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  • Writer's pictureReal Estate Today - New Zealand

First Time Buyers Refuse to Wait According to NZ, Raine & Horne, General Manager

In the face of challenging market conditions over the past 18 months, such as stretched affordability, high interest rates, and higher living costs, first home buyers (FHBs) in New Zealand continue to defy the odds, establishing a new record high market share of 27%, according to CoreLogic’s recent First Home Buyer Report.

Keith Niederer, General Manager, NZ, Raine & Horne, stresses there is an age-old real estate saying, ‘Buy then wait. Don’t wait to buy’.

“And it appears that first-time buyers are astutely adopting this advice in droves,” he said.

Another real estate expert, Kelvin Davidson NZ Chief Property Economist, CoreLogic, highlighted the exceptional adaptability of FHBs, stating, “Whether it’s utilising low-deposit lending speed limits at the banks, leveraging their KiwiSaver for deposit assistance, accessing First Home Grants or First Home Loans, or making compromises on the size or location of their homes, FHBs are demonstrating remarkable success in realising their dream of home ownership.”

The first home buying trend stretches across New Zealand, with all significant centres reporting above-average FHB buying in 2023. Wider Wellington holds the most substantial market share for FHBs, with 33% of purchases in the year to date (4% above average).

At the other end of the spectrum, FHBs in Tauranga represented 21% of all property acquisitions - but this result is still a robust 5% above average.

Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin each report 5% higher than average market share for first home buyers, with Hamilton 6% above for 2023.

Provincial markets show a similar trend, with Invercargill holding the strongest market share for FHBs with 32% of purchases, a significant ten percentage points higher than the long-term average. Whangarei and Rotorua are other examples of ‘FHB hotspots’, as are smaller areas such as South Waikato and Clutha.

Notably, FHBs benefitted from the broader downturn in property values over the past 18 months, with the median price paid by the cohort falling from $720,000 in 2022 to $690,000 in 2023 to date.

Keith Niederer, added, “Despite facing formidable challenges, the resilience and adaptability of first home buyers is illustrated by the latest findings by CoreLogic.

“The record-high 27% market share for first home buyers also reflects another adage that where there is a will, there is a way. Younger people clearly see the benefits of buying a stake in New Zealand’s $NZ1.57 trillion real estate market.”


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