First-time home buyers shut out in Auckland

Monday 21 June 2004

Young Aucklanders are increasingly giving up on the dream of home ownership, opting for the European model of a life of renting, reports Libby Middlebrook

By The Landlord

At dinner parties, conversation flits over the war in Iraq, Lana's mystery illness and the latest Warriors scandal, until it settles lovingly on property.

We are a nation obsessed with home ownership. But in the runaway Auckland property market, many 20 and 30-somethings appear to be giving up on the idea of buying a house. Barring a big lottery win, they can't see how it's going to happen.

In New Zealand's largest city, the property market has raged unchecked for the past two years, with average house prices increasing 17 per cent from $307,669 in 2001 to $360,231 in 2003. The increase has been good news for existing owners and investors, but first-time buyers are finding home is where the heartache is.

A new study commissioned by the Centre for Housing Research shows a sharp decline in home ownership across the country among those aged 25 to 34, falling between 12 per cent and 13 per cent over the past two decades.

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