North Shore houses are country's priciest

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 16:48 04/09/2012
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SHORE THING: Houses on Auckland's North Shore are the most expensive in the country.

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The affordability of a home looks to have improved slightly for the average Kiwi in July, but Auckland's North Shore still holds onto its top spot as least affordable area to live.

That's according to the latest data from mortgage broker Roost, which found that a person on the average wage would have to put 88.3 per cent of their pay into servicing a mortgage on a house priced at the bottom end of the North Shore market.

At that level it's relatively unchanged from May, and about 7.7 per cent higher than a year ago.

It's quite a premium on the rest of the country, where the average affordability ratio dropped to 44.8 per cent in July from 45.3 per cent a month ago. However, this was an increase on 44.3 per cent this time last year.

The Auckland data appears to back the view that the city's housing shortage is not just limited to the affluent areas, with the affordability of areas in the south of the city coming in at 80.4 per cent in July.

Central Auckland's affordability rating for July was 66.4 per cent, while a loan on a property in the west of the city would take up 67.9 per cent of the average wage.

Auckland's overall affordably stood at 63.9 per cent in July, down from 67.1 per cent a month ago but up from 62.8 per cent a year ago.

Auckland and the Central Otago Lakes region were the only areas to score above 50 per cent on the ranking.

The least onerous areas to take out a home loan were also those where the effects of the mild economic recovery have been felt the least.

Southland ranked at 23.2 per cent in July, Manawatu/Wanganui at 26.6 per cent, and Otago at 33.5 per cent, all lower than in the previous month.

Wellington home loan affordability for July stood at 43.4 per cent, down 3.9 percentage points on a month ago.

Canterbury stood at 46.3 per cent in the month, although earthquake-ravaged Christchurch stood at 58.8 per cent, up from 57.2 per cent in May.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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