12 Nov 2020

House price rises could force families into cars

1:41 pm on 12 November 2020

A South Auckland councillor says rampant house price increases will likely force more families to sleep in cars, and choosing between rent and food.

Manukau Ward Councillor, Alf Filipaina

Manukau Ward Councillor, Alf Filipaina Photo: Kethaki Masilamani

The Real Estate Institute's October sales showed the average Manukau house sold for more than $1 million for the first time ever, up from $809,000 in October 2019.

Auckland councillor for Manukau, Alf Filipaina, said if landlords then pass that cost on to renters - or see an opportunity to raise rents - less well-off families will be in trouble.

"Will that then cause the people who are currently in the rental accomodation [to have] to leave? Then you'll find, I believe anyway, people living in cars," Filipaina said.

He said due to the proportion of incomes spent on housing, increases had significant flow-on effects into other areas of life.

"We'll end up looking at families choosing between food on the table and paying their rent. And I know at the moment they would end up paying their rent, and looking at fast food because it's cheap, and then we get into other issues."

He said the shifting goal posts of the amount needed for a deposit kept prospective first-home buyers on a treadmill.

"Even people that have been saving for years to get a deposit, you find the median value of a house [has gone up]... it just puts you back a few years.

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