Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Property crisis: 1 in 3 have looked at leaving Auckland

A third of Aucklanders have considered moving out of the city as it becomes increasingly unaffordable, a new survey reveals. Photo / Jason Dorday
A third of Aucklanders have considered moving out of the city as it becomes increasingly unaffordable, a new survey reveals. Photo / Jason Dorday

A third of Aucklanders have considered moving out of the city as it becomes increasingly unaffordable, a new survey reveals.

Experts say the trend could leave the city short of workers such as teachers, nurses and police who can earn similar salaries in more affordable cities.

A poll conducted for website The Spinoff by research company SSI found one in three people (32.2 per cent) surveyed had considered moving away from Auckland in the last two years because of house prices.

A further 36 per cent hadn't considered the option but thought it was a good idea. Auckland housing prices have risen by 85 per cent in the last four years, taking the average price to around nine times the average household's income.

Auckland's median house price for June was $825,000, according to Real Estate Institute data.

Salvation Army social policy analyst Alan Johnson was unsurprised by the results.

"There's people leaving Auckland in bigger numbers than ever because of the house prices. It will undermine the city's competitiveness. People doing lower paid jobs, particularly in the service and construction sectors, need to be able to afford to live in the city," Johnson said.

Between the 2008 and 2013 Censuses, 32,184 people left Auckland for the Waikato, Wellington and Canterbury regions, while 29,301 moved to Auckland from those areas.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub said there were two types of Aucklanders leaving for the provinces - retirees heading for cheaper areas like Tauranga and Northland, and families looking for a better lifestyle.

Since the 2013 Census, Auckland had become even less affordable, but the decision to leave the city was a challenge for some.

"The challenge for a lot of people is they're not able to get the same kinds of jobs or job security in other parts of New Zealand.

"That's [probably why] it's only a third of people saying they've actually considered it."

This month, Coalition for More Homes, a group including members of Generation Zero, The Salvation Army, The Morgan Foundation and Property Council, published an open letter to the Auckland Council ahead of its decision on the Unitary Plan.

It warned that Aucklanders were forced to spend too much on housing, threatening the city's culture and quality of life.

Auckland housing poll

Have you in the last two years considered moving away from Auckland because of house prices?

• Yes - 32.2 per cent
• No, but it's a good idea - 36.3 per cent
• No -- 31.5 per cent

Do you believe there is a housing crisis in Auckland?

• Yes -- 84 per cent
• No -- 10.3 per cent
• Don't know -- 5.7 per cent

Source: The Spinoff/SSI

• Survey Sampling International (SSI) conducted the online survey this month among a sample of 760 Auckland residents aged 18 and over with quota applied to gender, age and region within Auckland. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 per cent.

- NZ Herald

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