First-home buyers target West Auckland

New figures show about one in five of all property sales in the last two years has been to a first-home buyer, but that is expected to change once tighter criteria on low-deposit loans fully hit home.

Property analysis firm PropertyIQ has crunched the numbers on property titles for the last decade in an effort to map how much the Reserve Bank's attempt to slow house prices is affecting new buyers.

The company's methodology sorted sales to first-home buyers from people who were moving or property investing by looking at whether any of the buyers had owned property before or held a mortgage.

"It has been stated on many occasions that NZ does not have a set of statistics that lets us measure the number of first-home buyers and how that may change since the introduction of the LVR caps," PropertyIQ's research director Jonno Ingerson said.

"We now have those statistics."

The results showed that across the country, 20 per cent of houses, flat and apartment sales since the beginning of last year had been to new market entrants.

So far there had been "no dramatic changes" in any areas since the introduction of the loan-to-value ratio or LVR caps, but Ingerson said the firm would continue to crunch the figures each month.

In the two months following the caps' introduction - October and November - there had been a slight uptick in nationwide first-home buyer activity, which was "perhaps not surprising given that there would still have been people with pre-approved loans".

The data also showed that since the start of 2012, the area most popular with first-home buyers was West Auckland at 29 per cent, closely followed by Porirua and Hutt City. South Auckland, Upper Hutt and Wellington city were all in the mid-20 percentile.

North Shore, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Whanganui and Dunedin were all in the low 20s, and Tauranga (16 per cent) and Christchurch (17 per cent) were considerably lower.

The areas surrounding Christchurch were also less likely to have first-home buyers as they were flooded by people from the city and from those assisting with the rebuild.

First-home buyers were scarcest in areas where people retired to or had holiday homes such as Taupo, Kapiti, Nelson and Queenstown. Lowest of all was the Coromandel with 6 per cent.

Percentage of first-home buyers - a selection from around the country

Far North 12 per cent
Auckland city 18 per cent
Auckland - Papakura 26 per cent
Auckland - Manakau 24 per cent
Hamilton 23 per cent
Waikato District 25 per cent
South Waikato 20 per cent
Rotorua 22 per cent
Napier 17 per cent
Central Hawke's Bay 22 per cent
New Plymouth 21 per cent
Palmerston North city 26 per cent
Masterton 22 per cent
South Wairarapa 18 per cent
Kapiti 14 per cent
Porirua city 28 per cent
Lower Hutt 28 per cent
Upper Hutt 24 per cent
Wellington city 24 per cent
Nelson city/Tasman 13 per cent
Marlborough district 16 per cent
Grey District 22 per cent
Waimakariri District 14 per cent
Christchurch city 17 per cent
Selwyn District 15 per cent
Dunedin city 20 per cent
Central Otago 10 per cent
Southland District 15 per cent
Invercargill 22 per cent

Fairfax Media