Cheapest homes still $100/week more than 2014

Most would-be owners have their hearts set on a standalone house. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Most would-be owners have their hearts set on a standalone house. Photo / Paul Estcourt

People buying the cheapest homes Auckland has to offer are still paying at least $100 more in weekly mortgage repayments than what they were paying two years ago.

And they're having to spend half their income on the crippling repayments.

Interest.co.nz's Home Loan Affordability Report has revealed Auckland is the only region where the property market is "seriously unaffordable" for first-home buyers.

The report found that from February 2014 to the same month this year, the selling price of lower-end homes in Auckland climbed $150,000.

The "lower quartile" selling price - the price point at which 25% of sales were below that figure and 75% were above it - was now $629,500, up from $478,000, meaning mortgage payments rose to $756 a week, from $646.

In that time, interest rates have dropped, with two-year fixed markers falling from 5.96 per cent to 4.54 per cent, but that doesn't negate the mortgage payment increase.

The report calculated the median take home pay for an average first-home buying couple in Auckland - aged 25-29 and working full time - was $1580, of which 48 per cent would have to go towards their mortgage.

READ MORE:
Young Aucklanders save despite little hope
Grey Lynn do-up changes hands

Housing becomes "unaffordable" when that rate climbs above 40 per cent.

The report authors warn this could have long-term ill-effects as couples pump their money into housing and not the wider economy or retirement savings.

"The size the mortgages young people will need to take out to purchase a home in Auckland is becoming so great that it will create a millstone of debt that will hang around their necks for most of their working lives," Interest.co.nz reports.

"That risks creating an economic underclass of people in Auckland that will not exist to the same extent in other parts of New Zealand."

In the two-year February to February period, the average weekly income for the average first-buying couple rose just $78, a figure swallowed by mortgage repayments.

Month on month, lower-end houses in Auckland were up $33,000, or 6 per cent, from their $595,700 average January selling price.

This rise comes after a sluggish Christmas and New Year period where prices went backwards.

It also sends prices within $1000 of their all-time peak, which was $630,500 in September last year.

Interest.co.nz's report found low-end housing also at all-time highs in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Central Otago Lakes and Southland.

The report authors said there was a trend for such housing to sit near record high levels across the country, despite declines in Northland, Taranaki and Otago last month.

Compared with Auckland, the news wasn't so bleak in other parts of the country.

The lower-end price in Wellington was $360,200 in February. Mortgage payments on that were $409 a week, 25 per cent of a typical first-home buying couple's take-home pay.
In Canterbury, that figure was 26 per cent, dropping to 23 per cent in Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

The national lower-end selling price was $300,000 in February, down slightly from $310,000 in December.

The "lower quartile" price is the point where 25 per cent of sales are below and 75 per cent above.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 25 Feb 2017 14:11:12 Processing Time: 471ms