James Aulsford packed up his bags for greener pastures after being unable to buy a house in Auckland, despite saving for years.
Then a teacher at Western Springs College, Aulsford, 32, and his wife saved for "four or five years" in an attempt to scrape together a deposit for a home.
"I would've loved to have stayed there ... for a few more years at least," he told the Herald.
"My wife and I had been saving for the last four or five years to buy a house. About a year ago we really looked at it seriously, we had been saving, saving, saving and had a decent deposit put together.
"We looked at it and at that stage, from what we'd read, house prices were going up $390 a day. When you've got two people working, and you're living off half of that wage to keep up your savings and it's still not enough, we just looked at other options."
Aulsford put the feelers out for other opportunities, and quickly found out there was significant demand.
After three job offers, he decided on a gig as a biology teacher at Ashburton College, and has just had an offer accepted to buy a house.
"We settle in two weeks. We've bought ourselves a two-bedroom brick house, big double garage, basically [exactly] what we want, and the price was more than manageable.
"We took out the deposit we were trying to get together in Auckland and spent it down here, and we're only going to have $170,000 to pay off on this house."
Aulsford and his wife bought the house for $250,000. He said a colleague of his in Auckland bought a similar, slightly newer home in Papakura for about $760,000.
"The place i bought is quarter of an hour walk away, I'm a motorcycle rider so it's half a sneeze and I'm at work.
He said he is enjoying life on the mainland, despite missing some of the comforts of home.
"It's a struggle leaving everyone you know and everyone you care about, but what other option did I have?"