If I could rewrite a bit of personal history, I would probably have bought my first house much earlier than I did.

The problem is that when you are in your early 20s, you want to travel overseas and have a good time. Well, I certainly did.

The advice I will give my children is to buy a house as soon as they can.

The problem is that this is a tough ask these days. Most youngsters living in Auckland can probably forget about owning their own homes until they are much older, while it is not much better in the provinces, thanks to lower wages.


The reason for this situation is the Reserve Bank's high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) loans, meaning many bank mortgage borrowers need a 20 per cent higher deposit.

It is a problem that needs to be sorted because it is starting to have an effect. Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures show the number of houses sold in March fell 5.7 per cent, from 211 to 199, compared with the same period last year. CoreLogic measured first-home buyers in the three months before the restrictions and in December/January. The number of Napier first-home buyers fell 5.4 per cent, while Hastings first-home buyers dropped 3.6 per cent.

Labour's candidate for Napier, Stuart Nash, has a point when he says our young first-time home buyers are paying the price for Auckland house price inflation.

We have enough economic challenges in Hawke's Bay without restrictions like this making it almost impossible for young, hardworking families to buy their first homes.

The Reserve Bank should admit the collateral damage of the LVRs has been too great and find some other way to control the rampant Auckland housing market.