For one couple it seemed the chances of buying a house in Auckland were "one-in-a-million" and nothing they've seen in the Government's Budget looks likely to change that.

Hannah Spanhake, 26, and her partner Iain Spanhake, 37, moved to Hamilton two months ago - driven in large part because they felt buying a house in Auckland was out of reach.

"It just felt impossible," she said. "Based on prices online and the number of auctions things were well out of our price range unless we wanted to buy an apartment that was a box."

Hannah Spanhake said this didn't fit their dream of buying a house they could start a family in.


The Government have announced it is to spend $2.7b on housing over the next four years; $100m to free up unused Crown land and help cater for its previously announced house-building programme.

This programme would see Auckland's housing stock grow by 26,000 over 10 years, 20 per cent [5200] of these would be priced "affordable", less than $650,000.

However, Spanhake said these numbers seemed to fall far short of what the city needed.

"There's a whole generation getting married, wanting to start their families and there is little to cater for that."

Auckland currently has an estimated housing shortage of 35,000 - a figure that is predicted to continue to grow as immigration and the natural rise in population put additional pressure on the market.

Of her friends left in Auckland Spanhake said only one couple had recently managed to get into their own home - and only because they were chosen in a ballot for an affordable house in Hobsonville Point.

"But we aren't in that position; there aren't enough ballots to help an entire generation."

Spanhake said what the Government had labelled affordable also needed to be taken down a notch.


The Spanhakes' combined income was between $70,000 and $100,000 a year. On that salary they hoped to buy a house of no more than $600,000 - $50,000 less than the Government's "affordable" price cap.

Hannah Spanhake said for that price in Auckland they could just afford a small apartment - which she felt was unsuitable for a growing family.

"It's not that we need a quarter-acre dream ... but we want a family home."

In Hamilton, Spanhake said their dream home seemed more possible. They hoped to soon be putting an offer in for a three-bedroom house on 600sq m in Hamilton City.

As for her friends back in Auckland she said many were either giving up on their housing dreams - or looking elsewhere to find it.

"Either 'we are just not going to bother', or 'we are going to move'."