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Housing Affordability Fires Up New Zealand’s Voters

  • Nation’s home ownership has fallen to lowest level since 1951
  • Ardern’s resurgent opposition party makes housing key issue
Houses stand in the suburb of Mount Wellington in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg
Updated on

When Olivia Hollywood began hunting for her first house in Wellington early last year, she was optimistic that half a million New Zealand dollars ($362,000) would get her on the property ladder.

After eight months attending packed viewings and watching homes auctioned at vastly inflated prices, Hollywood and her partner abandoned their search. Since then, average prices in the Wellington area have gained another 13 percent to exceed NZ$607,000. The couple is among thousands of Kiwis for whom home ownership is looking increasingly distant.