Five years ago, Suzy Atkin made the goal that she would own her own home by the time she was 30.
Now at 30, her dream seems further away than ever.
The mother of one moved to Tauranga in August last year hoping to be able to buy her first house.
"The housing market in Auckland was ridiculous. My goal was to own my own home but it wasn't going to happen in Auckland. It was unattainable. The house prices went up and now thousands of people are leaving Auckland for the same reasons as me ... it's unaffordable."
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The social worker thought finding a small two-bedroom home in the Bay of Plenty would be easy with a mortgage approved for about $300,000. A year ago it could have been doable, but not now, she said.
"Within a few months, everything just went up and really quickly. My dream just went out the window. Properties I was looking at have gone out of my price range," she said.
Ms Atkin is looking in Papamoa because her mother lives there and can babysit her 9-year-old daughter when she is at work.
Apartments were out of reach now too, she said.
Ms Atkin said she felt like she was back at square one again. "It's really disheartened me, I will probably have to end up renting for quite some time."