Cost of living: Kiwis share regrets about buying first home

  • 05/11/2023

Kiwis have shared their regrets about buying their first home as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.       

The regrets were sparked by a Reddit post titled "Anyone regret buying their first home?", which has seen over 230 people respond to it.      

The person started the post by saying, "Just wonderting anyone have regret buying their first home? (sic)" before going on to explain his regret.     

"For me, I bought a apartment last year and then two months after settlement, I was told that the building was in the process of a claim and I got special levy. And the body corporate committee is not transparent and they tried to keep everyone silent about the case and construction defects," the poster said.

The post was flooded with responses after it went up on Friday afternoon, with one person sharing their experience of the value of their house decreasing.     

"Alot of the times yeah, when I see all of my friends overseas or out having fun and I'm just about scraping by with the mortgage. My house value has gone down and the mortgage barely decreases each month and I think to myself hmmmmm," one commenter said.     

Another person commented saying, "No such thing as a safe home. I got caught in a bad deal with a dodgy supplier. House got sold from under us".     

A third person commented saying, "I really wanted to sell when the value shot up during the pandemic but my partner refused & insisted they'll just keep going up forever like property in China (nek minnit)".     

One person commented on the struggle of trying to save up for his first home but feeling it's out of reach.  

"I'm 34, single, and only just starting to save for a house deposit. Honestly wondering if I should even bother anymore. It all feels so out of reach."  

Another person commented, "We bought a smaller first home, for a smaller mortgage. Now we are looking at the house we actually want, it will require a larger deposit and a larger mortgage. It doesn't feel like we are ahead".  

But not everyone had regrets, with some people saying they were happy with their decision to buy their first home.      

"I bought a new build in 2019. Double glazing, central heating, insulation etc. It's currently valued at 200k more than I paid for it. Best decision of my life tbh," the responder said.     

Another person said, "Just purchased my first home and couldn't be happier. Travelling is fun (I've travelled to 6 countries in the last 4 years) but what's not fun is having to rent or live with your parents in your 30's".   

House prices climbed by 30 percent in 2021, driven by low interest rates, insufficient housing stock and people worried about missing out on the opportunity of buying a house as prices were skyrocketing.   

But rates have since risen dramatically on the back of aggressive official cash rate hikes by the Reserve Bank, in turn slashing house prices. According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, the country's median house price was $767,000 as of July 31 - down from its 2021 peak of $925,000.