Shared Thoughts

February 24, 2013

Housing Affordability | Part 1

Auckland’s projected growth to 2.2 – 2.5 million by 2040 will require around 13,000 houses built per year to meet demand. At the current rate of 3,800 houses per year, we have a “crisis” on hand. Before panic buying sets in, the prophetic politicians vie with councils claims to have the solution. Labour plans to build 100,000 houses and Auckland Council will expand the cities limits and lift its lid a little higher.

There is a lot of media about the death of the kiwi quarter acre dream by way of rampant housing prices. Demographia described Aucklands housing as “severely unaffordable” where the median house price is 6.7 time the average wage. Affordable is a factor of 3.

Some suggested solutions push more money to compete for the same supply, such as government aid for first home buyers and low interest loans, and others look to lift supply such as the subdivision at Hobsonville point.

General trends indicate a growing market for intensification, although there is a negative stigma to it as recognised in the Auckland Plan:

“ At present there is a limited but growing market for intensified housing. The reasons for this include the traditional New Zealand preference for detached homes, expectations of the size of housing that far exceed incomes, and examples of poorly designed apartments, especially in the CBD” Auckland Plan, Chapter 11, part 626.

As such we need to have a public discussion about how life necessary amenities can be provided for in intensified environments, showcasing great examples to inspire people to change their expectations. Perhaps you don’t need a  4 bedroom house with walk in wardrobe, ensuites, study and a double garage when you can walk to work, share your study as a guest bedroom and share a bathroom with family members. 

Quick facts:

  • Auckland’s housing is severely unaffordable 
  • Average house prices in Auckland are at $615,000, breaking the 2007 peak.
  • 35% Growth in average home floor area from 1991 to 2011, 144 m2 to 220 m2.
  • Labour plans to build 100,000 houses at an average of $300,000 each – a $30 billion dollar project 
  • 400,000 new houses needed by 2040, approx 13,000 per year
  • 3,800 consents issued in 2011


Published by Alastair Mckenzie | Shared Thoughts are the views as written by the Author, not of the AAA.


One Comment

  1. Mary

    Interesting write up, wow that’s alot of new houses projected to match the amount of growth!
    We certainly are fast tracked to becoming a super city good and proper..

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