Waiheke Island could be the last place in Auckland where first home buyers can still afford the quarter acre dream.
Three-bedroom homes on 1000sqm sections, just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, still sell for under $450,000.
Bayleys real estate agent Brad Roebuck said more people were looking at Waiheke as a first home option.
"It is an easy commute to downtown Auckland and people can get a lot for their money here."
Roebuck moved to the island more than two years ago after selling his house in Ponsonby for a change of lifestyle.
Roebuck recently sold a home on 1358sqm of land, close to two beaches and with sea views, for $380,000.
"Some of these homes are priced in the four hundreds and if you compare them to ease of access to the CBD, they are excellent value.
"You would pay twice that to have the same features on the mainland."
Waiheke Real Estate agent Kim Howard was this week marketing a three bedroom house on 1262sqm with sea views with an asking price of $415,000.
"Most of the enquires we have for it are younger people in the first home buyer price range. It is ideal because it was built 10 years ago and has a full code of compliance."
Howard said entry-level buying on the island was busy with most homes sold to people who had moved over and rented before buying.
Fullers' ferry runs to downtown Auckland from Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke, carrying over 1000 people between 6am and 10am each day.
Relocation to pay off in summer
Trading their Auckland home for a beach pad on Waiheke Island was a no-brainer for Michelle and Steven Evanson.
After selling their Albany home, the couple decided the "island paradise" in the Hauraki Gulf offered the best value for money.
They bought a modern home near the beach in Surfdale for $420,000 six months ago.
"The weather has been pretty wet since we moved here but we know that, come summer, we will be out fishing and kayaking," Michelle said.
Evanson said there were also financial benefits, such as no water or wastewater charges.By Kirsty Wynn Email Kirsty