Key Points:

What's the answer for Aucklanders trapped in the affordability squeeze?

Property experts say those facing a lifetime of renting must change their ideas if they want to get on the housing ladder.

DTZ's Ian Mitchell, who worked on the two Centre for Housing reports issued on Monday, said Aucklanders simply had to change their expectations.

"In Sydney or Melbourne, if you wanted a three-bedroom house on a section close to where you work, you'd know you would have to compromise and buy a unit or apartment instead," Mr Mitchell said.

Aucklanders' home dreams and aspirations were out of touch with reality because people had not adjusted to the city's growing population and changing housing market.

"Auckland is starting to face the problems of any large city in the world," he said.

Property Investors' Federation vice-president Andrew King said people unable to buy what they wanted had to change their expectations.

"If they can't afford to save, they should buy a cheaper house and have a lower mortgage," Mr King said.

He also encouraged Aucklanders to adjust their target suburb expectations.

"You can buy houses for under $350,000 in Auckland," he said, citing 47 properties for sale in Te Atatu.

Three could be bought for around $300,000.

"More will be available in Henderson and Massey," he said.

Hunting hints

* Lower your expectations
* Get a flat, not a house
* Live further from work
* Live in a smaller place
* Live without much land
* Spend less, save more