Hawke's Bay median weekly earnings skyrocket

By Alice Lock -
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On the move: Alice Harkness and Ryan McCrae are first home buyers from Hamilton who are relocating to Napier in November as the house prices in the city are too expensive. Photo/ Supplied
On the move: Alice Harkness and Ryan McCrae are first home buyers from Hamilton who are relocating to Napier in November as the house prices in the city are too expensive. Photo/ Supplied

Median weekly earnings in Hawke's Bay are surging ahead of other North Island regions, a recent survey shows.

A statistical report from fintech business CreditSimple.co.nz released yesterday showed that the figures for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne had increased by $80 (10.4 per cent) to reach $850.

This meant the region was well ahead of other North Island regions such as Bay of Plenty ($843), Taranaki ($844), and Manawatu-Wanganui ($812).

Credit Simple CEO David Scognamiglio said: "The idea that salaries and job prospects are only good in major centres such as Auckland and Wellington deserves much closer scrutiny."

The average mortgagee in Auckland has $393,000 in housing debt, which is 45 per cent higher than the rest of the country.

"No-one wakes up in the morning and says 'boy I'd like to owe someone half a million dollars', but that's the kind of mortgage young people are looking at if they buy in Auckland."

Managing director of Tremains, Simon Tremain, said that a lot of younger families who had grown up in Hawke's Bay were relocating here from the big centres.

"People used to complain about not being able to live here because of the job opportunities but with the median weekly earnings going up that is fantastic."

"Our median house price is $320,000, which is lower than the cities and makes the region affordable and a great place to settle in for young buyers."

Young couple, Alice Harkness, 24, and Ryan McCrae, 26, recently bought a house in Napier after finding Hamilton and Tauranga too expensive.

"The average house price in Tauranga was $600,000, which was too expensive for us and Hamilton was similar so we decided to look further afield," Ms Harkness said.

She said Ryan had been to Napier a few times as a child and loved it so they investigated the house prices and were pleased to find them "much more affordable".

"Ryan has his own video production company, Fly Guys, and we felt Hawke's Bay had the tourism that would really benefit our business."

The couple make the big move from Hamilton early in November and are very excited about the prospects of Hawke's Bay.

Napier Mayor, Bill Dalton, said it was proof that Hawke's Bay was on a roll.

"So many good things are happening and you only have to look at the construction such as the hotel in Havelock North and Marine Parade. It all feeds in to the strength of the economy."

Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule, said it was all a part of the positive environment in Hawke's Bay.

"It will keep us competitive, as the criticism in the past has been the lack of jobs or salary offerings for young people, so this shows a dramatic turnaround. There are a lot of positive things for those living here, which makes it attractive."

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford said it gave the region a whole sense of confidence and an appreciation for the young.

"It is a great sign and we need to look after our teenagers to keep them here. More people are realising the lifestyle combined with the increased median income makes the Bay unbeatable. It will drive more businesses here, so it is fantastic."

Mr Scognamiglio said Gisborne was also one of the most affordable places for young home buyers, with the second-highest proportion of under-30 mortgagees of any New Zealand region.

The highest proportion of under-30 mortgagees came from Southland, with 8.3 per cent.

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