What $500,000 buys you: North

Amy Hamilton Chadwick
What $500,000 buys you: North

So, in an environment of rising house prices and low interest rates, what does $500k buy you? In this, the first in a series of 3 articles, REDnews answers that question. 

This first article looks at property north of Taupo, part 2 looks at the lower North Island, and part 3 will be on the South Island.

In Auckland, the median house price is now $675,000 according to the REINZ. That means your half a million dollars doesn’t go far – unless you do too. 

Your $500,000 will buy you a smart apartment in the city, a 1-bedroom unit in one of the more popular suburbs, or a 3-bedroom standalone house in a suburb with a long commute to the city.

Further away in the greater Auckland region, you can find larger family homes, but these will only suit those who work in relatively nearby satellite business districts. 

Outside Auckland, you’ll have a lot more to choose from, and a half-million dollar budget gives you a selection of smart family homes, often with beautiful views or sizeable sections.

You can find a 3-bedroom family home in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taupo or Tauranga. Northland remains superb value for money, and you can buy in even the best areas with your $500,000.

SEE ALSO: What’s your house really worth?

Obviously, location is the deciding factor: the further away from a main centre you’re willing to go, the more house and land you’ll get for your money. 

Come back soon for parts 2 and 3 when we look at the rest of the country.

For a more comprehensive look, here’s a complete search result from Realestate.co.nz showing over 500 properties in these locations and price range.

Please note: Information was current at time of publishing (March 2015). As the property listings referenced have now been withdrawn, the links originally included in the article have been removed.




You can buy this 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment in Ponsonby off the plans for $499,000 – construction starts in July. The modern and energy efficient apartment is 54m2 plus an 8m2 deck and includes a carpark; it’s located in the heart of one of Auckland’s most sought-after suburbs.



Affordably priced in this million-dollar suburb, this low maintenance 1-bedroom 1-bathroom brick-and-tile unit is in much in-demand school zones, and walking distance to Takapuna, one of Auckland’s most popular summer destinations. 




Still within the greater Auckland area, Wellsford is one of the city’s most affordable suburbs. This enormous 7-bedroom house with 2 bathrooms sits on a 1,525m2 site with mixed business and residential use.



Snells Beach

This charming 3-bedroom 1-bathroom house is all on 1 level and has beautiful views of Kawau Bay from its spacious deck. Sitting on a 612 m2 site, the 100 m2 house has lots of storage and is handy to the beach, shopping centre and other facilities. 





This spacious character bungalow has 5 bedrooms and was originally constructed in the 1900s. It’s on a 556m2 section in Onerahi with incredible sea views and has the water’s edge “almost at your doorstep”.



Waihau Bay

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and 823m2 of almost-beachfront living are all yours for $499,000 in this Waihau Bay home. Plenty of living space too with 277 m2 floor size.

Waihau bay1

Waihau bay2


This 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom property in Mt Manganui is on the market for $455,000, leaving you some money to spare. Close to the golf course, quiet, private and on a 616m2 section.

Mt Maunganui12

Mt Maunganui2


Coming in well under budget at $429,000, this contemporary three-bedroom home in Rainbow Point is close to transport links, Lion’s Walk and offers peeks of the lake from the upper level master suite. Has good floor size at 150sqm, including 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and an ensuite.




Modern and well-equipped, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse located near the CBD includes a double garage and a low-maintenance landscaped outdoor area.



SEE ALSO: What’s your house really worth?


Looking for a new home?

Westpac has info and tools to help you navigate the house hunting process:

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