Matt Moors and his partner Lisa Enoch just want their own home.
But that's easier said than done. The Massey residents have been looking for a house for months in the hopes of finding a property in the right area at an affordable price that won't lose value.
"It's not just about buying a house, it's about the investment as well. Eventually I'm going to sell it and I have to weigh up all the factors to make sure I can get a return," Mr Moors says.
"It's not so much about the house itself, it's more about finding one in an area which is going to grow and increase in value. House prices have been pretty up and down over the last five years and I need to be sure the value of the one I buy will go up."
House prices in Auckland have hit record highs. The median household income in the region is $73,996 according to Statistics New Zealand but Real Estate Institute figures show the average house price in Waitakere is $416,000. That's more than five times the median income.
Mr Moors and Ms Enoch are renting and have been looking to buy their own home since May.
They don't want to buy anything until they are absolutely sure so they're not going to rush the process.
"I'm looking to buy something between $300,000 and $500,000 and there seems to be a lot of properties for sale but there are also a lot of people buying which means you either have to get in quick or pay more than you really should," Mr Moors says.
"At the moment we are looking more around West Harbour because that's still affordable but a time will come when it's not," he says.
"I think overall the prices are not too bad in Auckland but when you compare them to wages they are pretty unaffordable."
Mr Moors says they have thought about buying outside of Auckland to get something cheaper but there's more money to be earned in the city.
"If you leave Auckland the house prices are much better but I'm a plumber and there's less work elsewhere so in the end it doesn't really make a difference," he says.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley says the best thing that can be done for first home buyers is to keep interest rates low because this helps people's ability to pay their mortgage.
"We are looking to increase the supply of social and affordable homes via the $104.5 million Social Housing Fund and on specific sites such as Hobsonville and also in Tamaki where we own almost 3000 state houses, many on large sections that can be subdivided and built on with new replacement state houses, as well as starter homes for the open market," he says.
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says more buyers are entering the market because they are aware of the housing shortage.
"Investors are growing more confident of gaining rent rises and capital gains so are also seeking property.
"Average house prices are likely to trend upward over the next three to five years, especially as building standards will continue to be raised.
"This will create a housing crisis for those on low incomes and while there will be lots of talk about freeing up land little will actually be done."
A rating used by the World Bank and the United Nations shows housing in Auckland is severely unaffordable
- © Fairfax NZ News
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