Auckland "severely unaffordable"

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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Auckland housing is expensive, but not that expensive, compared with other major cities, figures show.

Aucklanders need to spend 12.5 times their annual income to buy a house at the Auckland average.

Statistics New Zealand's quarterly income survey shows the median gross annual income for Aucklanders is $45,864 while the Real Estate Institute's (REI) median Auckland house price is $582,000.

But comparatively, Auckland's housing affordability falls below Vancouver and Sydney at 13 times an annual salary to buy an averagely priced house at $687,000 and $791,970 respectively. Auckland is still slightly more expensive than London, where the average worker needs 12.3 annual incomes to afford a $777,000 home.

And Auckland is only slightly more unaffordable for first-time home buyers, comparative national figures show. Although housing unaffordability has increased in New Zealand due to house values increases outstripping wage growth, when average home deposits, and total household income are factored in, the picture gets complicated.

UK figures show on average, banks require Londoners to raise 25 per cent house deposits ($194,250) on the average $777,000 home.

For the average-priced $582,000 home in Auckland, the most an Aucklander would need to save for a deposit is 20 per cent, or $116,400.

Although Londoners enjoy a much higher average weekly household income of $2425 compared to a typical Auckland household's $1651, household disposable incomes have declined, UK figures show.

Meanwhile, the ninth Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey shows Auckland is the most affordable of the four major cities surveyed.

This survey uses average house prices divided by average household incomes.

Auckland scores 6.7 on Demographia's housing affordability rating system, putting it in the "severely unaffordable" category, but the others are worse.

London and Sydney score 7.8 and 8.3 respectively, but Vancouver's 9.5 makes it the second most unaffordable city after Hong Kong's 13.5.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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