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Housing `crisis' spreading: opposition

NZN 14/07/2016

The latest data on house price rises shows a crisis is spreading throughout the country, opposition parties say.

Real Estate Institute figures released on Friday show the median national sale price jumped 11 per cent to $500,000 in June from a year earlier.

Auckland's annual increase of 8.7 per cent lagged behind the national average but the city still hit a record median price of $821,000.

Regional record-setting included Waikato/Bay of Plenty at $438,000, Northland $360,000, Central Otago Lakes $730,050 and Otago $295,000.

Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, says steep regional increases indicate Auckland's problems are spilling over.

"Speculators are looking for bargains further afield," he said.

"When house prices go up, and wages are stagnant, it can only mean one thing - home ownership rates around the country are going to continue to fall."

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says the median Auckland house price rose $500 every day in June.

"First home buyers who had scraped together a deposit a month or two ago now won't have enough and will have to keep saving," he said.

"This is a grossly unfair, unsustainable and unacceptable situation."

Both parties say the government must take stronger action to control the housing market.

Although sales dropped in June, a seasonal trend, the market is continuing to strengthen fuelled by high migration and low interest rates.

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