Christchurch Eastern Green Frame presents opportunities

Christchurch has a unique opportunity. The plan of the inner city area includes three "frames". The largest one is to the east and contains 13 ha of land which will end up as park. Apparently there through the park will be cycleways and walkways. Cyclists will ride past some residential houses and some inner city up market apartments. The south frame will contain the health precinct and the Avon Precinct to the north will have civic buildings.

It is the east frame I have been thinking about. If there are to be private homes in this park – and there is no date for it – then let's do it right. There are 92 properties to be acquired by Government in the eastern frame. 52 agreements have been reached and there are 30 sites with negotiations being finalised.

In the Press (Sat July 13, 2013) there is a story describing the bitterness of property owners. The Christchurch City Development Unit is  apparently offering ridiculously low sums of money for these properties. The Government can acquire the land under the Public Works Act. If property owners allow this, they can seek compensation through the courts.

The article talks about the Government onselling the land at a profit and it is here that I really started to get interested. Putting aside all the unfairness of not paying market prices for the land and getting it on the cheap, this issue of onselling it is where I draw the line. My view is that the Government should keep the land and then auction the leasehold property to the highest bidder. Thus a full ground rent would be payable. The revenue should ideally be shared by local government and central government.

What I learnt on twitter and in a websearch today

China's catastrophic deleveraging has begun. Jesse Colombo is a wonderful researcher of housing bubbles which always precede recessions, and his piece on housing in a range of countries is outstanding. Beijing housing prices are up 800% since 2003. There are bubbles in Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Finland etc etc. China. After Spain's housing bubble collapse their cement use dropped 60%. China's cement increase in one year was 25 times what America uses. This site is always being updated. Steve Keen is following the Canadian housing bubble and is closely watching house prices and unemployment in Australia. Also go to http://thebubblebubble.com. One quarter of homes  built in US last month were bigger than 3000 sq feet. Annette Sykes thinks John Key should either get a law degree or stay quiet about Maori water rights. Goldman Sachs executives in 2010 took away $15.3 billion in bonuses, enough to feed every hungry person on the planet. They are setting up office in Perth. The film by Renegade Economist's Ross Ashcroft, The Four Horsemen,won a prize for the best documentary at the Galway Film Festival. There are freak tornadoes in Poland, droughts in US, floods in the North Island. A record amount of Arctic Sea Ice was melted in June. There is a website called http://unlearningeonomics.wordpress.com. I guess there is a bit of unlearning to do! Various people are working out if Australia and NZ are being hit by the LIBOR scandal. Paula Bazarotti writes on the Democrats for Social Credit website that "Vast sums of money - up to $500 trillion are notionally attached to Libor. If the Libor rate is manipulated by just the tiniest amount - 0.0001 per cent - it can create a profit or loss of $50 billion."