Average rent more than wage

New figures show the resort is the most expensive place to rent a house in New Zealand. Photo:...
New figures show the resort is the most expensive place to rent a house in New Zealand. Photo: Guy Williams

Queenstown's average weekly rent has hit a record, and is now higher than the entire take-home pay for someone earning the minimum wage.

New figures show the resort is the most expensive place to rent a house in New Zealand.

It comes as the waitlist for housing help in the resort skyrockets, prompting the head of the area's housing trust to warn the situation may get worse.

Figures compiled by business website interest.co.nz show Queenstown Lakes' average weekly rent hit $616 a week for the September quarter- the only place in New Zealand to break the $600 mark.

That was more than the entire take-home pay for someone earning minimum wage
of about $564.

It was also more than the average Auckland rent over the same period, which was $538.

The figures did not come as a surprise to Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott.

''That's reflecting what we're seeing on the ground.''

The average rent for the September quarter rose 6.3 % from the same quarter last year.

The figure was up 15.4 % on the same time two years ago.

Ms Scott said: ''We obviously had this goal of getting 1000 households into affordable housing in the next 10 years.

''We're starting to question whether that's actually going to be enough, given the scale of the problem and the phenomenal increase.''

She said the trust's waitlist was currently 562 households needing some form of housing help - 80% from Queenstown and 20% from Wanaka. That was a 16% increase from last November, when the waiting list was at 483.

There was ''absolutely'' a concern it was going to get worse, Ms Scott said.

Queenstown Lakes District councillor John MacDonald, who chaired the Mayoral Housing Affordability Taskforce, believed a decent amount of new affordable housing stock was still between two and three years away.

''The game-changer we need to really make an impact in the meantime isn't available to us. It's a vicious cycle.''

He said the ''harsh reality'' was that there was no immediate fix to the district's housing woes.

''We live in hope the old high school site might be put into housing.''

 

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