As housing affordability continues to be a critical issue in New Zealand, the West Coast districts of Grey, Buller, and Westland emerge as beacons of affordability, according to the latest CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report.
While property values are falling, incomes rising, and interest rates stabilising nationwide, mortgage repayments still consume a large proportion of people's income, averaging 49% of gross annual average household income across the country. However, the West Coast presents a stark contrast, with significantly lower house prices and a smaller share of income required for mortgage repayments.
The average house price in New Zealand is $911,222, compared to just $342,682 in the Buller District. Additionally, the value-to-income ratio, which measures the relationship between house prices and household incomes, is 7.2 nationwide, whereas in the Grey District, it is only 3.6. This indicates that houses in the Grey District are much more affordable relative to the incomes of its residents compared to the national average.
Moreover, the share of income required for mortgage repayments in the Grey District is only 25%, almost half of the national average of 49%. This significant difference highlights the relative affordability of housing in the Grey District. Additionally, it takes an average of 9.6 years to save for a deposit in New Zealand, while in the Grey District, it takes just 4.8 years, making homeownership a more achievable goal for many residents.
CoreLogic NZ Chief Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said, "Even after the recent improvements, almost half of a household’s income being eaten up by interest repayments is relatively unaffordable compared to long-term averages." He added that any growth in house prices, even if modest, will put upwards pressure on many affordability measures. However, the data shows that the West Coast districts, particularly Grey and Buller, offer a reprieve from the nationwide housing affordability crisis.
The West Coast's relative affordability, coupled with its natural beauty and strong sense of community, makes it an attractive option for those looking to escape the housing pressures faced in other parts of the country.
Development West Coast releases 2023 Annual Report
DWC has released its Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2023, highlighting a year of economic challenges, strategic investments and significant support for the West Coast business community.Learn more
Rare penguins swim 2,000km to return to the West Coast
Making a 2,000-kilometre swim from their Sub-Antarctic Convergence summer feeding grounds, the Tawaki (Fiordland Crested Penguins) have once again reached the coastal rainforests of Lake Moeraki on the West Coast for their annual breeding season.Learn more
West Coast Gold Rush: Father-Son Duo Strikes Internet Gold
On the West Coast’s untamed natural wilderness, a father and son gold prospecting team are striking it rich, not just in gold but also in internet fame.Learn more
Pedal Power: West Coast Capitalises on Cycle Tourism
Cyclists have been injecting significant funds into the New Zealand economy, with 2.19 million cycle trail users contributing $950 million to regional economies and gaining $11 million worth of health benefits in 2021, according to two Government reports. This has led to a surge in local businesses keen to tap into the trend, including on the West Coast.Learn more
Couple who moved to West Coast say they haven't looked back
Nearly two years ago, Eliza Hood and her family left Gisborne for the charming coastal town of Greymouth. They didn't just find a new home, but also a welcoming community and a surprising economic trend that contrasts with the rest of New Zealand.Learn more
Wellington business owner moves company - and all his staff - to West Coast
When Greg McDonald told his staff he wanted to switch Wellington for the West Coast he was surprised by their response.Learn more