Rising prices for homes and rent in Auckland are starting to affect young Kiwis in the region with a new study showing a large number ditching the city for cheaper options elsewhere.
Numbers show more millennials left the big smoke last year than those who moved in and as Professor Francis Collins from the University of Waikato's National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis said this morning, money is a key factor.
"Getting an exact sense of why people are leaving is a bit tricky but what I think we can see is the one thing that has changed in Auckland in recent years is the price of houses but also the cost of rent," he told TVNZ1's Breakfast.
"It's been really clear that it's led to a big change in the number of people, particularly young people, leaving the city."
As a result, other large cities are seeing an influx in millennials moving to their centres.
"People go to places for the opportunities that are there.
"Some may well be leaving [Auckland] but some might still be working there and commuting in from further distances like Waikato for example but others will be looking at the opportunities that they can get in other cities around the country.
"When we looked at where these people were going, quite a few people were going to places like Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton as well.
"They are going to other cities but perhaps places that are a bit more affordable but might still have some of the mix of the city life that we expect young people to be after.
Professor Collins said smaller communities weren't seeing much interest from those leaving Auckland.
He added a big section of youth still moving into Auckland are coming from overseas.
"Of the people coming in from overseas, they're likely to be international students so they're studying or perhaps they're on work visas or on working holiday visas."
Professor Collins also warned he doesn't expect the trend to slow down.
"If we look at the property prices and we're saying that's the main driver of this... they don't look like they're turning around any time soon and in terms of house prices., we would have to see quite a dramatic decline in house prices."