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Updated: Auckland homes slip from buyers reach

Thursday 12th January 2012

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Auckland has overtaken Central Otago as the least affordable region to buy a house, according to Massey University’s latest home affordability report.

Affordability deteriorated 5.8 percent in Auckland and 0.3 percent in Central Otago in the quarter ended in November. The biggest drop in affordability was in Hawke’s Bay, with an 11.4 percent decline. Nationally, affordability dipped 1.9 percent for the past quarter, a period in which the median house price rose 3 percent.

In view of the recent financial turmoil in Europe it is surprising house prices are increasing in several regions, said Bob Hargreaves, professor at Massey University’s school of economics and finance.

“Very low mortgage rates combined with more relaxed lending criteria are combining to bring more buyers into the market and new construction is still at very low,” Hargreaves said.

Annually, the nation’s affordability index improved 9.1 percent, compared with 8.4 a year earlier.


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