Where you want to live is no less important than house prices
March 25, 2015 at 10:24 AM
There’s a lot of debate about where is the best place is to buy a home in Auckland, in terms of price increases and value for money, but age old wisdom would still suggest that proximity to work and good schools must always be a compelling factor (and it’s hard to go past Auckland’s North Shore for that kind of value).
Making a decision about where to live is more than about property values and affordability, and it is important not to be side-tracked by those issues to the exclusion of all else, such as desirable lifestyle and living environment.
Certainly it comes down to choice and the sacrifices you are inclined to make. A probation officer, Kelly Thompson, told the New Zealand Herald recently that she and her family had wanted to buy near her work on the North Shore, but found house prices unaffordable.
Instead the family bought a four bedroom home in Warkworth on a quarter-acre section, but it does mean a $140 a week commuting costs for Ms Thompson, and $600 a term in bus fares for her oldest daughter who attends Pinehurst College in Albany.
Overall, Auckland’s suburbs showed relatively similar increases in price, with valuation service QV telling media that central Auckland leads the way. Central-south Auckland increased 5.4 per cent over the past three months (almost 18 per cent up year on year), compared to Auckland city east up 5.1 per cent (15.4 per cent annually), and central-city properties which rose 4.7 per cent (11.3 per cent year on year).
Manukau values varied between 4.2 per cent and 4.4 per cent depending on location (11.5 per cent and 16.2 per cent year on year), while Waitakere was up 5.2 per cent (14.1 per cent year on year).
Auckland’s North Shore compares favourably with values climbing between 3.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent in the last three months (12.5 per cent and 14.1 per cent year on year).
Wherever you end up buying a home, there are several factors to take into account when you buy:
- Do a budget – know exactly how much to pay and where, and don’t forget things like mortgage insurance, home and contents insurance, home maintenance and commuting costs;
- Consider location – in terms of present and future values, proximity to good schools, accessibility to the motorway, closeness to family and friends;
- Security – research crime levels in the area and other socio-economic effects of the locale.
At the end of the day, affordability is important, values are important, but so is the lifestyle you want to live, and the environment you want to live it in.
If you have any more questions, or want to discuss your options, Christine would be happy to take your call.