Property affordability splits Kiwi society

Attitudes to property prices and ownership have driven a wedge through New Zealand society, a new ConsumerLink poll has found.

More than 80% of Kiwis believe values are too high, and some 42% want the Adern Government to instigate economic policies that would force down prices.

Radical economic action was most favoured by women and those aged 18-29 who did not own a home. Some 32% disagreed.

A government spokesperson told the website OneRoof that increasing the housing supply was the solution to affordability, not implementing policies that would threaten jobs and economic confidence.

A total of 1,000 New Zealanders took part in the ConsumerLink poll, commissioned by OneRoof. It followed the decision of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to raise interest rates at a fourth consecutive policy meeting.

The survey found more than half of the respondents did not feel they would be able to afford a home in the current market conditions. Residents of Auckland and Wellington were the most pessimistic about a future with an affordable housing market.

A quarter of respondents said they remained optimistic about buying a property.

Dual-income couples with no children and those who live on the South Island were the most upbeat.

The survey found homeowners have a different view of the market, with 61% claiming they would make a capital gain of more than 50% if they sold their home in the current market conditions.

Some 5% of owners who’ve had their property for less than a year believed they could double their money if they sold today.

The poll highlighted how attitudes towards the real estate market depended on whether respondents owned property, said James Wilson, the director of valuations at Valocity.

In an interview with OneRoof, he highlighted the finding that nearly three-quarters (73%) complained that being accepted for a mortgage was “too hard”.

He suspected this view was held by those who’d not applied for a home loan. Kiwis should “talk to a good broker and find out the reality”, he told the OneRoof website.

 “A lot of people will be pleasantly surprised at just how close they are to being able to buy a property. I think there is a wee bit of a perception-reality void.”