Housing affordability remains 'stretched' - CoreLogic data

Housing affordability remains "stretched" across the country, according to CoreLogic's latest report.

It says Kiwi households are being strained by recent rises in house prices, along with sustained high interest rates.

On average, people spent about half (49 percent) of their household incomes on mortgage repayments in the final quarter of last year. That remains unchanged from the previous two quarters.

"Housing affordability is still significantly stretched on this measure, given that the long-term average sits at 37 percent, illustrating the current challenges from high mortgage rates," CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said.

It's been hovering in the range of 49-52 percent since the start of 2022.

"The increase in mortgage rates themselves means that repayments continue to eat into many households' incomes," Davidson said.

CoreLogic said the proportion of income spent on mortgage repayments, and rents, can vary substantially between cities, as shown below.


  • 60 pct - Tauranga Moana / Tauranga
  • 55 pct - Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland
  • 49 pct - Aotearoa / New Zealand 
  • 47 pct - Kirikiriroa / Hamilton
  • 47 pct - Ōtautahi / Christchurch
  • 44 pct - Pōneke / Wellington
  • 43 pct - Ōtepoti / Dunedin 


  • 24 pct - Tauranga Moana / Tauranga
  • 22 pct - Ōtautahi / Christchurch
  • 22 pct - Aotearoa / New Zealand 
  • 22 pct - Ōtepoti / Dunedin 
  • 21 pct - Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland
  • 20 pct - Kirikiriroa / Hamilton
  • 18 pct - Pōneke / Wellington

Tauranga was the worst city for both share of income spent on both rent and mortgage repayments.

Davidson said the current unaffordability of homes will slow the rate of house price growth. 

"It's conceivable that prices may only rise roughly in line with incomes over the next few years."

He believes mortgage rates will head down in the next two years, which would help affordability.


Properties across Aotearoa are now valued at seven times the median household income, Davidson said.

He said that's better than the record high of 8.6 times household income but it's still much higher than the long-term average of 5.9 times household income.

Tauranga remains the most unaffordable, with a house price-to-income ratio of 8.5.


Davidson said in the final quarter of last year, it took 9.3 years to save a deposit for a home.

That was down from a peak of 11.5 years in early 2022 but still above the long-term average of 7.9 years.

People need 11.3 years on average in Tauranga to save a deposit - the longest length of time in the country.


Davidson said the rental market is stretched, with renters on average spending 21.6 percent of their incomes on rent.

Ōtautahi/Christchurch has become the second least affordable city, behind Tauranga, due to rents rising faster than average incomes.

Other centres have had relatively stable rents in the final quarter of last year.