According to Demographia, any house that costs more than three times the national median income is ‘unaffordable’. Using that definition, there is only one ‘affordable’ place left in New Zealand: Dannevirke, with a median house price of $110,000*.
Great news for buyers in the central lower North Island, but for everybody else, homes are no longer so comfortably-priced.
First-time buyers in many cities are being pushed out into the fringes to find family homes at affordable rates. Some of these cheap suburbs provide surprising value for money, and a chance to get into an up-and-coming area before it becomes priced out of reach. Each buyer will need to weigh up the pros and cons of every location – the travel times, the school zones and what your money will buy in each area.
Top Five Cheapest Suburbs by Region**
CoreLogic has identified the five lowest-priced suburbs in each of the main centres, and REDnews has asked a local real estate agent: "Which one of these suburbs would you choose if you were buying a home, and why?" Click on a region to see what they said.
* Median income data comes from Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand Income Survey, and shows that median weekly income from wages and salaries was $844 for the year ended June 2013, which multiplied by 52 gives an annual income of $43,888, giving an ‘affordable’ limit of $131,664 (the annual income multiplied by three). Click here for more on incomes. Median prices are from REINZ’s regional data for August 2014, which you can see here, and it should be noted that Dannevirke was also the only ‘affordable’ area in August 2013.
** Based on CoreLogic suburb E-Valuer.
Navigate the house hunting process with handy tools and info from Westpac: