If you're looking for your first Auckland home and are on a tight budget, but need to live in the suburbs with good access to the city for work and want an area where values are picked to rise steadily, then here's a trifecta to consider.
They are Papakura, Manukau Central and Manukau north west.
Quotable Value data out yesterday showed these are the three most affordable, urbanised areas in Auckland.
Values here in the last three months are about a third cheaper the eye-watering average Auckland regional value of $925,656.
James Wilson, QV Homevalue registered valuer, noted how the three were in Auckland's four lowest value areas - only Franklin is cheaper - and said he knew some parts of these areas particularly well, as he has worked around Papakura.
Buying here involve tradeoffs: "Can you live in the fringe areas and commute using the public transport network?" asked Wilson, who said first-time buyers and more budget-conscious investors were interested in these areas, which had resulted in some in value rises in the last three months, bucking the overall Auckland value trend, down 0.7 per cent in the latest quarter.
Apart from the more rural area of Franklin, the large area of urbanised Papakura is Auckland's cheapest, making it potentially the best buying for first home buyers. Papakura's average value is only $604,104, which is $321,552 below Auckland's average.
Wilson said the area had good transport connections into the CBD, making it attractive to commuters and city workers.
"Trains and buses leave from there, so you can live in the fringe areas and commute using the public transport network," he said.
Papakura includes the Papakura centre, Opaheke, Pahurehure and Red Hill, according to QV's area definitions.
Values are up 1.4 per cent in the three months to the end of February.
This is the second cheapest urbanised area with an average value of $613,843, which is $311,813 below Auckland's average value.
Wilson noted how train travel would improve after the City Rail Link was completed, making areas like this even more attractive for budget-conscious buyers.
"This is even better for commuters, with a mass transit station," Wilson said of the Manukau Central compared to Papakura.
Manukau Central includes the town centre, Manurewa, Hill Park, The Gardens, Weymouth, Wattle Downs, Otara, East Tamaki and the Redoubt Road precinct.
Manukau north west
This region encompasses the extremely popular Mangere Bridge, Mangere, Mangere east and Papatoetoe. Average values here are third-cheapest for urbanised areas of Auckland at $675,482.
Wilson said as long as buyers could spend a little more, their options were greater.
And if you've been wondering about the cheapest, then that's Franklin, at only $585,815. That area includes Paerata, Patumahoe, Glenbrook, Bombay, Clarks Beach, Runciman, Ramarama, Karaka, Awhitu Peninsula, Waiau Pa and Kingseat. Wilson said proximity to transport and from the CBD was one of the biggest factors in prices being higher.
"As long as you can work in the area...the balance is how commutable is that? Where do you have to go to work? Commutability is the key," he said.
Franklin values rose 1.8 per cent in the three months to February.