Housing affordability has improved in Wanganui to once again make it the most affordable city in New Zealand to buy a home.

The latest Roost home-loan affordability figures show national home affordability improved across most of New Zealand in April as median house prices fell, slightly offsetting rises in floating mortgage rates.

The report measured the percentage of after-tax pay needed to service an 80 per cent mortgage on a median-priced house.

Wanganui affordability improved from 30.4 per cent in March to 29.1 per cent in April, compared with 29.8 per cent a year ago


According to latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures, the median house price in Wanganui dropped from $184,150 to $176,500 in April.

The average weekly after-tax pay for those on a median Wanganui income was $724.78, up from $701.99 in April last year.

Roost also released a further report last week showing it would take 22.1 per cent of a Wanganui first home buyer's median take home pay to service a mortgage on a lower-quartile priced house, up from 20.9 per cent in March.

Home Trust Mortgages director Robert Puklowski said the Wanganui market had "been a bit patchy" in the past month, but first home buyers had still been active.

"There's lots of perfectly good properties going for between $100,000 and $120,000 and it's cheaper than renting in many cases at that level.

"The number of lower value properties that are selling is making it affordable."

Buyers were using KiwiSaver withdrawals to service home deposits, he said.

Nationally, it now takes nearly two-thirds of a median income to pay the mortgage on a $432,250 house.

The Roost figures were released in the wake of last months Budget, which Labour criticised for offering little to first home buyers.