Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Two-thirds of Aucklanders plan to buy their first home somewhere else

Richard Smart and Kat Jensen moved from Auckland to Tauranga for a better lifestyle. Two-thirds of non-homeowning Aucklanders now plan to buy their first home outside the city. Photo / John Borren
Richard Smart and Kat Jensen moved from Auckland to Tauranga for a better lifestyle. Two-thirds of non-homeowning Aucklanders now plan to buy their first home outside the city. Photo / John Borren

Almost two-thirds of the 600,000 adult Aucklanders who don't own their own homes plan to buy their first homes outside Auckland, new research shows.

A nationwide Colmar Brunton survey of 2000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over, released today by the Bank of New Zealand, shows that 64 per cent of non-homeowning Aucklanders plan to buy their first homes in other regions.

More than half of them (35 per cent of the city's non-homeowners) plan to live in the homes they buy outside Auckland, and the other 29 per cent plan to rent out the homes they buy while presumably continuing to pay rent themselves in Auckland.

"That would mean that 300,000 Aucklanders (a city almost the size of Christchurch) are actively considering moving out," said the bank's acting retail and marketing director David Bullock.

"This helps to explain some of the pricing pressure throughout provincial New Zealand."

QV property values rose faster than Auckland's 13.8 per cent rise in the past year in eight of the country's 14 other main centres: Queenstown-Lakes (up 29.8 per cent), Tauranga (27 per cent), Rotorua (25.9 per cent), Hamilton (25 per cent), Whangarei (23.9 per cent), Wellington (21.2 per cent), Napier (18.1 per cent) and Hastings (16.3 per cent).

The BNZ survey found that New Zealanders expect prices to rise even faster in the next year - up 21 per cent - an outcome Bullock described as "very unlikely" to happen in practice.

"People are very optimistic if they are banking on continuous price hikes well above average," he said.

"It's also concerning if New Zealanders are planning their financial futures based on these sorts of predictions."

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of New Zealanders still thought it was "a good time for people to save for their first home" - a finding which Bullock said showed that "Kiwis' underlying affinity with home ownership doesn't seem to be shifting".

But 62 per cent of New Zealanders, and 85 per cent of Aucklanders, thought house prices in their regions were already "over-valued". Only 36 per cent thought it was a good time for people to buy their first homes.

Only 41 per cent of non-homeowning New Zealanders, and 33 per cent of non-homeowning Aucklanders, said they were "still planning to buy my first house in the town or city that I live in".

Almost as many non-homeowners in Auckland (29 per cent), and 20 per cent nationally, said they were "planning to buy my first home somewhere other than the region I live in and rent it out".

Another 35 per cent of non-homeowners in Auckland, and 23 per cent nationally, were "planning to buy a house in another region and move there".

In the 2013 Census 595,800 Aucklanders aged 15 and over, including 382,300 people under age 40, did not own the homes they lived in.

Eighty-five per cent of Aucklanders thought house prices in their region were "over-valued". Photo / File
Eighty-five per cent of Aucklanders thought house prices in their region were "over-valued". Photo / File

The data

I'm still planning to buy my first house in the town or city that I live in (non-homeowners)

NZ: Yes 41 per cent, No 59 per cent

Auckland: Yes 33 per cent, No 67 per cent

I'm planning to buy my first home somewhere other than the region I live in and rent it out (non-homeowners)

NZ: Yes 20 per cent, No 80 per cent

Auckland: Yes 29 per cent, No 71 per cent

I'm planning to buy a house in another region and move there (non-homeowners)

NZ: Yes 23 per cent, No 77 per cent

Auckland: Yes 35 per cent, No 65 per cent

- NZ Herald

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