The average Auckland home is rising in value by nearly $300 a day more than what most workers earn in a 9-to-5 shift.
Newly released figures analysed by the Weekend Herald show the standard Auckland house added $427 a day in capital gain in the 12 months to September.
But Auckland workers earned just $132 a day, according to newly published median wage figures from Statistics New Zealand - meaning house-price growth is outstripping people's earnings by $295 a day, or more than $100,000 a year.
The grim figures shed new light on the deteriorating affordability of Auckland housing, which has been labelled unsustainable by the Reserve Bank and at risk of a steep price reversal.
It would now take the average family nearly 10 years of household income to buy a median-priced $771,000 Auckland home - putting the city of sails squarely among the 10 most over-valued housing markets in the developed world.
Experts warn the situation is shutting a generation out of home ownership, forcing them to become perennial renters or to flee the city to provincial New Zealand in search of lower-cost housing.
The pressures have seen Aucklanders Justin Aitken and wife Bianca head to Tauranga for a house-and-land package in the suburb of Welcome Bay. The three-bedroom, double-garage home cost $448,000 and they were able to buy it with a 10 per cent deposit. It will be finished early next year.
Mr Aitken, 34, a wedding photographer, said they looked in Auckland but found it impossible to buy.
"The prices in Tauranga were a lot more favourable. We have a young daughter and at the moment we're on one salary. For us it was a no brainer."
He said he and Bianca changed their lifestyle to scrape together their deposit.
"Instead of buying a box of beer, bottle of wine or flat white and eating out, we were drinking instant coffee and making tuna sandwiches."
His advice for other Auckland house hunters was to get into the market as soon as they could afford, rather than be too picky.
Auckland's median house price added $156,000 in the past 12 months - a 25.4 per cent jump. Workers' median annual income in the Super City was $48,204, up 2.8 per cent year-on-year. Capital gain on the average employee's home was more than three times their annual salary.
The typical Auckland home is now rising in value each year more than the salary of an entry-level doctor or head-of-department teacher leading 10 staff.
The price growth is more than three times the annual pay of an entry-level nurse, more than twice that of a teacher with 10 years' experience and nearly $100,000 more than a constable earns after five years in the police.
Prices are being driven by a severe shortage of properties, record high inward migration and historically low interest rates. Auckland Council and the Government are pinning hopes on the Housing Accord to fast-track thousands of new homes, while new measures will restrict the impact of investors and keep tabs on foreign speculators.
Meanwhile, an Auckland Council committee agreed this week on a new affordability target that would halve the ratio of household income to house prices by 2030 by making it simpler to get new projects off the ground.
"This would be achieved primarily by reducing costs to deliver housing and increasing the scale and breadth of housing options - including attached dwellings - for the bottom half of the market," council chief economist Chris Parker said.
Loan Market mortgage adviser Bruce Patten said soaring prices had made it much harder for anyone new to the market trying to break in.
"Hence why we have been seeing young couples who don't have or aren't concerned about family ties in Auckland moving to areas like Hamilton, Tauranga or Northland to get a start in the housing market."
Hugh Pavletich, co-author of the annual Demographia housing affordability study, called for the release of more city-fringe land to enable more residential development. Better infrastructure financing was also needed to prevent the cost of connecting new subdivisions to key networks being front-loaded on the price of new homes, he said.
Real Estate Institute chief executive Colleen Milne said entry-level buyers in Auckland should investigate the KiwiSaver Home Start grants and think about staying home longer to save money. But they might have to consider an inner-city apartment, downsize their first-home dream or look in outer suburbs.
New measures targeting investors and foreign buyers by the Government and Reserve Bank "should have a slowing effect" on the housing shortage. It remained critical to streamline planning regulations and implement Auckland Council's proposed Unitary Plan.
"There is no 'one' solution to assist first-home buyers in purchasing in Auckland, similar to other cities such as London and Sydney. But some of the regulatory changes will slow the rapidly increasing median price from moving further out of the reach of first-home buyers."