The NZ median house price in May last year was $460,000 and even though a year later this increased by $46,000, actual affordability improved by 6%. The region that shows a noteworthy annual and quarterly decline in affordability is Central Otago Lakes (19.6% and 22.5% respectively), and to a lesser extent Waikato/Bay of Plenty (2.5% and 1.7%).
Housing affordability has been assessed by comparing the average weekly earnings with the median dwelling price and the mortgage interest rate. The earnings figure represents the money available to the family, or household unit, and the median dwelling price combined with the mortgage interest rates provide an indicator of the expense involved.
• A 6% improvement in affordability year on year across the nation continues
• But quarterly figures show a reversal in this trend of 9.2% between March and June this year
• All regions except Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Otago Central Lakes show an improvement in affordability since the same
time last year
• The biggest annual decline in affordability is in the Central Otago Lakes region at just under 20%
• Since late 2015 the Auckland houses became a little more affordable against our index but over the past three months there was a reversal in this trend
• The biggest jump in annual and quarterly median house prices was in Central Otago Lakes ($202,000 and $151,139)
• Central Otago Lakes is now 66% less affordable than the rest of the nation
• All regions except Southland had a modest annual increase in wages of 2.1% ($23.21 per week more overall)
• Interest rates continue to decline (now 5.21%)
• The New Zealand national median has exceeded $500,000 this quarter ($506,000) – a 10% increase from last June
• Auckland’s median house price rate of growth has slowed and is now 7.5% ($56,000) above last June