Auckland’s housing affordability by the numbers: A story of haves and have-nots

Auckland has been ranked the eighth least affordable city in the world for housing, with prices more than 11 times the median household income.

When Auckland Council’s chief economist Gary Blick began his role this year, he said he was concerned prices in Auckland had resulted in a 30,000 net loss in residents in the last three years.

High rents make it difficult to save to own a home, deepening the wealth divide between those who make it onto the housing ladder and those who don’t.

Stuff took a look at the numbers to find out what impact Government policies have had on the city’s “housing crisis”.

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600,000

There are about 600,000 consented dwellings in the Auckland region. Based on Stats NZ’s 2021 population estimate of 1.72 million, that represents around a third of a house for each person.

According to council’s latest housing report, the city can expect 21,700 on top of that, having been consented in the year ending July 2022.

However, in that same time only 12,800 houses were completed and got Code of Compliance certificates, suggesting the rate of houses being built is not matching consents.

Meanwhile, 11,600 new parcels of land have also been created for the purpose of building.

Auckland’s housing market has become a case of haves and have-nots.

KATHRYN GEORGE/Stuff

Auckland’s housing market has become a case of haves and have-nots.

$1,100,000

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reports that Auckland’s median house price decreased by 8.3% to $1,100,000 in the year ending August 2022.

Six of Auckland’s seven former city districts saw the median price fall. Waitākere had the greatest drop at 13.4%, followed by Auckland City at 12.3%

In August, real estate agency Barfoot and Thompson experienced a slight bump with a 3% increase on the previous month after four months of steady decreases.

“Rather than signalling that prices are on the increase, this reversal is likely to be an indication that prices are plateauing,” managing director Peter Thompson said.

Fewer than half of the approved applications for first home grants actually eventuated in a house purchase.

Fewer than half of the approved applications for first home grants actually eventuated in a house purchase.

1804

Kāinga Ora approved 1804 First Home Grants and insured 112 First Home Loans for Aucklanders in the year ending March 2022.

To be eligible for a grant, a buyer has to earn less than $95,000 a year, and the house cannot cost more than $875,000. The grant is between $5000 and $10,000 and is put towards purchasing the house.

First home loans are provided by participating banks and are underwritten by Kāinga Ora. The buyer only needs a 5% deposit.

Nationally, 1775 first home loan applications were approved in the year ending June 2022, but only 753 of those ended in complete settlements.

As at May 2022, the KiwiBuild programme has built 1300 “affordable” houses and 1200 more are underway.

$590

Tenancy Services figures show the median rent in the Auckland region across all housing at the end of July 2022 was $595 a week. That compares to $580 in 2021.

Meanwhile, the average household income in Auckland is $1065 a week, suggesting that on average, rental accommodation is costing Aucklanders roughly half of their income.

According to Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit’s latest housing assessment, there are between 233,000 and 265,000 rentals in the city.

The Government has sought to meet the housing shortage with new intensification rules.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The Government has sought to meet the housing shortage with new intensification rules.

$393,124,247

In the year ending June 2022, the Ministry of Social Development paid out $393,124,247 million for Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants across the country. That was across 144,525 grants.

The grants are given to people who do not have access to accommodation. They’re paid directly to an accommodation supplier, generally a motel.

The Government had people living in 358 “transitional motel places” in Auckland at the end of June 2022, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Some were living by the airport, others in Newmarket.

The Ministry of Social Development said that at the end of June it had 102 motels listed as suppliers of emergency accommodation in Auckland. The locations of motels ranged all the way from Waiuku to Warkworth.

The Ministry refused to say how many had signalled would not be able to offer emergency accommodation as borders reopened to tourism but acknowledged it was “reacting to a fluid market”.

8550

In Auckland there are 8550 applicants on the housing register waiting list for public housing. Some of those people are living in their cars, others crammed in the homes or garages of relatives, while others may be in transitional housing.

More than a third (2949) are in the former Manukau City area.

Nationally, there were 26,664 applicants on the housing register as of June 2022, an increase of 8.9% from the same time last year.

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