I sometimes wonder if people's expectations of getting on to the property ladder are over-inflated.
Well-appointed chef's kitchens, sculleries, ensuites and internal garages may be the gold standard, but for first-home buyers these amenities may be just out of reach - a few rungs higher up the ladder.
We reported last week that first-home buyers are having to save $24,000 more for a deposit for a median-price house than they did a year ago. In Tauranga, it's $33,000.
That's extra – on top of what they previously needed.
It's news that makes one 19-year-old, who has the aspirational hope of buying her own home by the time she turns 25, think about moving to Australia for a better chance of home ownership.
It seems a bit drastic to me, and perhaps other options should be exhausted before making the move across the ditch.
While median house prices have risen, as has the amount of money needed for a deposit, smaller, more modest homes can still be found for sale.
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A quick search on OneRoof.co.nz for a modest two-bedroom unit in a modest Rotorua suburb reveals one property listed at "inquiries over $299,000", which, if you were to secure the property for $300,000, would make the 20 per cent deposit $60,000 - half the deposit required for the median house price in Rotorua of $617,000.
While scraping together a deposit of $60k may seem daunting for some, there are KiwiSaver first-home buyer grants, using KiwiSaver savings for a first home withdrawal or Welcome Home loans to look into.
Kainga Ora even offers first home loans with deposits as low as five per cent to those who qualify.
And while these lower-priced homes may not be the most luxurious or the most modern, perhaps the strategy for young people looking to get on the property ladder could be to purchase a lower-priced house, hold on to it for a while, perhaps add value through small affordable upgrades such as drapes, carpets and fresh paint.
Then, when they are ready to move up the ladder, sell and move on either to the next bracket of home, or even their dream home.
All hope is not lost. Perhaps the expectations need to be lowered.