With KiwiSaver funds lower than anticipated due to the share market response to COVID-19, first time buyers across the
country are finding it tougher than ever to get their foot on the property ladder. As a result, the Real Estate
Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has undertaken some research to reveal Auckland’s most affordable suburbs for first
time buyers wanting to live close to the city.
For those wanting to live within ten kilometres of Auckland’s CBD, Avondale is the most affordable suburb with a median
price of $800,000, followed by Northcote with a median price of $921,000 and Birkenhead with a median price of $950,000.
Avondale is only 1km further away from the Auckland CBD than Northcote, but house prices there are $121,000 cheaper than
Northcote and $150,000 cheaper than Birkenhead.
Additionally, if you’re prepared to live a little further out, then you could find even more affordable properties. For
example, Glen Eden is 15km from the CBD but with a median price of $698,000 it provides extremely good value for first
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “First time buyers have found themselves in a really difficult situation
during COVID-19 with the portion of their KiwiSaver fund able to be used for a first home purchase* being at a much
lower value than many had expected.
“Our analysis has shown that a couple of kilometres difference in where you live can save people hundreds of thousands
of dollars on the purchase of a home, and when you look at this over the lifetime of a mortgage, this saving would be
even greater. This information could be really helpful to those looking to get on the property ladder for the first
time, especially as people potentially have more time on their hands to research properties,” continues Norwell.
“Additionally, this research could also be helpful for those who have found that being locked down in their home 24/7
has really reiterated their view that they don’t like their current house and therefore, they want to move once lockdown
is over,” she continues.
The research also identified some interesting patterns in the most affordable suburbs when looking at different distance
categories – for instance, the most affordable suburb in the 20-25km bracket (Clover Park at a median price of $649,000)
was more expensive than the most affordable suburb in the 15-20km bracket (Otara with a median house price of $560,870).
Again, we saw this in the 40km-50km bracket, with Helensville being more expensive with a median price of $680,000 than
both the 25km-30km and 30-40km brackets.
“When looking at where to purchase, people consider a huge range of factors, such as price, school zones, amenities and
recreational areas, but this shows how important it is to take distance into account too,” concludes Norwell.