Top 5 Most Affordable Places to Live in New Zealand

New Zealand has always had a great reputation for its quality of life and is considered one of the best places to live. However, the cost of living is quickly rising, and home loans are taking up more of our income. In this blog post, we explore some of the most affordable places to live in NZ based on average household income, the costs of living, and house prices.


Christchurch has long had a reputation for being an affordable and beautiful city to live in. As one of New Zealand’s three biggest cities, Christchurch offers all the major amenities that you’ll see in other major cities. MoveHub highlights the affordability of life in Christchurch, with consumer costs estimated to be more than 9% lower than that of Auckland.

ChristchurchNZ’s Senior Economist highlights that as of June 2021, only an average of 18% of total income goes toward your mortgage. This is compared to an average of 39% in Auckland, more than double. Christchurch is continuously growing, with a notable increase in residential building consents, indicating that the rising house prices may drop as supply increases.



Nelson is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful regions, offering a huge range of activities, local talents, and stunning landscapes, but how costly is living there? Nelson Tasman NZ highlights the median price of housing at $518,000, over $300,000 below Auckland’s median, with the number of homes continuing to increase.

One of the biggest reductions in living costs in Nelson is transport. The location offers an extremely connected city road network, plenty of parking, and has a big focus on cycling. Public transport is efficient, and you’ll be able to get where you need to go, without spending a fortune on rising gas prices. If you’re looking to leave the hustle and bustle of city life, Nelson keeps things affordable. It also has a lovely, connected community, an ideal region for growing a family.



Whanganui may not be the first area that comes to mind when looking for a new location to move to, but the region is a top choice when considering affordability. Based on survey data from residents, basic living costs in Whanganui are estimated to be just $1,045 per week including rent, which the median salary ($3,101 after tax) could potentially cover for up to 3-months. This large difference between the estimated income and living costs highlights just how much living costs have raised throughout the rest of NZ.

The New Zealand Herald points out that the rising living costs are rapidly pushing Aucklanders out of the expensive city and encouraging families to live in other areas in NZ. The people interviewed for the article each had the same reasons for leaving; they were tired from working all the time, only to live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Those interviewed made it clear that the financial requirements of the city make the idea of owning a home feel unrealistic and can cause a lot of unneeded pressure on struggling families. Smaller regions in New Zealand offer families a chance to escape the ever-growing costs of bigger cities and join community-driven towns where they can live in financial comfort.



Whangarei may not be far from Auckland, but when comparing the living costs, they couldn’t be further apart! Comparing the living costs, Auckland’s standard rent prices are almost 70% higher and average grocery prices are almost 15% higher than those in Whangarei. As the district is so close to the Auckland Supercity, there is still access to all the amenities you may not find in the town.

The Whangarei District emphasises the low house prices, with the median sale price sitting at $765,000, more than $500,000 lower than Auckland’s median prices. With the well-connected layout making it easier to save on travel costs, the town also offers great quality of life and affordable transport options. The growing population in the district means that more houses are being built, jobs are being created, and the opportunity to find more affordable living options is becoming ample.



Porirua is situated in Wellington, offering Kiwis a location for a more stripped-back and likely financially comfortable lifestyle. This is thanks to the low rent prices, with an average 2-bedroom rental costing between $425 and $520 per week. On top of the low rental prices come the living costs, sitting just below $650 which could potentially bring your living expenses to just $1,000 a week.

Aligning with the rest of the Wellington region, Porirua has a large percentage of ‘high income’ households. The median household income in 2018 was the third highest in the Wellington region, at an estimated $108,400 per year. Porirua is just 20 minutes away from the Capital; with a growing population and expanding business district, more Kiwis are seeing the value of this small city.


Let Avanti Finance Help You Buy Your Home

Don’t let financial pressure make day-to-day life more difficult. Avanti Finance provides loans in NZ to help Kiwis move forward in life. If you’re looking to purchase a home, we can help. Apply today with Avanti.

This article is solely for information purposes and is not intended to be financial advice. If you need help, please contact Avanti Finance or your financial adviser. Neither Avanti Finance nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any loss or damage whatsoever which may directly or indirectly result from any information, representation or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, contained in this publication. References to third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. Avanti Finance accepts no responsibility for the availability or content of such websites.

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