Q'town median house price drops $35,000 but still most expensive

The Central Otago Lakes median house price may have fallen the most nationally, by $35,000, but...
The Central Otago Lakes median house price may have fallen the most nationally, by $35,000, but Queenstown remains the least affordable location. Photo: ODT files
House prices in the Central Otago Lakes area may be declining, but homes in the region remain more unaffordable than in Auckland-Coromandel, as median house prices are 14.7 times the local annual wage.

Conversely, the wider province of Otago remains one of the most affordable, according to Massey University's home affordability report.

Home affordability had improved in seven out of 13 New Zealand regions in the most recent quarter, with national affordability improved by 2.1% for the quarter, driven mainly by falling house prices in Northland, Wellington and Central Otago Lakes, report author Associate Prof Graham Squires said in a statement.

Despite the improvements in the seven areas, national affordability had still decreased by 10.5% during the past year and no region had improved in affordability over the 12-month period, Prof Squires said.

Median house prices were still more than 14 times the annual wages for the Central Otago Lakes region and more than 13 times annual wages for the Auckland-Coromandel region, he said.

The housing affordability compares average weekly earnings against median dwelling prices and mortgage interest rates.

``House price to wages remain very high and this factor continues to place considerable strain on first-home buyers, especially in the two most expensive areas of [one combined area made up of] Auckland, Thames and Coromandel and [the] Central Otago Lakes [area],'' Prof Squires said.

Nationally, year-on-year median house prices increased by $38,000, while in Central Otago Lakes the median fell by $35,000, which was the largest average price decline in any of the 13 regions.

Against the the national average, Otago's affordability is 66% while Central Otago Lakes is 168%, with Auckland-Coromandel at 150%.


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