Tens of thousands of Aucklanders left the city to find cheaper housing

Nearly a net 33,000 Aucklanders have ditched the city for the regions over four years.
SIMON MAUDE/STUFF
Nearly a net 33,000 Aucklanders have ditched the city for the regions over four years.

More than 30,000 Aucklanders left the super city for other parts of the country in recent years in search of cheaper housing, an economist says.

Benje​ Patterson's report found that between June 2013 and June 2017 nearly a net 33,000 Aucklanders moved to other regions, a trend expected to continue due to the city's housing affordability issues.

"The allure of selling an Auckland home to free up equity for a cheaper house in the regions is proving too difficult to resist for many people," Patterson said in his report?

Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty attracted two thirds of the "exodus", he said.

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Patterson said the biggest shock for him was that Dunedin and Queenstown-Lakes had each experienced net population gains from Auckland of more than 1100 people over the four years to June 2017.

"Queenstown's gain also highlights that the resort's overheated property market has in part been driven by cashed-up Auckland buyers – one of the few areas where housing equity is generally enough to enter the local market," Patterson said.

The number of people leaving Auckland increased from a net 2727 in 2014 to a net 12,942 people in 2017.

A net 126 Wellingtonians moved to Auckland five years ago, but by 2017 that flow had swung around to 468 people leaving Auckland for Wellington.

Auckanders' discretionary income has been falling since 2012 according to PWC's research.
PWC
Auckanders' discretionary income has been falling since 2012 according to PWC's research.

Most of those people were in their 20s to late 30s, with children.

Patterson said traffic was another contributor to people shunning Auckland, with locals spending about 450 hours a year in a car, either as a driver or passenger. In Northland, it was less than 40. In Waikato, people were clocking up just over 120, in Wellington 140 and Christchurch 150. Bay of Plenty came in at 75 hours. 

Recent research by PWC found a typical Auckland household has $233 a week less spare cash than a Wellington household, and $220 less than in Christchurch, compared with a decade ago.

Auckland also the least attractive city among 11 cities in New Zealand and Australia for skilled labour, PWC found,

The number of people leaving Auckland increased from 2727 in 2014 to 12,942 people in 2017, Patterson's research shows.
CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF
The number of people leaving Auckland increased from 2727 in 2014 to 12,942 people in 2017, Patterson's research shows.

Auckland rated the lowest when measuring the end result for a household with a median income.

The median Auckland household had $96 a week less discretionary income than 10 years ago, while Wellington households had $137 more to splash around and $124 in Christchurch.

Auckland was the only city in the group where people had less discretionary spending power tthan 10 years ago earlier.

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