How hard is it to buy your first home in Auckland today? Three house hunters tell Andrew Laxon their stories.

First home buying hopefuls Gemma Mann and Mike Alsweiler faced the grim reality of ever-climbing house prices this evening as they attended their first auction.

The Auckland couple are part of the Herald Home Truths which looks into the issues of New Zealand's housing affordibililty crisis and explores solutions.

Mann and Alsweiler always knew the two bedroom house on the outskirts of West Auckland was going to creep above their budget of around $600,000 but were disappointed by how much. The Swanson house with a CV of $400,000 sold for $660,000.

Gemma Man and Mike Alsweiler, Bharat Bhushan and Lovely Garg, and Cecile Bourgeois discuss the difficulties of purchasing a first home in Auckland.

The renovated, well presented home sitting on a 400sqm section the edge of the picturesque Redwood Park Golf Course pulled on the heart-strings of the 40 plus people at the onsite auction.


With an opening bid of $500,000 the bids were steady and jumped in increments of $5,000. The home was sold to a phone bidder, believed to be an investor.

"That is what is the most disappointing," Mann said after the auction.

"It will probably be up for rent on Trademe in a few weeks. That's what usually happens."

Many at the auction were young families with babies in arms or pushchairs.

Disappointment was obvious and only a scatter of claps sounded after the hammer fell.

Before the auction Alsweiler, holding eight month son Harper, thought the house would sell for around $620,000.

New Zealand's affordable housing crisis explained.

The couple were planning on using Kiwisaver to reach their deposit of $90,000. Their $600,000 limit meant $700 of their $1500 a week income would go on mortgage repayments.

"I just feel for all the families here like us that are just trying to get into their own home," Mann said.


"I know there is nothing wrong with investors buying but to stop a young mum and dad getting into a home... we can't compete with that."