11 Oct 2013

Report finds improved home affordability

7:55 am on 11 October 2013

A Massey University report says homes have become more affordable over the last quarter though one of the report's authors says he doesn't expect that to last.

The survey says houses nationally have become 1.47% more affordable, although there are large regional variations, such as in Hawke's Bay where affodability dropped 7.4%.

The report was compiled using mortgage interest rates, house prices and wage rates.

Co-author is Bob Hargreaves from Massey University says low interest rates have helped, but recent comments from the Reserve Bank Governor indicate recent historically low interest rates are not set to continue.

He says any improved affordability is unlikely to last, and predicts home affordability will in fact get worse.

While Southland remains the most affordable place to buy a home, Central Otago and Wellington were the most improved in the last quarter (by 6.2% and by 3.4% respectively).

Mr Hargreaves says that might be due to dipping interest rates.

He says the Wellington economy has been quite flat so house prices have not been escalating and average interest rates have been trending downwards over the period.

Mr Hargreaves says for those in work there would have been a small movement upwards which would also have helped affordability.