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Monday, 10 December 2018 08:30 pm

Low listing numbers, but home buyers urged to keep looking

Feb 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Real Estate Agent Tom Culy has seen people looking for homes for up to 18 months.

A Salvation Army report echoes Culy’s experience of the housing shortage.

Recent building levels haven’t been able to keep up with New Zealand’s population growth and the problem has generated a housing shortage, according to the State of the Nation report.

“On TradeMe there’s 638 listings in Wellington stretching from Seatoun to Tawa, which is pretty low, there used to be maybe 1500 or 2000, over Christmas there was roughly 400 listings,” says Culy, who is an agent at Lowe & Co in Wellington.

The Salvation Army report says the decreases in housing availability are “entirely due” to an expansive immigration policy, which had little regard for New Zealand’s capacity to cater for the migrants’ housing needs.

 

The immigration policies have seen net migration of 200,000 people over the past three years.

In Auckland, the median house price fell during 2017 to $865,000, still representing a 68% increase over the past five years.

In five years the growth of the average New Zealand house price was about 43%.

“We had 60 people come look and five offers on a property in Mornington last week with an RV of $540,000 that went for a price in the low $800,000s,” says Culy.

“There aren’t so many cheap, run down properties left now, people have bought them, fixed them and sold them on.”

Home buyer Emma Levy spent a year off and on trying to buy a family home in Wellington, after moving back from Australia.

Levy and her partner had to take time off after property hunting became too intense for them.

“We were just in the market with so many people, we had an estate agent say that she didn’t need to bother with us, because the ball was in her court, she didn’t need us, we needed her,” she says.

“We turned up to some open homes that we could hardly move inside in the house.”

She says that potential home buyers need to block out all the noise they hear in the media and just keep going.

 

According to the Salvation Army report, over the past five years (2012 to 2017) the housing deficit in Auckland is estimated at just less than 20,000 units, while for the remainder of New Zealand this shortfall is just under 5000 units.

State of the Nation was prepared by the Salvation Army and written by Allan Johnson, social policy analyst for the Salvation Army.

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