Each week, the Herald's new Cooking The Books podcast will tackle a different money problem. Today, it's what first-home buyers can do if they're feeling locked out of the market. Hosted by Frances Cook.
You might have noticed a lot of people are talking about housing right now.
There's helpful advice being given, like "toughen up and join the army", or "give up brunch on the weekend, and make more sacrifices".
Well, thanks for being condescending, but neither of those pieces of advice are helpful.
Our housing market is so overheated it could burst into flames at any moment, particularly if you live in Auckland.
Prices have soared around the country, while mortgage conditions are only getting stricter.
This year the Economist rated New Zealand's housing market the most unaffordable in the world.
That's thanks to having the biggest jump in prices, and the highest cost against average incomes.
Demographia's International Housing Affordability Survey was slightly kinder, putting Auckland as the fourth least affordable housing market, out of 92 cities around the world.
A word of warning, for people who look at those surveys and decide the answer is to take on the biggest mortgage the bank will give them; what goes up, must go down.
House prices could fall from this peak, and interest rates could rise, leaving you paying more.
In an overheated market, "buyer beware" has an even more menacing tone.
But that doesn't mean you should give up.
Don't stop trying to save a deposit and instead spend everything you earn, as fun as that can be.
There are ways to cheat the system, and other places you can put your money.
As part of the Cooking the Books podcast, I called David Boyle from the Commission for Financial Capability.
He sympathised about the frustrations from younger people, who are often told it's always been this tough to buy a house.
"That's not factually true.
"In Auckland it's about 10 times the average salary now to get into your first home, whereas in my day it was about three times.
"It has changed significantly over the last 10 years."
The first place he recommended they start was KiwiSaver.
For some people, the regular contributions, employer contribution, and tax credit, could add up to a deposit over a few years.
It might not be enough for a house if their job kept them tied to an expensive city like Auckland.
But there was still the option of looking at houses elsewhere in the country.
"If you're in an expensive city, it's worth considering buying elsewhere, and renting the house you live in.
"You might be able to afford a house perhaps in a smaller town or a smaller city, where you can rent it out, get into the property market and build up some capital growth."
For others who'd saved a nest egg of a few thousand, but not enough for a house deposit, they should supercharge that money by looking at other investments.
"If you don't want to lock it up in KiwiSaver, you've got other choices like managed funds.
"Talk to someone about your options, but do something other than a bank account or savings account, because you're getting bugger all interest there, really."
Whatever option sounded most appealing, Boyle warned that most people would need to pick one.
He said it was a "very difficult proposition" to have a comfortable retirement without owning your own home.
"We are worried about home ownership rates declining, because essentially New Zealanders receive national super at the age of 65, based on the premise that you're living in your own home and not paying rent on top.
"If you're unable to get into the property market, start saving a lot more to build up a nest egg that can pay for rental accommodation.
"Use KiwiSaver to get that nest egg built up."
For the full interview, listen to the podcast.
If you have questions, or personal finance topics you want Frances to cover, it's easy to get in touch.