Latest NZ housing affordability data leaves home ownership 'completely otherworldly' for some Kiwis - expert

The latest data showing four out of five New Zealand renters would struggle to make mortgage repayments, casts doubt over the affordability of rent itself, a housing expert says.

The latest NZ Housing Affordability Survey reports four out of five renters would struggle to make mortgage repayments. Source: Breakfast

The New Zealand Housing Affordability Survey data released yesterday painted a damning picture of house prices across the country, with nearly every major city having become less affordable from 2016 to 2017.

Lifewise chief executive Moira Lawler says the data makes homeownership an "othewordly" prospect for many struggling Kiwis.

"The question this begs for me is if people who are renting would struggle to make mortgage payments, how are they doing making their rent payments?" she says.

"The people we work with, we work with street homeless and young homeless, those people are struggling to make rent, so the aspiration that one day they would buy a house is completely unrealistic."

Ms Lawler said it's Lifewise's expectation that things will get worse before they get better.

"It's harder and hard to find properties in Auckland. What you can find is expensive, and what is most worrying, is often of a reduced quality too. So there's lots that has to be done to improve the situation of renters," she said.

"Yes we're concerned about the amount of housing available, we have to do something to increase housing.

"But in the meantime we have to make renting a more secure proposition and improve the quality of housing people are living in."

Read more about the full Housing Affordability Measure (HAM) data released yesterday.