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Homeownership Elusive for Single Buyers

Buying a first home is the most difficult it’s ever been for single buyers, in a market where home ownership rates have fallen to their lowest levels in 60 years.

A Stocktake of New Zealand’s Housing, a report commissioned by the Government in late 2017 and released earlier this year, has identified a number of reasons for declining home ownership including; a fast-growing population, fewer new homes being built and house prices rising faster than incomes.

Craig Pope, of Pope & Co. Mortgages believes single people wanting to buy a home on their own are a hidden statistic in our housing market, with very few buyers able to secure a mortgage big enough to buy a house under their own steam - what was possible even 10 years ago is almost impossible today.

“We’re finding that unless a person has a very high income, it’s difficult to obtain enough lending to cover the budget needed in today's market . House prices have risen, mortgages are larger, and banks want to see sizeable household income to service the debt, ideally with contributions from two people, even with a large deposit, before they approve lending. They want to be confident that mortgage repayments will be made,” says Craig Pope.

According to QV, in the 12 months to February 2018, average house values rose by 7.6 percent to $764,020 in Wellington City, and 13.9 percent to $546,371 in Kapiti.

“Wellington’s housing market has been very strong. However, the climbing prices are squeezing out lone buyers who may have been able to afford an ‘entry-level’ 2 bedroom property 10 years ago. Trade Me’s latest Property Index has reported that a standard one - two bedroom home in Wellington was worth $437,800 in January. Realistically a mortgage of this size is out of reach of single buyers,” says Craig Pope.

If you are a single buyer, and determined to get on the property ladder, there are some options to consider.

“Look further afield for a first home if you’re happy to commute to work. Consider pooling resources - I recently met with a brother and sister who decided to buy a home together. Investing with trusted friends is another option. The key here is to explore all possible avenues to see if there is another way to home ownership,” says Craig Pope.

About Pope & Co.
Pope & Co. Mortgages is located upstairs at 18 Seaview Road, Paraparaumu Beach.

Established in 2010, Pope & Co. Mortgages (previously Craig Pope Mortgages and Insurance) is an award-winning mortgage broker and advice service. The Pope & Co. team provide a 7-day service covering Wellington, the Hutt Valley, Porirua, Kapiti, and the Wairarapa and further from their offices on the Kapiti Coast and in central Wellington.

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