Auckland's housing crisis is creating a brain drain as talented people move away from the city to escape the rising cost of living, a survey has found.
The Frog Recruitment Auckland Housing Survey discovered nearly all 25 Auckland-based businesses asked were struggling to attract or retain quality talent.
The survey questioned senior managers of nearly 40,000 employees from multiple sectors including finance, media, property and food, conducting interviews from May to the end of June this year.
Three quarters said they had lost employees to other locations in New Zealand or overseas, nearly half of them to Christchurch or Tauranga.
"Many won't or can't come to Auckland as they know they won't be able to afford to live here, which impacts on skill levels within companies," said Frog Recruitment founder Jane Kennelly.
"Conversely, we are losing highly skilled Aucklanders to other regions in the country to pursue a better work-life balance.
"With the median house price in Auckland currently 10 times the median income, possibly reaching nearly $2 million by 2020, it's fair to say we have a problem on our hands that is only going to get worse."
The impact of more workers living in rental properties was also bad news for businesses, the survey found, with people needing extra time off for sick and moving days.
People renting were often unable to move into better quality housing and many had to move around frequently as rents continued to rise, the survey found.
For at least one company, absenteeism was higher in their Auckland factory and the question of whether to relocate has been raised by several organisations.
Over 96 per cent of those surveyed said their employees were finding it increasingly difficult to buy a house in Auckland and just over half had discussed the possible risk house prices could create for their business.
Two thirds of companies surveyed had introduced policy to alleviate the difficulties arising from the housing issues including late/flexible start times, remote work set-up, commuting allowances and free car parks, and just over 10 per cent had been approached by staff asking for pay rises to combat the high cost of living.
Auckland's traffic problems also came under fire in the survey's responses.
Workplace morale was being undermined as frustrated employees arrived at work stressed, having negotiated traffic delays.
The increased dependence on public transport was cited as a concern for employers, who found many employees were late to work as a consequence.