The first home buyers of 10 years ago will now be well placed to make the move into their next property

The first home buyers of 10 years ago will now be well placed to make the move into their next property

The housing market may be tough for first home buyers, but the latest figures show many existing homeowners will be well placed to make their next move up the property ladder.

To get an idea of how much existing home owners have benefitted from increasing property prices over the last 10 years, and how well placed they are to move up the property ladder into a more expensive home, delved into the archives of its Home Loan Affordability Reports to build a profile of typical buyers who purchased their first home 10 years ago.

A decade ago in July 2009, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s national lower quartile selling price was $245,000. So if typical first home buyers had purchased a home at that price then, what would the numbers look like for them to sell that home now and move onto the second rung of the property ladder and buy a median-priced home in today’s market?

By July this year the REINZ’s national lower quartile price had increased to $402,000. So if the first home buyers from 10 years ago sold their home at that price, they would have made a handy capital gain of $157,000.

However estimates that their total equity after the sale of the property would be $230,444 after allowing for agency commission on the sale, their capital gain, their original 20% deposit ($49,000) and 10 years’ worth of capital repayments on their mortgage.

If they were to purchase another home at the July 2019 median price of $575,000, the $230,444 proceeds from the sale of their first home would provide them with a 40.1% deposit, enough to ensure they would qualify for the most favourable home loan rates from the banks.

And provided they are on average wages, the current low interest rate environment means the payments should be very affordable.

With a deposit of $230,444 they would need to borrow $344,556 to buy a home at the median price of $575,000.

If they took out a 30 year mortgage at the average July 2019 fixed rate of 3.81%, the payments would be equivalent to $370.91 a week.

According to the Home Loan Affordability Reports, the national median after-tax pay of couples aged 35-39 where both work full time, is $1896.97 a week, which means mortgage payments would take up just 19.6% of their after-tax pay, which is well affordable by any measure.

It is also more affordable than the mortgage payments would have been when they purchased their first home at the lower quartile price 10 years ago. Because although the amount they would have had to borrow to buy it would have been less ($196,000 assuming a 20% deposit), the average two year fixed mortgage rate was 6.25% back then and they would likely have been earning less, with the median after tax pay for working couples in July 2009 being $1308.47 a week.

That means that when they purchased their lower quartile-priced home 10 years ago, mortgage payments would have eaten up 21.3% of their take home pay, compared to 19.6% for their new median-priced home now.

And the combination of having 40% equity in their new home and very affordable mortgage payments gives them considerable flexibility.

For example they could choose to shorten the term of their mortgage and pay it off sooner without putting too much strain on their household budget, or they could leave the regular payments low and save a bit on the side, which they could use to either make lump sum payments on the mortgage or invest elsewhere.

So from that point of view, moving up a rung on the property ladder looks like a good idea.

But what about the risks?

They are the usual suspects – that the home owners could suffer a significant loss of income at some stage causing difficulties meeting mortgage payments, that interest rates could rise pushing up mortgage payments, or that housing values could fall, reducing their equity, or a combination of those.

However with an initial deposit of 40% and low mortgage payments as a percentage of income, home owners who have their hearts set on buying a better property may well decide the risks are worth it, or at least manageable.

And if you look at the numbers for the Auckland market where capital gains have been greatest over the last 10 years, the numbers are even more compelling.

If a couple purchased a home at Auckland’s July 2009 lower quartile price of $331,000 and sold it at the July 2019 lower quartile price of $650,000, they would have made a capital gain of $319,000 and their total equity would be $409,414 (based on the Home Loan Affordability Report for Auckland).

That would give them a 49.3% deposit on a new home at the July 2019 median price of $830,000, and the mortgage payments would take up just 22.4% of the median take home pay of full time working couples aged 35-39 in the region.

With a near 50% equity stake in their new home and mortgage payments of less than a quarter of their after tax income, that could look like an attractive proposition to many, even after allowing for the economic uncertainties which abound at the moment.

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Just a little comment to fire up a quiet weekend for some.
Great article.
Those (mainly Generation X and the early Millennialls) that purchased homes just prior to 2010 have twice significantly benefited - the very significant and rapid inflation in house prices and the very significant falls in mortgage interest rates.
Arguably it is these generations are the blessed ones rather than the much maligned Baby Boomers.
In anticipation of the howls of protest - "interest rates of 25%". :)


Servicing a mortgage costs roughly the same now (at record low interest rates!) as it did in 1987 (at record high interest rates!), but saving up for the deposit takes 3 times longer. I didn't take inflation into account, which actually helped the boomers repay their mortgages sooner.

Here are my calculations:
The much maligned Baby Boomers had houses available to them at 3.5x the median salary (1987). In 2018, the median house price is 10.8x the median salary.
So first of all, assuming an 80% LVR in both cases, the wage earner had to save up 0.7x their annual income for a deposit in 1987, whereas in 2018 they needed 2.1x their annual income. Meaning the latter generation has to save money for 3x as long (ignoring living costs).

Looking at interest rates, in 1987 this was somewhere between 15% and 20%, ie. people were paying 42-56% of their income as interest. In 2018, people are paying 35%. Although this number is lower, when you add payments for the principal (13% of income vs 29% of income), they end up as roughly the same.

Also, how many boomers bought on one income and didn't have childcare costs?

Childcare costs... No no no, they got childcare benefits. Capitalise your (universal) family benefit for a couple of kids, and boom, there is most of your deposit.. as explained by none other than Ashley Church

I thought generations pre-millenial were the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" sort, that did it tough through periods of crippling mortgage interest rates and wage freezes (now think for a moment why a wage freeze might need to be enacted....). No hand outs, just hard work and a hard slog while they paid back a mortgage the equivalent of 2 - 3 years wages. Come to think of it, today's deposit requirements alone are often 2 - 3 years wages and people are expected to save (not borrow) this. Were previous generations that frivolous they couldn't save a couple of years wages to buy a house (when deposit rates hit double digits)?

Seems odd, indeed. Why did they even need mortgages? What with all the saving hard, avoiding coffees (though not beers), no such thing as Sky telly etc.

Doesn't ring true.

Heroic / [massively heroic] to assume that "early Millennials" purchased 10 years ago.

Most people in the 35-39 age bracket that I know, who are professionals, purchased their first home <5 years ago.
Quick checks on show they have little to no capital appreciation since purchasing... right at the time they desire to move to better school zones &/or need to upsize.
It's no mystery that family homes in good suburbs are struggling to sell.

"Much maligned Baby Boomers":
i) Paid 25%, yeah - When inflation was running at 20%. So their income was growing at a similar rate whilst their debt was inflated away. Nice try though;
ii) Purchased at far lower multiples of income, so were never exposed to this magnitude/risk of leverage;
iii) Had the ability to purchase on a single income and avoid child care costs (as previously mentioned), which are as bad if not worse than private school fees;
iv) Didn't have to pay student loan debt;
v) Have had their retirements basically bailed out through the capital appreciation on their assets. Had it not been for this property cycle and selling on to young fools at far higher prices many of this generation would have been up a creek without an oar.


If they havent paid interest only, and their incomes increased, and they didnt use the equity as an atm to pay for cars and holidays, if one of them didnt take time off work for kids, if they didnt invest their equity in a business that failed, if they didnt get sick from the stress of a massive mortgage, if they are in the 10% of households whose income exceeds their outgoings, if their DSR was under 30%. Real life can get in the way of a neat and simple theory.

Hi Somebloke,

There are plenty of FHBs who are sufficiently disciplined to do the hard-yards through the first few years of home ownership.

In fact, the data shows that very few FHBs end up having their homes sold from under them (i.e. mortgagee sales).


True i made more than a mil off a single house i bought as a first NZ home buyer.

Where and when?

Devonport. 2000 to 2014.

65% luck and 35% good judgement. In my opinion 2/3rds of the price move couldnt have happened without the insanity that gripped the mortgage markets around 2004 and is still in play today.

Each person is in charge if his/her own life, if someone had poor discipline and squandered a lot of money, that's their choice.

"Each person is in charge if his/her own life"
Wrong. They are in charge from the point where they become adults. A lot of stuff can happen before that point in time, either highly advantageous or disadvantageous, that are out of that person's control.

True but you're are arguing for arguments sake. The original post was made about FHB, clearly not children...
Still to make you happy: "Each adult person is in charge of his/her own life"

That's true, and some people have different priorities other than buying lots and lots of property.
You could say I've squandered money on travel and experiences, at the expense of buying properties. But I'd say I've lived a life of lots of great, different experiences that I wouldn't have had if I 'settled down'. There's no right or wrong, is there?

Ahh it's amazing the difference a decade makes. Sadly those in Auckland who bought during the major foreign buying peak 2015 to 2017 will find it quite a bit harder if they purchased when property prices shot up 45% in just 3 years. Still what goes will drop back down to affordable levels.
Remember this (Nov 16, 2017): Spike in Auckland property values sees 45 per cent rise in prices over last three years.

"what goes (up) will drop back down to affordable levels"

That's exactly what people said 10 years ago, after the massive house price increase of 2002-2007 (which was a bigger % increase than 2012-2017)

Auckland's prices are certainly falling now to wage earner levels which is a good thing wouldn't you agree for FTB's and the wider economy. Here's a report that supports that data: Page 3 Auckland City Key Drivers "The median house price was $860,000 in July, down from $990,000 last month".

Also you have to remember the factors that drove prices up in the first place for Auckland have now for the most part gone. You have Trump and the Foreign Buyers Ban to thank for Auckland's falling house prices returning to wage earner levels.

Hi CJ099,

As you are aware, making judgements based on single-month movements in house price data is a widely discredited practice.

You continue to bring disrepute and infamy upon yourself for misleading and deceiving others. (The parallels with Donald Trump are noted.)


LOL Agent TTP, Oh dear you obviously don't realize the effect that Mr Trump (Who I can't stand by the way) has had on the US and global property markets. You do know that Trump has waged a Trade War with China and that has caused China to heavily restrict their "Capitol Outflows". Which means that all that mass overseas buying was abruptly brought to an end around 2017 end of the buying peak both here and Australia, Canada, etc.. So basically that's not much of this happening any more to massively over inflate property prices which is why they are dropping in Auckland.
Here go and read this article and stop making silly statements when you clearly don't understand basic economics. USA Today: 'The Trump effect': Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee

CJ099 sorry that is not true. I have just sold a series of flats for $1.2M and the top two biders were chinese, that could hardly speak English, so they were not born here. There are still chinese buyers out there.

How about Auckland sales 34% lower than in 2012?

I'm surprised to see TTP disparage making judgments based on single-month stats given his recent posts on the last two or three auction weeks.

$130k drop in 1 month, that's amazing, wait another 7 months and the house will be free

Well lets hope they just fall to affordable price levels. :)

This rhetoric of yours gets a bit boring, and I'm not sure if you are simply trolling or really believe your own BS. As you know (surely?), circumstances NOW are much different to how they were in 2010-2012. For a start, interest rates can't go much lower, as they could after 2010. Plus all the hot overseas money has dried up.

"The first home buyers of 10 years ago will now be well placed to make the move into their next property"

Indeed and that exact same comment could have been written 10 years ago, in 2009

And I expect this point will be made again in 2029

And I expect the average Auckland home to be $2 million in 2029.

You don't? Really?

Yes I’m picking 4 mil in 2039, 8 mil in 2049, 64 mil in 2079 and one billion in 2119, Ashley told me so.

Yep me too! Actually not really....whatever happens property investment and ownership is a great choice and a good legacy for the family.

Yes, because one of the great universal truths is that property doubles every ten years, regardless of the economy, income growth etc. (sarc)

That would take average yearly increase of 7%. Pretty likely. 5% real capital gain + 2% inflation.

Not that I necessarily disagree, but how is that going to be affordable? Are you expecting wage levels to shoot up by the same amount over that period?

GGP, it is not going to be affordable. Owning a house will become more and more a thing for the well-off, now I'm not saying this is right or fair but I prefer to deal with what is, rather than what should be.

And how far do you think that goes before some political party realises they can grab a huge number of votes on an eat the rich platform and (for example) tax the living daylights out of rental income, or require a yearly rental property licence or some other scheme that is the modern political equivalent of an angry mob with pitchforks?

Sounds a bit like TOP, who are circling the drain as we speak.

Hahaha, they really got up your nose didn't they BLSH.

Yes, very much so. No doubt in my mind that they are the most dangerous pack of extremists on NZ’s political landscape today. But hardly anyone knows enough about their policies to realise it - snakes in the grass. Not blsh.

Not BLSH? B*L*SH**

He obviously left quite an impression on you. But repeating is username won’t bring him back. This sort of obsession isn’t healthy. Move on, Pragmatist.

Obsession? Don't flatter yourself. Really wouldn't care if you never posted again, It's just amusing watching you deny what is plainly obvious to everybody.

Has your imaginary knife hit the floor yet?

How can it have hit the floor when its still sitting on the bench? I'll let you know when it fallsvif you want to try catching it.

If the average Auckland home reaches $2million by 2029, heaven only knows what house prices will reach in the upper-crust area of Freemans/St Marys/Hearn Bay?


If the average Auckland home reaches $2million by 2029,

Why would the average home reach a price tage of $2 mio? What is the probability of that happening? Is this based on the idea that the money supply will approx increase 100%, thereby increasing the price of everything by a similar amount?

You are wasting your time trying to talk logically and rationally with TTP, his views are based on things like Rich Mastery

If the average Auckland home reaches $2million by 2029,

Why would the average home reach a price tag of $2 mio? What is the probability of that happening? Is this based on the idea that the money supply will approx increase 100%, thereby increasing the price of everything by a similar amount?

But not in 1994. Just for those who stick to the bull that prices double EVERY decade

Yes, they have benefited from the growth, but they will be buying into this super inflated property market..

Nzherald article the the other day.. FHBs upto their nostrils in debt...

Sounds good!
The average length of time an owner of any classification holds on to their property in New Zealand is reported to be....just over 7 years. (That's on the high side for us. It was about 4 years before the GFC!) So...
Anyone who bought into the mythical 'good times' of 2009 (they didn't look like it at the time! But we did have the Central Bankers on our side. Can they be with us today?) would have been making their next move in 2016/17 - the peak of the market(?), not now.
That change-up in '16/'17 is likely to be looking 'down to stable' at the moment, but The Trend is Down for asset prices.
How low will they go and when?
We are about to find out!

Yes that seems logical. Also I would venture that most of them who may have been in their late 20's to mid 30's when buying in 2009 may be looking to downsize or move out of the cities to free up equity for their kids and or later retirement rather than take on lots more mortgage debt. Sure mortgage rates are lower depends on how long they remain at that low rate of interest.


Sadly ,for the young Auckland family ,30-34 years of age, blessed with one child contemplating a second , having brought 5 years ago , cannot move to the next rung as it would no longer be deemed affordable, even as prices are falling and mortgage rates have never been lower.

we are such a massive economy that we have the power to fight global headwinds.. the latest happening this morning.. GO NZ and its debt laden zombies....

“...could look like an attractive proposition to many, even after allowing for the economic uncertainties which abound at the moment.”
How attractive does it look if you also account for a quite reasonable probability (which people should) of the market dropping as much as Sydney and Melbourne have, and even more, Perth? You cannot just assume the best senario when involving so much money, and debt. Weird time to be writing a post like this to be honest, when there is quite a lot of uncertainty indeed about which way the market will go from here. Those who’ve made from the past few years could easily throw it away by upscaling now, catching a falling knife with more debt in tow. Past few years has been a good time to take profit and downsize. You’ll notice our former PM has done that.

Both the earlier and current PMs.

"Moving up the property ladder" is sociological and really about aspiration, self esteem, social mobility. etc. It's not necessarily a tactical move for wealth generation, even though most people would disagree with that. We're in extraordinary times where tsunamis of credit make the world feel like Waterworld. Expecting things to continue into the future as they have in the past is not a smart way to think at the moment.

True. Looked at moving about 18 months ago, a step up in schooling options only. Did look at several house but all owners and agents were in foreign fairyland. None sold. Building a major extention, several kids in private school, and keeping an extra million was path taken. And will save over a million in bubble debt doing so.

Without foreign crazy cash not sure whos going to buy some of central awks houses. Perhaps the pending police invasion of Hong Kong will produce more new owners?

Building a major extention, several kids in private school, and keeping an extra million was path taken. And will save over a million in bubble debt doing so.

I think what you will find (but won't read about in the media) is that most of the stress and breaking points are among those who've "jumped on the ladder" of housing with a fear of missing out. They're not necessarily low income or low middle income h'holds, but also extend into high middle and hign income.

NZ has a perennial underclass. That's never going to change. I know very well as I was raised that situation. However, there is something about the underclass that is quite telling. Many people in that bracket are quite adaptable and adapt their lifestyles accordingly. This is not where the economy breaks. It's among the middle class where aspirations are high and where asset bubbles are driven.

True that. The very rich and the underclass will keep on surviving at their usual levels. The aspiring middle class, which are the slaves making money for the rich and who get the cake crumbs, which they think is a just reward, who will be shocked into the necessity of adjusting to a new situation. Many may be pushed to the underclass category.


I consider myself in this cohort. I bought in 2011. Despite having significant ‘equity’ I’m very hesitant to purchase a more expensive house. Despite my equity, the loan I’d have to take out to get a better house is bigger than the original loan I took out. After slaving for a decade to pay down debt, the idea of taking on more debt and essentially starting again isn’t that appealing. I’m more interested in working to be debt free and investing in some productive assets.

I’m more interested in working to be debt free and investing in some productive assets.

The most attractive assets right now are arguably non-productive, like gold and silver. Miners are obviously productive. In the 20s and 30s, gold represented something outrageous like 1/3 of the world's wealth. Today it's more like 0.5%. The power brokers want people to pump money into the stock markets and housing. That's where the money is....for them. So gold and silver are meaningless to them.

Real inflation has not been in the production of goods and services. It's been in finanical markets. The average Joe doesn't understand that well and thinks he's rich because house prices have gone up. It's not a good situation when you think about is as history shows us that these things typically don't end well.

Excellent point. Shares, properry and old cars are all at crazy levels due to cheap printed money all looking for a home. Lending for lendings sake - look at the banks profits in little old nz. The everything bubble.

What do you think will happen to the >50 billion in Kiwisaver funds, if and when the s__t hits the fan ? More going in every day. Is Kiwisaver TBTF and will the savers be bailed out ?

The investment risk and investment gains & losses in Kiwisaver funds will be borne by investors. Each investor is responsible for their own investment choices. The Kiwisaver funds are typically unleveraged.

+1 as a 2012 buyer. Yes we could move up. Does it seem like a good idea? Gosh is that a big gap. I'd rather the market had stayed flat.

"I'd rather the market had stayed flat."
There is an interesting quote, the only thing that is constant is change. What is even more interesting is that the quote is from someone who lived in 500 bce, 2500 years ago. To me that is totally amazing because we usually think of the last two or three hundred years as when things were changing.

Been contemplating moving up for one year now, still unconvinced whether it will turn out to be a good decision. Will be taking on a bigger loan that we did for our first home. Paying down the first home seems to be more
Likely for us currently. But still, very tempting to upgrade.

It doesn't make any sense to buy in this market, not even if you are selling your home first, whatever you'll buy will be highly overpriced so you'd rather stay where you are.

It makes total sense to be trading up at the moment.
Interest rates are very attractive and buying and selling on the same market!
The gap would’ve narrowed from what you have and what you want!

B21, just want to make sure you and TheMan2 are referring to the same geographical market. Otherwise there is lots of scope for misunderstanding.

B21, can you clarify which geographical market you are referring to?

I think TheMan2 is referring to the Christchurch market. Perhaps TheMan2 can confirm this.

There are vastly different valuations between the Auckland market & the Christchurch market.

Valuations for Auckland and Christchurch are sure different. Aucklands are much higher as people want to live there for lifestyle and work opportunities. Christchurch has low valuations as people don’t want to live there. I read yesterday that property values in Hawkes Bay have increased a lot partially through so many people shifting there from Christchurch. Look to Christchurch values and rents to continue to drop as more people move out looking for a better life.

Gordon, show us the ecpvidence that people don’t want to live in chCh when the no.s clearly show that it is growing.
Did you read the article today in the Herald about the English hating Auckland??
Christchurch is the city of choice and will continue to be so, despite your jealousy!

A few English leaving Auckland will make no difference to the city of choice as they will be replaced by new English immigrants. Your poor little town will just become less relevant as time goes by. The smart ones who left your neck of the woods and who bought up north are laughing all the way to the Bank.

Gordon, Chch has more in its favour than many other places in nz and offshore so of course there will be demand from immigrants internally and externally to move there. I have thought for years of oneday buying a home there in chch. Pity about the earthquakes destroying some of the nice architecture

Have a good look at the rates comparison between the two. A $1.35 mill in CH CH pays $8000 a $2.65 mill in AKL pays $3900

I read that before when you mentioned it. According to john tamihere aucklanders are paying too much and he plans to have a rates freeze. They dont nnow how lucky they are.

And those who bought in 2016??

Editor: replies to comments are not appearing under the comment

Are you sure mike?

Possibly you mean replies where you've been grandfathered and others have edged you out. Replies are not always sorted chronologically by

Also if you aren't logged in when you hit reply, it'll ask you for login details and go to the reply form but won't slot the reply into the correct spot in the hierarchy.

The Man 2 is good at replying under the wrong slot, see below:

Banks, REAs and may be even RBNZ may be happy if the outcome like this happens.

But after just now getting out of the mortgage repayment pressure, I don't see many earlier FHBs eager to take on big loads again. And the future is not so certainly rosy. The pressure on landlords from successive legislative changes will put many off from the hassles of managing rental property portfolio.

Also their personal life circumstance might have changed, with children in the family, the cost of raising them, insurance etc. They will tread lightly.

If you think you going to make gains the next ten years you dreaming. And in 20 years we will have to many houses with people not breeding any more because of climate change. Plus old people have to start share living because they have no income out of their savings and have to sell up. Capital gains in the expensive areas are not going to be there.

Hummy. I can tell you from personal connection with retirees living in units that old people aka retirees do not like sharing accommodation, they even struggle to live next door to each other. The single females are cliquey and gossipy and the single males untidy and troublesome. Most are rather anxious and have a habit of falling out with each other. So if thats a basis for what drives the property market I would definitely rethink if I were you.

Doesn't change the fact that if their income isn't sufficient to support living alone they won't have a choice. Only question whether govt (or the sallies) will provide subsidised accommodation so they can afford it.

This boomer retiree can afford up to $350 pw but cant find a home. Good example of why not to rent for life.
Renters struggling to find housing as property market tightens |

If speculators didn't push up house prices, that poor soul may have owned his own house

There has to be someone to blame for his plight. Then you can use the same line yourself Dgm

A speculator's response

Success by Jim Rohn
People often ask me how I became successful in that six-year period of time while many of the people I knew did not.
The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do.
I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to.
I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to.
I found it easy to attend the classes and the seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter.
If I had to sum it up, I would say what I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do.
Six years later, I’m a millionaire and they are all still blaming the economy, the government, and company policies, yet they neglected to do the basic, easy things.

I did the same. People were saying I was mad. I painted and did up properties during my weekends, while others told me I was nuts. They looked at me as though I was very stupid. Now I have no debt, a stack of cash, 3 units and a great house overlooking the Bay. Im 65yrs old now, I started when I was about 45yrs because I was told the government wasn't going to give me any superannuation. I bought 9 rental houses besides my own house, and would have bought more if my wife hadn't got scared about the mountain of debt, then sold to pay off debt and have some cash. However Im happy that we have the means to travel every year around the world, and help our kids to buy property, if need be. The same people that were saying I was stupid, now are saying I am greedy and should sell my properties at affordable prices so that other people can have somewhere to live. I worked hard at a job and did all my property work on the side. It wasn't easy. They didn't take action, and have the audacity to say I am greedy. Year right!

$350/week, doesn't sound like he has any income other than super.. so yeah, he's screwed. Two fridges/freezers, one covered with beer brand logos, and the other with all black pics. Wonder how much of his lifetime income got pissed away.

Whinging poms! Haha

NZDan, of course I reply out of order, otherwise it gets lost and not read by the intelligent ones on

So you deliberately lose the context of your posts so they don't get lost... Interdasting..

Take your medo Pal..

Oh good, the last generation to buy property when it was actually somewhat still affordable are doing well. That takes a load off

Do you know what would absolutely see the Auckland house price hit $2m? A big Wellington earthquake...Where would Wellingtonians move? Christchurch? Nope. Palmerston? Nope... Auckland home owners would hit the jackpot.