The Massey University Home Affordability Report out this morning showed Auckland residential properties 56 per cent less affordable than elsewhere in New Zealand, the second consecutive quarter that margin has reached record levels.
Susan Flint-Hartle, senior property lecturer, said the report covering March to May showed Auckland affordability fell 10.2 per cent in the quarter but by 25 per cent over the previous 12 months.
Eight regions showed affordability improving and house prices fell in six of those eight:
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Taranaki (an improvement in affordability of 7.60 per cent), Manawatu/Wanganui (5.90 per cent), Wellington (3.50 per cent), Canterbury/Westland (2.70 per cent), Otago (2.10 per cent), and Nelson/Marlborough (1.80 per cent). Affordability also improved in Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay (both by 1.30 per cent), where house price rises were slightly outpaced by wage rises.
The three regions, other than Auckland, that experienced the largest house price rises in the period were those that saw declining quarter-on-quarter affordability; these being Central Otago Lakes (3.3 per cent), Southland (2.5 per cent) and Northland (1.8 per cent), the report showed.
Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford said the new figures were further evidence that the city's housing crisis had spiralled out of control.
"In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from Housing Minister Nick Smith, all the indicators show Auckland's housing troubles are getting worse by the day," he said.
He highlighted the report's finding that increases in affordability in the regions could not outweigh the huge rise in unaffordability in Auckland - which the authors call the "Auckland effect".
Mr Twyford said Government's response to the problem was too piecemeal, and he said ministers needed to take further steps such as a crack-down on foreign speculators and a state-sponsored house building programme.