Mark Richardson's blunt advice to first-home buyers

The number of house sales to first-home buyers in Auckland is the lowest it's been in 20 years.

New QV figures show Auckland sales numbers have plummeted by 30 percent on June last year.

Spokeswoman Andrea Rush told The AM Show first-home buyers are feeling the squeeze the most.

The news sparked debate among the three AM Show hosts, with Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson owning houses, and Amanda Gillies still renting.

Richardson's advice to anxious first-home buyers was blunt. "Rent," he said.

"Invest in a fund that has property in it. Find other means to actually invest.

"I'm trying to give them a different method to actually get ahead," he told his co-hosts, "rather than just people being blinded by the need to buy property."

But such advice did not fly with Gillies, a potential first-home buyer. "The rent is so expensive here, it's really hard to get a deposit to put into another fund or buy into the regions," she said.

Richardson pushed his point, arguing that rental prices could drop: "For people who are locked out of the market - stop worrying about the price of purchasing a house and worry more about the cost of renting."

Garner disagreed. "But people still want to get into the market and have that Kiwi dream. Home ownership's been coming down for the last 15 years and more so in the last two years than at any other time in New Zealand history.

"We're really on the downward trend now but people still have that dream. They have the dream that I have achieved; they have the dream that you have achieved Mark… and it's just completely out of reach now. It is an election issue."