Buying house in Dunedin ‘biggest struggle’ of life

New figures from CoreLogic show the average price of a house in Dunedin had jumped 18% and, at ...
New figures from CoreLogic show the average price of a house in Dunedin had jumped 18% and, at $514,680, was now above that found in Christchurch ($507,852).Photo: ODT files
People who have bought or others who want to buy a home in Dunedin are reporting disappointment at the soaring house prices in the city.

One man, who wished not to be named, works as an electrician earning just shy of $90,000 a year and described his search for a house as ‘‘the biggest struggle of my life’’.

‘‘There’s just no houses for sale,’’ he said.

‘‘The last six months I’ve been seriously looking and it’s taken a private sale from a friend I’ve managed to get into the market. Without that I don’t know where I’d be.’’

As a first home buyer he said he did not know how to compete with cash buyers.

‘‘The thing that really annoyed me is the KiwiSaver and the first home grant ... it’s worth nothing in this Dunedin market and they [vendors] just like cash buyers.

‘‘If you’ve got a condition of sale the real estate agent will literally laugh in your face if you’ve got a building inspection or something like that.

‘‘They’ll go to the next one because if you offer $350,000 and someone offers $340,000 but unconditional straight off the bat I don’t know how you compete.’’

He noticed buyers were in a position where not doing their due diligence would actually give them a better chance of buying the house.

‘‘So people are taking big risks in this Dunedin market ... I’m a tradie so it’s all right for me but I don’t know how people are supposed to do that.’’

Another man, now living in Christchurch, said he wanted to move his family to Dunedin where he grew up but the recent house price increase stopped that.

‘‘We have put in four or five offers on family homes in Dunedin over the past few years, but have now given up.

‘‘This is very sad for me. I'd like my children to experience the great upbringing I had in Dunedin.

‘‘We would happily give up our new house, and our good jobs, and move south ... but the rampant Dunedin market has put us off. Houses are sold before we can even look at them.

Ultimately, Dunedin would lose out on growing as a result, he said.

‘‘It's staggering to hear the valuers and real estate agents say ‘the market is performing well’. Quite the opposite. These price rises are not a good thing for Dunedin.’’

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