ACT leader David Seymour admits he's a beneficiary of property-holding trusts after years of saying he couldn't afford to buy

David Seymour has admitted he is beneficiary of trusts that own three houses, after years of claiming he couldn't afford to buy one.

The New Zealand Herald reports the ACT leader will include the properties in the 2021 register of pecuniary interests.

He told the paper it was an "honest mistake". The properties include houses in Northland and Whangarei, and a section of land. 

Seymour, who represents the wealthy Epsom electorate in Auckland, has long talked about not being able to afford a home. In 2017 he told Newstalk ZB he would like to "buy a house one day, but, like many people in my generation, it's a bit harder" than it was for older people.

"I'm just a regular guy that went on his OE, arrived back in the country, ended up standing for Parliament, and happened to do it in an electorate where if you want to live where you represent, it's a bit more expensive than most places."

That same year he told RNZ he couldn't afford to buy. 

"I spent most of my 20s travelling, moved overseas and back twice, spent two years of my life running for Parliament - obviously not paid to do that."

He said it was also "very difficult" to save without a long-term partner. 

And, again in 2017, he told the Herald "clearly the market is stuffed for everybody" if he couldn't buy.

He doesn't technically own the properties held by the trusts at the moment, but one day might as a beneficiary of the trusts, he told the Herald in its latest story. 

"The bit where I've made a mistake is where I just thought I don't own any property and moved on. I should have read properly that if you're a beneficiary of a trust that owns real property, then you must declare an interest."

As the leader of a party with 10 MPs, Seymour's base salary would be in the region of $200,000 a year. 

The median house price in New Zealand has skyrocketed in recent months, with asking prices on Trade Me now over $800,000. 

The median in Seymour's Epsom is over $1 million. 

In addition to the properties, Seymour said he also found an old Kiwisaver account with $2000 in it he didn't know about.