Buying guide

10 most affordable suburbs in Auckland

Does affordable housing in Auckland still exist? Yes and no.

The market may be slowing across the country, but prices in NZ's largest city skyrocketed to record-breaking heights in 2021 so securing a home in today’s market is still a big ask. The average asking price has stagnated around the $1.25 million mark, meaning a hefty $250k deposit is required to secure an average home in Auckland.

It’s not just first home buyers that have been hit hard by rampant price growth, with many existing homeowners now locked out of their own markets (if they want to move to the same neighbourhood).

Is hope on the horizon?

It’s not all doom and gloom, with evidence that prices are slowing across all property types – apartments, houses, units, and townhouses, as of February and have dropped slightly in Auckland. According to Trade Me data, national demand is down 11% year on year, In Auckland, demand has dropped even further, by 19%. At the same time, supply has increased by 22%, suggesting Aotearoa is transitioning into a buyers’ market.

While this doesn’t change the fact that prices are still unsustainably high, it will hopefully provide some relief to buyers struggling to get on the housing ladder, or those wishing to take that next step without being saddled with debt.

What does ‘affordable’ housing mean?

Can we continue to use the word ‘affordable’ when describing property in NZ, one of the world's hottest markets? It’s controversial, especially in Auckland where prices have reached record heights, compared to NZs other major centres. It’s widely accepted that affordable housing is defined by falling within the government house price caps, which currently sit at $700,000 in Auckland.

Unsurprisingly, buyers are struggling to find housing that falls below the $700,000 affordable price cap, due mainly to the highly-priced stand-alone home market – which makes up almost 80% of property demand.

“First home buyers are facing a real shortage of affordable stock,” says First Home Buyers Club Spokesperson, Lesley Harris.

“I challenge anyone to find a single property apart from an apartment at this price,” says Lesley. At the moment, 5% to 10% of first home buyers are eligible for that grant. You want this to be 95%, she says.

Prices reflect this demand, with the average asking price for a stand-alone home at $1.4 million. Townhouses come in a close second, having crept over the $1 million mark, now sitting at $1,080,000, and units and apartments, although still under the $800k mark, have experienced a 22% and 6% price jump respectively.

Urban properties (apartments, townhouses, and units) will continue to make up NZ’s affordable housing stock, especially as the country moves towards high-density living.

Auckland’s least-expensive suburbs:

Despite being the most affordable, these suburbs have experienced high levels of capital growth over the past two years. Most properties in this list lie further afield, with a few exceptions.

    1. City Centre - $546,000

    Unsurprisingly, City Centre is still the least expensive suburb, due to its large number of small apartments. While this won’t be suitable for families, single buyers or young couples may find bang for their buck here. Keep in mind the comparatively low capital growth apartments see compared to other property types.

    2. Manukau - $765,000

    Similarly, Manukau has a large number of apartments, keeping the average price down when compared to neighbouring suburbs.

    3. Henderson Valley - $868,430

    Prices in Auckland’s Waitakere district have been historically low compared to other districts, until 2020. Most suburbs have now climbed above the $1 million mark, except for Henderson Valley. Steeped in natural beauty, keen first home buyers could still find a bargain like the one below.

    5 Hayes Road, Henderson Valley, Waitakere City.

    4. Clendon Park – $886,189

    A mini suburb west of Manurewa, steeped in diversity and culture. Buyers will find a blend of old and new stand-alone homes, so it's certainly one for first home buyers to keep an eye on! 

    5. Tuakau – $895,669

    Sitting on the Waikato/Auckland border, this suburb supports local farmers and still sits far enough out of Auckland CBD to have experienced slow population growth over the past 10 years.

    6. Randwick Park – $897,158

    This eastern suburb is located near Manurewa and Clendon Park. A number of community-lead projects have transformed it into a thriving suburb, with all the amenities and local parks you'll ever need. 

    7. Waiuku – $901,471

    Bordering Waikato and the beautiful Āwhitu Peninsula, is the rural suburb of Waiuku. It will take you one hour (traffic-permitting) to drive there from the CBD, hence the slightly lower average asking prices. However, you’ll still be able to land yourself a comparatively affordable house and land package for under $900k.

    72 Glenbrook-Waiuku Road, Waiuku, Franklin.

    8. Newmarket – $907,945

    NZs premier retail and hospitality hub, with a high density of shopping outlets and high-end eateries. The housing stock is made up predominantly of apartments – both older and high-end new builds – as well as a small selection of character bungalows and villas.

    9. Eden Terrace – $908,969

    Auckland region's second smallest suburb, situated close to Kingsland and K Road, making it the ideal city-fringe location. You’ll find a high volume of apartments in Eden Terrace, as well as quirky eateries.

    10. Wellsford – $913,816

    The last stop before Northland, Wellsford comes in under $1 million. Buyers will find a suite of stand-alone homes but will need to prepare for a hefty commute.

    Affordable housing developments in Auckland

    This isn’t to say that bargains don’t exist in other suburbs, in fact, many now boast affordable housing developments, specifically targeted toward first home buyers and usually priced within the $700-$800k price range. Bear in mind, these often come with strict criteria such as:

      • A combined income limit of under 150k, however, some developments will require a combined income limit as low as 120k combined in order to be eligible, excluding many first home buyers straight off the bat.
      • The buyer must never have owned or co-owned property before
      • The property must be lived in for three years
      • The house must be bought in your name.

      Hobsonville point.

      The following suburbs have extensive affordable housing developments:

        • Hobsonville Point – run by ballot due to high-demand
        • Whenuapai – first-in, first-served basis, with strict criteria.
        • Avondale – Companies such as Ockham have delivered 14 affordable housing developments to the suburb (all priced in the 650K-885k+ range). They sell out quickly…