Anyone looking to buy a house in Auckland for under $500,000 still has the opportunity to do so.

But you might have to move to the outskirts of the city - closer to the Waikato, for example - or be prepared to ditch the quarter acre dream altogether and settle for an apartment.

Prime Minister John Key told reporters yesterday those searching for a home in Auckland should have a look through auction site Trade Me.

"If you go on Trade Me this afternoon and google 'property $500,000 or less in Auckland', you will find there are quite a few," he said.


Mr Key's comments came as the Government is due to release a national policy statement today that is likely to require some councils to relax restrictions on development.

A two-bedroom property on Prospect Terrace, in Pukekohe. Photo / Trade Me
A two-bedroom property on Prospect Terrace, in Pukekohe. Photo / Trade Me

The statement will include thresholds for growth which will trigger a requirement to allocate more land for residential development.

Searching through Trade Me brings up hundreds of potential homes for under $500,000 in Auckland. However, many properties are located outside of the central city towards the far south or far west of the city.

Many other properties have a "to be auctioned" tag - indicating a particular property could sell beyond the $500,000 price.

A three-bedroom home in John Walker Drive, Manurewa, will be sold via auction early next week.

The listing reads: "Roll up your sleeves ... plenty of elbow grease and lipstick will make this rough diamond shine!"

INTERACTIVE: Click below to discover exactly how many properties are within your price range, around the country.

Another property on Windrush Close, in Mangere, advises potential bidders: "Don't delay, deals like this are seldom found."

While another two-bedroom property on Prospect Terrace, in Pukekohe, lists a place that "echoes of a past generation."

A property in Mangere advises potential bidders:
A property in Mangere advises potential bidders: "Don't delay, deals like this are seldom found." Photo / Trade Me

Auckland mortgage broker Bruce Patten, of mortgage brokerage Loan Market, said although there were still properties going for under $500,000, people needed to be prepared to commute further out of the city.

"In terms of $500,000 standard residential [property] - yeah, they are around. But they're probably in areas that are less desirable to some people."

Mr Patten said another option he was advising people - particularly first-home buyers - about, was purchasing an apartment.

"I sat with two sisters last night and we were talking about properties under $500,000. We googled apartments in Auckland and we found about 50 apartments that you could buy for under $500,000. Some of them were 70sqm with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and two carparks.

"So from my perspective, there are a lot of properties around. But I think a big part of it comes down to particularly first-home buyers [not seeing] apartments as an option for a first-home purchase," he said.

"They have that quarter-acre dream - which is just not possible anymore. Funnily enough, apartments are increasing in popularity, but predominantly with investors and baby boomers."

A Trade Me spokesman said taking out sections, bare land and houses for removal, there were about 800 Auckland listings on the site that appeared in the "up to $500,000" filter.

That made up about 12 per cent of the 6500 current Auckland listings.

The 800 listings include:

• 406 apartments (of 909 listed)
• 27 town houses
• 93 units
• 293 houses (with any houses that mention 'removal' in the listing taken out)

The spokesman said: "Our figures for April showed that the average asking price for an Auckland house was $843,150; an Auckland apartment was $560,900; and an Auckland unit was $575,450."