Home ownership used to be well within reach for most New Zealanders, but that is changing radically, said BNZ's director of retail and marketing Craig Herbison said in an opinion article for Fairfax Media
“Today, young people have to pay for their tertiary education, are heading off their OE, are thinking about starting businesses and are reconsidering the traditional notion of marriage.
“All meaning, often the first home is also coming later and at a time when we are trying to juggle many financial priorities,” Herbison said.
“Pile onto this rising house prices (particularly in Auckland) and 20 per cent deposits – and it all seems pretty daunting.”
Almost one in five non home-owners in New Zealand are not planning to own their own home according to BNZ's latest round of Financials Futures research.
“And across the whole population 21% of people don't think owning a home is a societal norm anymore. In our biggest city, this figure rises to one in four Aucklanders, who think owning a home isn't the status quo.
“So we've got to ask ourselves, how long will New Zealanders think home ownership should be a societal norm?
Herbison said those who aren’t planning to buy into the property ladder still need to think long-term about their finances and do some planning.
“To some extent our financial planning happens with not much thought beyond the outcome of owning a home and the subsequent capital gain.”
“The outlook on home ownership in New Zealand has changed. Less people see it as a given. It's a goal that needs be worked for.
“Yet, buying houses isn't the only way to be financially secure in this country. But, it is the most popular way and a lot else in New Zealand needs to change before people en masse step away from home ownership.
“And, if you're opting out of home ownership, make sure you actively think and plan for how this will impact your financial planning long term.”