How to save for a home in Hawke’s Bay, when prices are going up by $23 every hour

Work hard and save hard and you might just get a sprinkle of luck.

That’s the advice from a Napier first-home buyer who managed to break into the red-hot housing market earlier this year.

But experts say the region’s housing crisis means even saving hard won’t work for everyone, and more people are set to enter retirement with debt as a result.

House and rental prices have surged in Hawke’s Bay during the past five years.

The average property price during the last 12 months to September has jumped from $623,000 to $827,000 in the region, according to data from OneRoof-Valocity.

That’s an average jump of $23.40 an hour for the entire year – more than what working 24 hours a day on the minimum wage ($20 an hour) would get you.

Figures published today

also show there’s little relief from moving out of Hawke’s Bay – NZ’s average property value has now hit $1m.

Experts say it’s making buying a first home or covering rent increasingly difficult for many residents, with people moving back in with family just to cover costs.

Stewart Group director and financial advisor Nick Stewart said the huge jump in house prices in Hawke’s Bay could have an impact on people further down the track when they entet retirement.

“You have those that have bought property some time ago that are sitting with a balance sheet that has been inflated really well by house price inflation.

“Then you have a whole cohort of the population that are the have nots, that don’t own property and are seeing it inflated away from them every month.

“And the probability of them ever being an owner is becoming more remote.”

He said those people would have to continue renting for longer or take on a large amount of debt to buy a home, which could impact on their retirement plans.

“When they arrive for retirement in 15 or 20 years’ time then maybe we will see more people carrying debt into retirement,” he said.

“The average person has had inflation-like salary compensation increases, but house prices have dwarfed inflation three- and four-fold.

“So on that basis debt or renting are the two by-products.”

He urged people to take practical steps including seeking financial advice from a professional, to map out a plan for the future, and also not to remain on a KiwiSaver contribution holiday and put away money for retirement.

HOW MAYANK BROKE THROUGH

Mayank Malik, 36, managed to break into the housing market this year.

Malik operates a cleaning business as a CrestClean franchisee and now proudly owns his own two-bedroom home which he bought with his family in Taradale for $600,000.

He said the key was to work hard and save and make a deposit.

“If I can buy a house then anyone can buy a house.”

Malik and his wife, who also works, paid a deposit of 20 per cent for their home. Malik said a top tip for saving was not spending much on furniture or expensive items while renting.

He said you can easily spend $10,000 on furniture if you buy it new, which was a lot of money.

“My advice is to not buy lots of new things while saving,” he said.

“You never know when you will buy a house and whether your couch and furniture will even suit or fit your house.”

He said other than things like a washing machine, fridge and TV he had largely tried to buy or use items that were second-hand while renting.

He said it was wonderful to finally purchase a home and his family loved living in Hawke’s Bay.

“We are very happy,” he said.

“It is awesome to be living in your own home … no one is going to do an inspection, you can do whatever you want. You can decorate your own house as you want.

“And now whatever you are paying, your mortgage is actually coming down.”

FAMILIES BACK TOGETHER, TO SPLIT THE RENT

Kristal Leach, manager of Budget First in Hastings, said the housing crisis was resulting in more families sharing homes.

“The housing crisis in Hastings has pushed a lot of families into living together. You might have multi-generational families living under the one roof.”

She said that trend had been increasing since 2017.

“From 2017 we started to have large increases in property values, which drive rents up.

“And there was no corresponding increases for benefits, or people on low incomes did not receive a corresponding increase in their wage.

“So suddenly a lot of families actually found their rental unaffordable.”

She said in many cases residents left their rental property or were given a 90-day notice “because the landlord wanted to do a few minor repairs then put the price up.

“What we have today is many whanau living in transitional housing. Often that is motels.

“The alternative is whanau sort it out themselves but you have three generations living in a three-bedroom home with one bathroom and a sleep-out.”

She said a lot was being done to address the housing crisis including a promising programme helping whanau build on their own land, which reduces costs.

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