18 Sep 2014

NZ housing among least affordable

11:33 am on 18 September 2014

An international report has found housing in New Zealand is some of the least affordable in the world.

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The survey, published by the Bank of International Settlements, compared contemporary house prices with historical prices, in 55 countries.

The bank survey found New Zealand's ratio of house prices to income is 40 percent higher than the country's historical average, based on 35 years of data.

New Zealand's results were out of step with most countries', where the ratios of house prices to income are about the same as their historical benchmarks.

Only Belgium, Australia and Canada had higher ratios.

The survey's authors said countries with high ratios, compared with their historical figures, could find the growth in house prices slows, or even reverses.

The latest figures from economic thinktank Demographia show the median house in New Zealand now costs five-and-a-half times the median family income.