The Herald's Home Truths series examines the causes of our growing housing unaffordability crisis and explores possible solutions. Follow the full series here.
Runaway house prices have put almost 90 per cent of the Auckland housing market out of reach for typical first home buyers.
Exclusive figures supplied to the Herald by property data company Core Logic show buyers can afford only 11 per cent of all houses in the region at the traditional affordable housing benchmark of about $450,000.
Even if a couple could raise a $120,000 deposit for a $600,000 home - just under the new official "affordable" price - they would still be able to afford only 30 per cent of properties in the city.
With the same money, they could afford to buy 89 per cent of homes in Hamilton, 77 per cent of Tauranga, 70 per cent of Wellington and 84 per cent of Christchurch.
Auckland's median house price hit an $820,000 all-time high last week. In the last year the city's house prices have jumped 14 per cent, making New Zealand the most expensive country in the world to buy a home when prices are compared to incomes, according to a Fitch Ratings report in January.