … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Au


OPINION: Tenancy changes a recipe for trouble … Mike Yardley … Stuff New Zealand


Lack of affordable housing forcing Wellington tertiary students to drop studies or leave capital … Damian George … Stuff NZ


Survivor City: I live on $246 a week in Christchurch. Friends in Auckland pay more in rent … Steven Walton … Stuff NZ


Regional rents tighten as tenants flee CBDs … Nila Sweeney … Australian Financial Review


Construction crisis: 'sinking' buildings and dangerous cladding | 60 Minutes Australia


Buyer Beware … 60 Minutes Australia


NSW planning minister admits high density wrecks liveability … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Australia


Inquiry. The Great British Housing Disaster (Adam Curtis, 1984) … BBC / Youtube


Coronavirus: Nearly two-thirds of Auckland's COVID-19 border, isolation staff had never been tested a week ago … Michael Morrah … Newshub


Migration's impact on housing demand is now almost negligible, which should ease housing supply pressures over coming months … Greg Ninness … Interest Co NZ


"Ghost Town": Shocking Dystopian Video Of NYC Shows An Abandoned And Boarded Up 5th Avenue … Zerohedge


Nolte: Retail and Restaurants Flee Democrat-Run New York Forever … Breitbart


Mortgage deferrals hammer Aussie banks … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Australia


'Staggering' number of households behind on their mortgages (in New Zealand) … Rob Stock … Stuff NZ


4 Corners demolishes Andrews (Victoria, Australia) Government … Leith van Onselen … MacroBusiness Australia