Reddit user uncovers 1993 house listings in New Zealand, revealing the more affordable days of real estate

Care to pay $68,000 for a three-bedroom home?

Nowadays it's far too good to be true, but a newspaper clipping from 1993 of open homes in Rotorua has Kiwis reminiscing on the more affordable days of buying a house.

Earlier this month, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) said the median residential property price for New Zealand excluding Auckland increased 20.6 percent in the year to February 2022 to $785,000 - a new record high.

Meanwhile Auckland's median residential property price increased 8.2 percent annually, from $1,100,000 in February last year to $1,190,000, although it is down 0.8 percent on January. 

A Reddit user posted the 1993 newspaper clippings and asked: "Would we all love to pay these prices?"

Among the listings include a four-bedroom home for $89,000, a three-bedroom house that's just three years old for $105,000, or if you really wanted to splurge, you could get a four-bedroom home with country views and a massive lake for $238,000.

It should be noted that, thanks to inflation, $1 in 1993 is equivalent to $1.91 in today's money. But even still, the price difference between now and then is eye-opening.

Some commenters pointed out the difference of what an "absolute bargain" got you then versus now.

"1990: Please buy our house for $100,000. 2020: It's a shack in Grey Lynn worth $3,000,000, you're getting an absolute bargain," one person wrote.

Another person pointed out how nice it was to see a price listed alongside the house.

"Prices aside, can we return to real estate listings that actually state a goddamn price on them? This has been by far the most infuriating thing about house-shopping for me," they said.

Reddit user uncovers 1993 house listings in New Zealand, revealing the more affordable days of real estate
Photo credit: Reddit / kombilyfe

Despite the rising cost of housing - and the stark difference nearly 30 years makes - a real estate survey released earlier this month revealed a record number of agents are seeing a decline in house prices in their location.

Out of the 468 respondents in the REINZ and Tony Alexander Real Estate Survey, a record 44 percent of agents said that prices are declining in their location. Just 6 percent reported that prices are rising, 50 percent said they are falling, and 45 percent said they are not changing.

The survey shows that agents' feel prices are falling in all locations except Queenstown.

The decline in house prices is in stark contrast to what was seen between August 2020 and February 2021, where over 80 percent of agents regularly reported that prices were rising in their location. This was a "substantial turnaround" from the net 17 percent who in April 2020 at the start of lockdown said that prices were falling.