Auckland has a real problem with unaffordable housing. Increasingly, so do other parts of the country.

But despite a long history of political mudslinging, high-level official reports and dire warnings, the situation is not getting better. In fact, it's getting worse.

The statistics are more alarming than ever.

• A typical house in Auckland now costs 10 times a typical household income. The recommended international maximum is three times.


• Prices have tripled in the last 15 years while incomes have risen by only two thirds.

• It would take a typical 25-29-year-old couple seven years to save for a deposit on a $630,000 "affordable" house in Auckland.

• Assuming they got a bank loan for a smaller amount, they would spend almost half their take-home pay in mortgage repayments. Single people on a median income are out of the running - it would take virtually all their income.

• If you don't own a home in Auckland by the time you're 40, you're unlikely to get one.

• New Zealand is the most expensive country in the world to buy a home, based on prices compared to incomes.

The Herald's Home Truths series, which begins today, examines the causes of our growing housing unaffordability crisis and explores possible solutions.

Each day we will investigate the supply and demand problems behind the crisis, from house building shortfalls to market speculation by local and foreign investors.

Our exclusive property data on spells out clearly how much you can (and can't) afford to buy for every New Zealand city, town and suburb.

Most importantly we talk to the people affected and look for answers that will help them.

Watch out for video and print interviews with three house hunters struggling to find a home within their price range, plus a Herald panel of property experts who will give them advice.

Share your housing stories on Twitter using #NZHHomeTruths.