First-Time Home Buyers “Locked In” Despite Need for Compromise and Lending Difficulties

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An expert on first-time homebuyers says people need to take a different view of homeownership due to the current difficulties in the housing market.

People buy homes with others or move into boarders so they can enter the real estate market, according to an expert.
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

It was a banner year for the real estate market in 2021, the average price of homes in New Zealand topped $ 1 million for the first time.

According to the home price index from real estate data company CoreLogic, the year ended with an average price of $ 1,006,632 and a record annual market growth of 27.4%.

This exceeds the previous record of 24.4% set in 2003.

First Home Buyers Club manager Lesley Harris said Morning report the current housing market is incredibly difficult for people in big cities and provinces.

“I think we’ve known this for a long time… we don’t want to downplay how incredibly difficult it is. That said, we still see people walking into their first homes, but there are a lot of tradeoffs to be made.”

She said some of those compromises included people buying houses as a group, bringing in boarders and buying properties on the outskirts of major centers.

“The Kiwis are determined to get into their first home and they will do whatever it takes to actually make this move,” said Harris.

While homes tend to be cheaper in provincial areas, the lack of well-paying job opportunities in those areas could make them an untenable option for many first-time buyers.

“You have to consider that you have to live and earn an income, so generally in these provincial areas there are not as many opportunities for the highest paying jobs, so it is not as easy as it seems. .

“We just see it getting more difficult and people are getting very frustrated.”

Recent changes to the credit union and consumer credit law have made it even more difficult for first-time homebuyers to get a loan from the bank, she said.

As a result, banks were now paying close attention to the spending habits of potential first-time buyers.

Harris said it’s now even more important for first-time homebuyers to write off debts and cut spending before applying for a mortgage.

“People need to understand that if you have $ 9,000 in debt, student loans are looked at differently, but $ 9,000 debt, which was the average in our recent survey, will reduce what you can borrow by 70,000. $. “


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