As house prices in the country’s biggest city spiral out of control, Auckland homeowners are cashing in their chips and buying mansions in the regions.
Thousands of property owners are now sitting on million-dollar goldmines thanks to rampant capital gain. The lure of a traffic-free, laid-back lifestyle with outdoor space for the children is proving tempting for many, and one-in-10 Hawkes Bay sales are now to ex-pat Aucklanders. The Bay of Islands and Marlborough are also drawing “Jafa” homeowners keen to escape the rat race. They have newly acquired equity thanks to soaring Auckland house prices which hit a median of $720,000 last month – a 13 per cent jump in the past year alone.
In Marlborough, with its climate, vineyards and scenery, the median selling price last month was $316,500 this could buy a modern three-to-five-bedroom house, some with great views, a swimming pool, hobby orchard and up to 4000sq m of land.
On Saturday the Weekend Herald revealed the average Auckland home had earned nearly $230 a day in the past year – nearly twice what the average worker earned from their job. The annual capital gain on a standard Auckland home was on a par with the salary of an entry-level doctor or head of department teacher with responsibility for 10 staff.
The rampant property market has sparked warnings from the Reserve Bank and calls for action from the country’s human rights watchdog.