Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Prospects good for young home buyers in Northland

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Under 30s make up 6.5 per cent of those with mortgages in Northland.
Under 30s make up 6.5 per cent of those with mortgages in Northland.

Young Northlanders have a better chance of owning their own home than those in the bigger centres, according to new figures.

Mortgage data showed 6.5 per cent of people with mortgages in Northland were aged under 30. That compared to 4.2 per cent in Auckland and 4.4 per cent in Wellington.

The data has been calculated by Credit Simple - a website which calculates credit ratings and offers credit deals with banks, telcos or energy companies.

LJ Hooker Whangarei chief executive Paul Beazley said KiwiSaver, low interest rates and affordable homes were contributing to under 30s looking to buy in the region.

KiwiSaver house price caps recently increased to $400,000, so plenty of properties in Whangarei were accessible to them.

"If you went to Auckland and bought a house for $400,000, you're going to get something down a right-of-way in a back street that probably needs a lot of work. Whereas, you come to Whangarei and buy a $400,000 home, you're going to get a reasonably good home," said Mr Beazley.

With interest rates the way they were people in the under 30 category were reasonably safe investing in their own home rather than paying rent, he said.

Statistics New Zealand figures show median weekly earnings were up 2.6 per cent to $850 in Northland in the year to the June 2016 quarter.

Mr Beazley said it was much more viable to buy somewhere such as Whangarei than larger centres such as Auckland when incomes and house prices were considered.

"Whangarei's still very affordable for first home buyers and for under 30s who've got a good cash flow and get the deposit together. It's a viable option for them to buy rather than rent."

He said the number of young people buying first homes had increased in the past two years.

Credit Simple figures showed the average mortgage debt for under 30s in Northland was $242,015 and the average for over 30s was $237,983.

Credit Simple chief executive David Scognamiglio said data showed young Southlanders were the best placed in New Zealand to get a foot on the property ladder.

In Southland, 8.3 per cent of mortgagees were aged under 30.

"The idea that salaries and job prospects are only good in major centres such as Auckland and Wellington deserves much closer scrutiny," said Mr Scognamiglio.

Statistics on the median weekly income around the country from the June quarter showed Southland at $903 per week, while the South Island median was $880 and Auckland was $983.

"This data suggests an obvious question: Should young New Zealanders start thinking outside the Auckland box when it comes to jobs and buying property?"

- Northern Advocate

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