NZ housing unaffordable, study shows

Auckland continues to be one of the most unaffordable cities in the world to buy a home, with an international study ranking London, New York and Los Angeles more affordable.

The ninth Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has found housing in New Zealand has become slightly more unaffordable in the last year, with median house prices now 5.3 times the median income (median multiple), up from 5.2.

All eight of New Zealand's property markets were "seriously" or "severely" unaffordable.

Auckland continues to be the least affordable market, with a median multiple of 6.7, followed by Christchurch (6.6), Tauranga-Western Bay of Plenty (5.9), Wellington (5.4) and Dunedin (5.1) all severely unaffordable.

Palmerston North (4.4), Napier-Hastings (4.5) and Hamilton (4.7) are all ranked as seriously unaffordable.

Houses are now nearly 80 per cent more expensive than the historic affordability housing norm of 3 times the median income, which was last experienced in the 1990s.

The affordability report, authored by Wendell Cox and Hugh Pavletich, points to urban containment policies, especially urban growth boundaries, as being responsible for the rising price of housing relative to income.

"This inevitably leads to a reduced standard of living and increases poverty rates because the unnecessarily higher costs of housing leave households with less discretionary income to spend on other goods and services," the report says.

"The higher costs ripple into rental markets, tightening the budgets of lower income households, who already suffer from lower discretionary incomes."

The annual affordability report says Hong Kong, China is the most unaffordable place to buy a house, with a median multiple of 13.5.

Auckland is more affordable than Australian cities Sydney (8.3) and Melbourne (7.5), but less affordable than Adelaide (6.5), Perth (5.9) and Brisbane (5.8).

Affordability around the world

Housing market, median multiple

Hong Kong, China, 13.5

Sydney, Australia, 8.3

Melbourne, Australia, 7.5

Auckland, New Zealand, 6.7

Adelaide, Australia, 6.5

New York, US, 6.2

Los Angeles, US, 6.2

Perth, Australia, 5.9

Brisbane, Australia, 5.8

London, United Kingdom, 5.1

Dublin, Ireland, 3.6

Source: Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

(Median multiple represents the median house price divided by the median income)

- Kieran Campbell of APNZ

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