The dismal price of the booming New Zealand real estate market
The houses are being bought after less than a week on the market in Kaikohe – one of the few places in New Zealand with a median price below $ 300,000.
But tenants and even real estate agents are saddened by some of the repercussions.
Over the past decade, house prices in the city of Northland have risen sharply, while incomes have not.
CoreLogic data shows the median home price was $ 291,000 last month, a 22% increase from last year.
In the 2018 census, the city’s median annual income was $ 19,000.
A Salvation Army report released this week said “there is no safe place against the housing crisis.”
Kaikohe’s real estate agent Sandra Robinson said this is the reality of her community.
She has worked in real estate in Kaikohe for 28 years and is now looking after the grandchildren of some of her first clients.
Robinson told RNZ that for every first-time homebuyer she worked with, there was almost always a heartbroken family losing their long-term rental, amid a housing shortage in the city.
“These people and all their children, where are they going to go? These are the worst things for families. You take this into consideration that children may have to change schools, they may not even find anywhere. not really a lot of emergency accommodation here. There are only a few motels. So yeah, it’s a strain and we feel bad. “
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development does not have halfway houses in Kaikohe, but there are 27 people in the emergency housing of the Ministry of Social Development, with nine places available.
“You have to care about these people,” Robinson said.
In his view, the “unprecedented” increases in house prices are a direct result of the high cost of living and shortages in neighboring Auckland, and of interested buyers from outside the Far North.
CoreLogic data shows Kaikohe owners have some of the highest returns on investment in the country, at 7.6% last year, excluding expenses.
Mid North Budgeting Service administrator Sue Dunlop-Christie said tenants were doing it much harder than a decade ago.
“Before there was a very good rental pool in Kaikohe and the rents were affordable. But now there is no more accommodation and if there is it is the same price as Kerikeri.”
Tauranga’s dental assistant Pam Tipene (Ngāti Hine, Te Rarawa, Whakatōhea) was offered a job in Kaikohe last year and wanted to move her whānau of three there, to be closer to the father’s side of the family.
But after three months of constant calls, emails and applications, she had to turn down the job because she couldn’t find new rental property, even after looking at Kerikeri and Paihia.
“Get the job, [I was] telling everyone on Facebook “I’m moving north”, told my family, “I move north as soon as I have a house.” I’m still here. I felt pretty disappointed. “
The search was “really difficult for her” and she had “no idea it would be like this”.
But Kaikohe café manager Leti Palffy is one of the lucky ones – she was recently able to buy a house there.
She said it was “a great place to live and community oriented, with lovely people”.