Revitalising the production of lower value homes: Researching dynamics and outcomes

Kay Saville-Smith

Abstract – Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

Aggregate under-supply of new dwellings has been cited as a major contributor to New Zealand’s high house prices, falling owner occupation, and increasing numbers of households burdened with unaffordable housing. Central and local government have sought to encourage new-builds and the release of land for residential purposes. But this is not having a substantial impact on the supply of affordable housing. This report presents the rationale and framing of one of the programmes funded within New Zealand’s Building Better Homes Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. That research gives attention to the changing profile of homes produced by the building industry. It traces the pattern of building industry retreat from affordable home building, the factors that prompted that retreat and asks whether there is a benefit in investment in lower value home building and how the building of affordable homes might be revitalised.

Other reports associated with this research

Murphy, L. (2020). Neoliberal social housing policies, market logics and social rented housing reforms in New Zealand. International Journal of Housing Policy, 20, 2, 229-251, DOI: 10.1080/19491247.2019.1638134

Murphy, L. (2020). Performing calculative practices: residual valuation, the residential development process and affordable housing. Housing Studies, 35, 9, 1501-1517, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2019.1594713

Saville-Smith, K. (2017). Thinking about the logics of affordable new build delivery: Some preliminary thoughts on the structural position of different types of new-builders. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities SRA: The Architecture of Decision-Making, June 2017. Wellington: BBHTC.

Saville-Smith, K. (Ed.). (2019). Revitalising the Production of Affordable Housing for Productive, Engaged & Healthy Lives: Integrated Report. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Homes and Spaces for Generations. November 2019, 109pgs. Wellington: BBHTC.

Articles associated with this research – Karere Tūhono

Media: Queen’s birthday: NZ’s housing system broken, says researcher

04 June 2018: One of Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities lead researchers in the Architecture of Decision Making research programme, Dr Kay Saville-Smith, has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours. She discusses with reporter Chloe Ranford her recent research into the building industry’s shift from building low value houses to building high value houses. >> Read more

Case Study: Too many costly homes

Originally published in Build magazine, issue 177, April 2020.

21 April 2020: While more new houses are going up, they’re not necessarily ones that middle and low-income New Zealanders can afford, leaving the housing affordability crisis unresolved. >> Read More

Case Study: Investing in affordable homes

Originally published in Build magazine, issue 163, December 2017.

02 December 2017: While central and local government are encouraging new builds and the release of land for residential purposes, high numbers of residential new builds are not affordable housing for those with limited resources. >> Read More

Keywords – Kupu Hāngai

Housing, house prices, new builds, affordable housing, policy mechanisms, alternative housing, economics, building industry

Fields of Research – Āpure Rangahau

Economics; Housing supply; Housing affordability


Date – Te Wā Whakarewa



Type – Te Auaha

Conference Proceedings

Citation – Kupu Hautoa

Saville-Smith, K. (2018). Revitalising the production of lower value homes: Researching dynamics and outcomes. 16pgs. Paper presented to European Network of Housing Researchers Conference, Uppsala, Sweden, 27-29 June 2018.