It's official - Tauranga has officially outstripped Auckland as the most unaffordable city in New Zealand, and 12th-worst in the world.

Well, according to Demographia anyway, and it's data that not everyone agrees with.

The problem with data is that it can be interpreted different ways, and it doesn't show the cause of trends, only that there is a trend.

Read more: Tauranga now most unaffordable place in New Zealand to buy a home: Global survey
Western Bay of Plenty house prices soar


The real estate bosses we spoke to for yesterday's story about the survey pointed out that the researchers used data based on how many years it would take to pay off a median-priced house.

The bosses believed the cost of a median-priced house in Tauranga had been skewed by the LVR restrictions, which meant there were a lot fewer properties available for first-home buyers and smaller investors to buy.

They could well be right. Or, it could be that, as others have suggested, Tauranga's wages are too low rather than the house prices too high.

I personally believe it's a bit of both.

As someone who has had their eye on the first-home buyer market for two years, asking prices are rising, and there are fewer cheaper homes to look at.

It's also hard to ignore the evidence that wages aren't keeping up with growth.

The Tauranga Community Foodbank has reported that more and more employed people are seeking help from them to feed their families because their wages aren't quite covering their rent.

We're quickly growing into a large city - currently, New Zealand's fifth largest - and our wages just aren't keeping up with that level of growth.

We're a big city with a small-city mentality.

Our population is already skewed towards the older demographic and, if our affordability doesn't change, more young people are going to have to move elsewhere to have a decent quality of life.

Let's hope something changes soon, before our city's future is eroded.