New Zealand is on the brink of a “real estate Armageddon”, according to the latest national survey.
The survey, conducted by The Housing Board and released on Monday, found that more than half of the country’s rental property was sold off, while nearly half of Kiwis still had no property.
More than half the properties surveyed were sold in the last 12 months.
According to The Housing Trust, just over a third of the property owners surveyed had “not yet found a suitable new home”.
“This is the worst ever,” the Housing Board said in a statement.
“While there have been plenty of changes in Auckland over the last year, there are still some of the most challenging housing conditions in New Zealand.”
Some people are buying houses, the report said.
There is a significant shortage of affordable rental accommodation in Auckland.
Ten per cent of the households surveyed reported having no affordable rental home in Auckland, up from 7 per cent in the previous survey.
“There is still significant scope for Auckland to become a new home for those who have fallen out of favour,” the housing trust said.
“This will help ensure that Aucklanders can continue to move around Auckland, but also help ensure they can find their next home.”
The survey also found that almost half of all the rental properties surveyed had an outstanding balance.
That means they were either out of money or had an insufficient amount of money to pay for the property.
This could mean that a tenant would be evicted without paying rent.
In addition, nearly half (47 per cent) of rental properties had a history of serious problems with repairs, the survey said.
It found that one in five properties had “significant” repairs that needed to be fixed within a year.
“If you don’t have a home, the likelihood is that you’re going to be homeless or living in a caravan,” said The Housing Fund’s John Goss.
“[It’s] a very serious problem.”
The report said that if a property owner fails to fix a property within a specified time period, they could lose the right to renew the lease.
“The report highlights that if an owner does not fix a rental property within 12 months, they are likely to lose their right to rent the property,” it said.
“This could be particularly harmful for low-income renters, as they are often unable to secure housing on the basis of their income.”
Despite the dire situation, there was still optimism that things would get better.
“I do believe that the housing crisis is coming to an end,” Goss said.
“People have been able to make their home purchase decisions, but they need to do it now.”
New Zealanders are more likely to live in a rented accommodation than a owner-occupied property, the Housing Trust said.
There were some positive developments.
About half of respondents said they were renting out their properties to a third party, compared to just 20 per cent renting out.
Another 40 per cent said they had been able or comfortable renting out a property to friends and family.
Some 20 per in 10 respondents said that a “new” landlord had taken over their property.
More than a third said they rented out their property to a family member.
“When I started renting out my property I had no idea how it was going to go, but I was happy to be renting it out,” one respondent said.
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