Tim Walker’s Building II

The fact is that Auckland house prices have for years been rising at a speed disproportionate to that of other New Zealand cities; the belief is that this inexorable pricing increase is rendering housing in Auckland ‘unaffordable’.

At what point did the majority of (Auckland) Kiwi adults start upholding the belief – perhaps after leaving home at a young age then whiling away an early adulthood producing not much of substance but while renting an overpriced city flat and surrounded by a cohort of like-minded imbeciles thus likely spending the bulk of any income on a frivolous array of questionable purchases as well as of course, rent – that after going through that youthful ‘insipid’ phase where a delinquent will make every effort to exert on life as little effort as possible yet still expect to reap gains similar to that of those who have put in the hard hours while also enjoying the novelty of a lifestyle of uninhibited excess coupled with minimal responsibility and maximal sloth resulting in optimal squalor, when did they seriously start upholding the belief that they ought to be able to simply step out of the aforementioned juvenile existence, and straight up into ownership of their own home?…

Given that the minimum deposit for a house across much of Auckland region is 20 percent of the house’s entire value, and given further that the median house price sits at somewhere around $1 million, generally, that’s maybe $200 grand a buyer needs to have available if they wish to engage the purchase of a home.

…A remarkable young woman appeared on the News the other night in a fine example of – in fact it must have been very much akin to what people used to do back in the days before everything was required to happen ‘instantaneously’, ‘right now’, ‘immediately’, ‘at this second’, ‘without delay’ or, ‘without any real planning or effort needed on my part’, and indeed – what sensible folk surely still do when they prepare to enter the housing market…

Realistically, for a first home buyer at least, one would expect the total house price to be significantly less than $1 million and ideally (but not invariably), a housing novice would first enlist the support and/or financial backing of a currently home-owning family member or such.

…The above, extremely mature, brilliant young lady demonstrated a fine example of what today’s New Zealand is so clearly lacking as, still only in her teenage years, she casually explained how she was proud to be ‘well on the way’ to becoming an Auckland property-owner, courtesy of the fact that she had ‘started saving for a house when she was 15’…

Obviously the best way to accumulate that elusive first house deposit is over time, as opposed to all at once, yet in this modern age where the art of planning, organisation or, dare I say it, forward thinking, seems to have dissipated along with our rapidly diminishing attention spans, the whole ‘over time’ thing is not a concept that many of us feel we should ever have to entertain.

…“Get off yours butts and build more houses,” is the Opposition’s frightfully short-sighted rebuttal, in the face of public nagging regarding Auckland’s high house prices/housing crisis in general; but obviously, in order to build more houses more land must first be made available and in order to provide more land the city of Auckland must continue to expand out over its fringes thereby potentially encroaching on valuable agricultural land currently needed to produce the nation’s crops (see, Tim Walker’s Sprawl), which is another (wholly informative and rather boring) issue altogether…

The main issue is in fact the issue hidden beneath the issue that these northern folk are so readily bemoaning; it’s not so much ‘high house prices’ caused by ‘the housing shortage’ which is making houses ‘unaffordable’ for most people; oh no, it’s that ‘most people’ appear to lack the foresight, the dedication, the maturity, the basic sense or indeed, the brainpower to comprehend the premise of building one’s savings over time in order to begin the purchasing process of their very first home.

…Also interviewed on the News the other night was a young couple who, when asked “…do you own a house in Auckland?” replied, “Fortunately we do, but we’re selling it and moving south…” (where they will likely find themselves occupying a freehold home, also having a great deal of expendable cash in their pockets); yet many people stuck in Auckland complaining about ‘the cost of living’, ‘having no job’, ‘having no home’ or perhaps even, ‘no foreseeable future’, don’t seem to realise that there is (almost) a whole other country out there, and it’s one hell of a lot less expensive to occupy than this so-called Auckland Super City…

I started saving for a house when I was 16 years’ old and still living under my parents’ roof; at the time it made sense to me to do it that way, and making further economical sense four years’ after that, was buying my first home when I was 20, in Canterbury.

…Times have changed a lot in past years admittedly, but the principle by which life is lived has not: ‘Nothing worth having ever comes easy’ – despite the prevalence of opinion that life ought to be just that.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Byan D House

Photography by Sam Weir-Else




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