Despite mounting challenges, young Aucklanders still have their hearts set on home ownership and many are actively working towards their dream.
We asked the city's 'next first home buyers' - more than 500 Aucklanders aged 18 to 34 who are yet to own a property - about their future living plans, with the findings confirming the enduring strength of the Kiwi Dream. This is part one of a two-part series on the survey results.
Overwhelming result - home ownership is still the dream
"There is a lot of speculation around what first home buyers will be looking for in the future and how they want to live compared to the generations before them. This survey was about going straight to the source," says Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson.
An overwhelming 91% of those surveyed say they want to own their own home one day, citing benefits such as stability, financial security and investment potential.
"Many also noted the less tangible sides of home ownership - like having a place to bring up a family, and it being a long-term achievement they can take pride in.
"Others commented on their parents' hard work and perseverance to own a home, and their own desire to emulate that."
A more challenging dream for Aucklanders
Many respondents are less optimistic about the ability to turn their dream into a reality, particularly in the Auckland market, where feelings were split.
While homeownership in New Zealand as a whole is seen as an achievable goal by the majority of those aspiring to own a home (59%), just 38% say it is an achievable goal in Auckland for them and others like them.
"Open ended responses pointed to the significantly higher costs of buying in Auckland and difficulty saving the required deposit alongside other living costs as some of the key reasons behind their doubts.
"What is heartening and inspiring, however, is the number of young Kiwis still chasing their goals, even in the face of challenges and their own doubts."
Half of young Aucklanders would like to own a home
The survey found that half of young Aucklanders who would one day like to own a home are actively working towards their dream (49%).
"This is a different view from what some may have predicted of Auckland's young and aspiring home owners, and further supports the view that they haven’t given up on their Kiwi Dream."
Their top five actions included saving for a deposit (77%), reducing spend on luxury items (44%), looking to buy in alternative locations (27%), living at home with family (27%), and working additional hours, shifts or jobs (24%).
"And the steps being taken are sometimes more dramatic than just saving more and working harder."
Life milestones shifting
Among those making plans, the survey not only showed one in five (20%) respondents aged 25+ are living at home with family to help make their dream a reality, but a similar proportion are delaying having children in order to save money (18%).
"This equates to one-in-three of this group who are delaying either or both of those milestones to help make their homeownership dreams a reality."
*All percentages from point 2 onwards refer to the percentage of the majority of respondents who aspired to own property.
*Selection of open-ended responses not statistically representative. Some minor edits have been made for readability.
About the future first home buyers survey
The Barfoot & Thompson Next First Home Buyers Survey, conducted by TRA, questioned more than 500 Aucklanders aged 18 to 34 years old about their thoughts and feelings around home ownership and their future living plans. The margin of error on the total sample is +/- 4.3%, at the 95% confidence level. This is our second survey on the topic of first home buyers. See the results from the first survey
This year we are once again partnering with TVNZ's family renovation show Our First Home. The multi-night series (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights at 7.30pm on TV ONE) follows three Kiwi families as they put everything on the line to help their children take their first steps onto the property ladder.