First-home buyers are struggling to keep up with the housing market

by Roxanne Libatique25 Sep 2020

First-home buyers are struggling to keep up with the fast-moving housing market as competition increases and demand outstrips housing supply, according to Tall Poppy Real Estate.

The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures have revealed that the annual median house price in Taranaki had increased by 15.3% in August to $451,000 – making it harder for first-home buyers to find affordable homes.

“There are fewer properties on the market under the $450,000 mark, meaning properties at the ‘First Home Buyer level’ are more limited than ever. Add to the mix that finance is taking longer for the banks to approve, and it's making it harder for them to get on the ladder,” said Kim Fever, the owner of Tall Poppy New Plymouth.

“If people can't buy an existing home, they're looking to new builds, due to the low-maintenance lifestyle and warmth they offer. But just like homes in the traditional first-home buyer bracket, prices are also increasing. Previously, you could buy a new build for under $700k; now the prices have crossed that threshold.”

Read more: Experts expect Auckland house prices to reach $1 million in 2020

Tall Poppy New Plymouth has reported a 30% increase in house sales since March 2020, thanks to families seeking more land and bigger homes as they shift to a remote-working culture.

“They want to be more self-sustained and have their veggie gardens and space for their family. With more people working from home, they're also looking to scale up, and moving from three to four bedrooms is popular because they need an office,” Fever said.

“There's a much bigger emphasis on family, and we often see parents coming to open homes looking for their children who want to move back to New Plymouth, especially buyers in their 20s to 30s who are moving closer to their parents and families before starting a family of their own.”

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