The region continues to become more unaffordable as others trend the opposite way. Photo: File.

Nelson unaffordability grows

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Tasman and Nelson are among the most unaffordable places to buy a home in New Zealand, despite national affordability improving.

Massey University has released its quarterly Home Affordability Report which shows that Tasman is the second least affordable region behind Auckland, with Nelson coming in third.

Massey’s Home Affordability Index takes into account mortgage interest rates, house prices and wage levels.

Nelson and Tasman were two of just three regions in the country to see affordability decline during the last quarter to June.

Rachel Boyack, who stood for Labour in the last general election, says the Nelson Tasman region has become steadily more unaffordable over the past decade, and it is going to take the Government some time to turn this around and make housing affordable for working families and first-home buyers again.

“This is a long-term problem and will require time and energy to fix. I won’t be hiding from the challenge we face to lift home ownership and housing affordability in our region. I will continue to advocate for affordable housing in the Nelson region.”

She referenced the recent announcement that first-home buyers will only need a 5% deposit as part of a Welcome Home Loan, effective from October this year.

“This will greatly help first-home buyers to have access to the housing market.”

However, according the the Massey report, Nelson also saw the largest drop in income of all 16 regions during the three months from April to June 2019.

Income dropped by 6.5 per cent in Nelson, despite a national increase of 3.2 per cent.

The report says that the main reason behind the improvement of national affordability over the quarter has been the decrease in median house prices across many regions, combined with increase in incomes and decreases in interest rates.

REINZ puts Nelson’s median house price at $531,500 for June, with Tasman’s sitting at $635,000.