Nelson-Tasman housing affordability is getting worse

by Roxanne Libatique11 Sep 2019

Tasman and Nelson are now the second and third least affordable regions respectively for home buyers in New Zealand, according to Massey’s latest report.

The Massey Home Affordability Index found that the median sale price for the year ending March 2019 was $530,083 in Nelson while $593,500 in Tasman – an increase of 8.5% in the former while 6.9% in the latter and therefore a hike of almost 50% over the past five years.

Last year, the combined Nelson-Tasman region ranked third in the least affordable housing in the country, but they have been split into individual categories this year.

Read more: Hamilton's housing is “severely unaffordable”

The report alarmed Tasman district councillors – with Cr Dana Wensley insisting that they need to “get our hats on to think about what we can do.”

"I'd like to see us do something more ... to get a reversal of that trend because it is worrying that we second in unaffordability only to Auckland," Wensley said.

Meanwhile, Cr Kit Maling explained that the two companies which controlled house production may have prompted the sky-high housing prices in the district.

"Our costs are $2000 plus a square metre and in Australia they're $1000 a square metre, that's why our costs are so high and until central Government actually wants to take some action, they'll stay high. You can import something from Scotland cheaper than you can build here. It's ridiculous," Maling said.

Tim King, deputy mayor and committee chairman, said the council could lobby and submit but “not everyone gets what they submit.”

"All we can do is continue to lobby, continue to ask, continue to promote and hope at some point that someone up there listens," King said.

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