6 Dec 2011

NZ houses overpriced, says Economist

3:33 pm on 6 December 2011

New Zealand houses are 25% overpriced, according to an international economics magazine.

The Economist says New Zealand is one of nine countries where homes are significantly overvalued. Others include Australia, Canada and Britain.

In an article, headlined ''House of Horrors'', the magazine measures the value of houses in 16 countries, looking at affordability as well as how much an owner is expected to earn through rents.

It says house prices in New Zealand became slightly more expensive in the past year, relative to income, with a 0.1% increase.

However, housing affordability had improved by 4% since the peak in 2007.

In other countries such as Ireland, the United States and Canada, houses have become more than 20% more affordable.

The article also points out New Zealand homeowners get the second poorest return in terms of rents on homeownership out of the 16 countries.

The Economist also says New Zealand is one of seven countries that have higher household debt burdens in relation to income than America did at the peak of its bubble.