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Central Otago least affordable region

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017

Lindis Pass in Cental Otago © Arief Rasa/Getty Images Lindis Pass in Cental Otago Central Otago Lakes is now less affordable to live in than Auckland, according to a report.

The report, by Massey University, shows that Central Otago Lakes is 68 per cent less affordable than the rest of New Zealand, while Auckland is sitting at 55 per cent.

This is due to the improvement in affordability in Auckland by 7.5 per cent, combined with the decline of 8.2 per cent in Central Otago Lakes.

The median house price is nearly 14 times the median annual wage in Central Otago.

"These two regions are the least affordable by a clear margin," report author associate professor Graham Squires from Massey's School of Economics and Finance said.

"Central Otago also has the largest decline in affordability over the 12-month period, which is a reflection of tourism industry demand in Queenstown, a shortage of housing supply, speculative investment demand, a focus on high-end lifestyle living in the area, and largely stagnant wage increases"

The median house price in Auckland dropped 6.1 per cent, or $51,944 in the December 2016 - Februrary 2017 quarter, falling into second place.

A fall in house prices across seven regions, including Auckland, has improved national affordability in the same period, but the ratio of median house price to median wage remains very high in Auckland and Central Otago Lakes.

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