Christchurch and South Auckland are affordable targets for first home buyers

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Christchurch is the most affordable it has been since interest.co.nz began making its Home Loan Affordability reports in 2004.

With REINZ’s data showing lower quartile homes selling for $345,000 – the lowest since July 2016 – mortgage repayments would take up 20.2 per cent of the take home pay of a typical first home buying couple in the city.

Much of south Auckland can once again be considered “affordable” due to a drop in sale prices and a modest fall in interest rates, a new report says.

This includes all suburbs in the Auckland South region, such as Howick, Mangere, Manurewa and Otara, financial website interest.co.nz’s latest Home Loan Affordability Report has found.

It calculates affordable as being when mortgage repayments on a “lower quartile” home are less than 40 per cent of the take home pay of a typical first home buying couple, aged 25-29 who both work fulltime on median wages.

It found the main reason for the increased affordability was a drop in sale prices of “lower quartile homes” in Auckland South from $666,500 in February to $620,000, according to Real Estate Institute of NZ figures.

Mortgage repayments on such homes had also dropped by $61 a week between February and June based on a modest fall in the average two year fixed rate from 4.72 per cent to 4.65 per cent, interest.co.nz calculated.

It also calculated that the take home pay of a first home buying couple had increased $18 a week over the same period to $1631 a week.

Taken together, it meant repayments in on lower quartile homes in Auckland South dropped from 43.8 per cent of a first home buying couple’s take home pay in February to 39.7 per cent in June, the report found.

Papakura and Franklin were cheaper again with mortgage repayments making up 36.5 per cent and 36.8 per cent of take home pay, respectively.

Elsewhere, Auckland remains unaffordable for first home buyers.

Homes are most out of reach in the North Shore with a $795,000 selling price for lower quartile properties meaning mortgage payments would consume 52.5 per cent of a first home buyer’s pay.

This would drop to 48.8 per cent in Rodney, 44.1 per cent in west Auckland and 41.2 per cent in central Auckland.

Surprisingly, first home buyers can also still target markets, such as Tauranga and Wellington City.

Mortgage repayments on a lower quartile home in Tauranga would eat up 34.8 per cent of take home pay and 31.3 per cent in Wellington City.

Queenstown is the country’s third most unaffordable place in New Zealand for first home buyers after the North Shore and Rodney regions in Auckland.

In June, REINZ’s lower quartile price in the South Island town was $690,000.

-NZ Herald

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