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Research Results

House prices $300,000 above what New Zealanders think is affordable

12 Jul 18

House prices $300,000 above what New Zealanders think is affordable
Home prices now $300,000 above 'affordable'

On average New Zealanders think an affordable home price would be $375,200.

This is $300,480 below Quotable Value’s national average house price, for the three months ending June 30, 2018.

A Horizon Research nationwide survey finds Aucklanders think the maximum realistic price for a home to be “affordable” is $468,400. The average Auckland house sold for $1,053,575 in June, 2018, according to QV.

What people in other areas think is affordable is also well out of line with the current market.

Hamilton residents, on average, think the maximum price to be affordable is $382,600. In June 2018 QV reported an average price there of $556,426.

Wellington: $425,800 thought to be affordable, $758,020 is the average June sale price.

Christchurch: $308,100 affordable, $494,707 average actual in June.

Tauranga: $381,600 affordable, $700,305 average actual in June.

Dunedin: $323,100 affordable, $409,898 actual in June.

Horizon surveyed 1,343 adults nationwide in April 2018.

The maximum average prices for homes to be affordable varied by age: 18 to 24-year-olds thought the maximum should be $329,900. Those 75+ had the highest average: $455,200.

Maximum affordable prices by age group and main and some provincial centres (for which respondent numbers allow reporting) are:

For a dwelling to be "affordable" for New Zealanders, what is the maximum you realistically think it should be?

Average price

All respondents


18-24 years


25-34 years


35-44 years


45-54 years


55-64 years


65-74 years


75 years or over


Whangarei District


Auckland Council


Hamilton City


Tauranga City


Rotorua District


Taupo District


Gisborne District


Napier City


Hastings District


New Plymouth District


Wanganui District


Palmerston North City


Kapiti Coast District


Porirua City


Wellington City


Hutt City


Upper Hutt City


Nelson City


Christchurch City


Dunedin City


Invercargill City



In some main centres large numbers think realistic maximum prices should be below the average found in this survey.

The survey, conducted in the public interest by Horizon, set out to measure what New Zealanders think is “affordable”, given current prices and the Government’s indication that “affordable” homes will be priced at about $650,000 in Auckland.

The Government has set $180,000 as the upper household income threshold for first home buyers wanting one of its KiwiBuild homes.

The $650,000 price target is $181,600 above what Aucklanders, on average, think is an affordable maximum price.

The Government says it is looking at other measures to help make homes affordable. This includes a shared equity scheme, through which the Government and others, might contribute to deposits for first home buyers.

The shared equity policy has twice as many supporters as opponents (41% to 19%) according to Horizon’s survey.

Average maximum affordable house price data is from a nationwide housing affordability perceptions survey of 1,343 adults, representing 18+ population, conducted by Horizon Research in April 2018. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.7%.

You are welcome to comment on these results at our Facebook page.

Political and economic journalist Bernard Hickey says the survey results show how much the talk of KiwiBuild making homes affordable is a charade.

For further information please contact: Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research: Telephone +64 21 076 2040, e-mail