Average house prices have increased by 6.7% in the last 12 months in New Zealand. However, the increase in Auckland central city was 11%. The reason for the increase was partly because mortgage rates are low at the moment, around 6%. There is also a shortage of houses, because of migrants and others moving to Auckland. The Auckland City Council wants to increase the density of housing instead of letting the city expand in area. The city is on a narrow strip of land between two harbours. Any increase in housing means expanding the city north and south. That creates problems with infrastructure – water, sewage and storm water pipes, as well as transport infrastructure such as roads, buses and rail.
In Auckland the average house price is more than $500,000.
Christchurch also has a housing shortage because of the earthquake nearly 2 years ago. Those people who live in the red zone have to move out of their house and find a new one. Also many tradesmen are needed for rebuilding the city and they need a place to live. House prices in the city and surrounding areas are now much higher than ever before. The average house price in Christchurch is now just over $400,000.
• average – add all the house prices and divide by the number of houses
• mortgage – money borrowed from the bank to buy a house
• shortage (n); short (adj) – not enough
• migrants – people who move here from another country; immigrants
• density – more people for every square kilometre
• expand – grow, get bigger
• narrow – not wide
• infrastructure – system of facilities and services so that a city can function
• sewage – pipes to carry waste from the bath, toilet etc
• tradesmen – e.g. builders, electricians, plumbers
• rebuilding – building the city again
• surrounding – all around
• red zone – area damaged by earthquakes