Accommodation in Auckland

Accommodation in Auckland
Updated 2023-02-18 19:34

Auckland is a beautiful coastal city with mild weather and a diverse population. It's also the biggest city in New Zealand and the country's commercial center, providing more job opportunities in a wide range of fields than elsewhere. Of course, this draws people from around the world to live there, so finding a place to live while staying within budget can be challenging.

What to look for in Auckland

When looking to rent in Auckland, people tend to think about which area of the city they want to live in: central, north, east, west, or south, then find a neighborhood they like that's within their budget. It is also important to take your commute into account when moving to Auckland, as the city is big, and you could end up spending a lot of time in traffic if you don't plan ahead.

Whether you are an apartment dweller, want a large yard for the kids, or are looking for an old villa with character, Auckland has a little of everything. Technically, Auckland spans just over 100 km north to south, from Warkworth to Pokeno, which means it includes the biggest business district in the country as well as bushland, farmland, and huge suburbs.

If you are a single person or couple, flatting (sharing a house with other people) or boarding (renting a room in someone's home) is a very common option for saving money. Splitting the rent and bills three or four ways can help hugely. However, this is not a common solution for families with children in Auckland.

Except for the CBD and some surrounding areas, apartment living is not very common. Most of the housing in Auckland is either standalone or semi-attached, and many will come with at least some yard space. Over time, some bigger houses have been split into smaller units, and there have been developments built of terraced housing, both of which can be both comfortable and cost-effective.

Suburbs in Auckland

With its diverse range of neighborhoods and suburbs, there's something for everyone in Auckland. Whether you're looking for an inner-city lifestyle, a quiet coastal retreat, or a multicultural hub of activity, Auckland has it all. Here's a breakdown of eight of Auckland's most popular suburbs, highlighting what makes each one special and exploring the affordability and amenities that each has to offer.

  • Ponsonby - This trendy inner-city suburb is known for its vibrant cultural scene, delicious dining options, and high-end shopping. Although it's one of the pricier options, it's definitely worth it if you're looking to live the high life.
  • Mount Eden - This suburb offers a great balance between affordability and accessibility to the city. With its charming villas, leafy streets, and stunning views of Auckland's volcanic cones, Mount Eden is a hidden gem.
  • Devonport - This seaside suburb is a favorite among families and retirees. With its relaxed lifestyle, charming boutique shops, and stunning harbor views, Devonport offers the best of both worlds.
  • Parnell - This historic suburb is one of Auckland's most sought-after addresses. With its grand old homes, elegant gardens, and proximity to Auckland's central business district, Parnell is the perfect place to live if you want to be close to the action.
  • Grey Lynn - This laid-back suburb is known for its bohemian vibe, great cafes, and quirky shops. Grey Lynn is a popular choice for those who want a laid-back lifestyle and easy access to the city.
  • Takapuna - This affluent seaside suburb is a popular choice for families, retirees, and professionals. With its stunning beaches, shopping centers, and top-notch restaurants, Takapuna is the perfect place to live if you're looking for a more laid-back lifestyle.
  • Sandringham - This multicultural suburb is a hub of activity, with a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and community facilities. With its affordable housing and close proximity to Auckland's central business district, Sandringham is a great option for those who want a city lifestyle at a more affordable price.
  • Newmarket - This trendy suburban shopping hub is known for its high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its proximity to Auckland's central business district and affordable housing options, Newmarket is a great choice for those who want to live close to the city but don't want to break the bank.

Finding accommodation in Auckland

Looking for a place to stay in Auckland can seem overwhelming, but don't worry - there are plenty of options available to suit all budgets and needs! Here are some of the best places to start your search for affordable accommodation in Auckland:

  • TradeMe - TradeMe is New Zealand's biggest online marketplace and is a great place to start your search for rental properties in Auckland. From studios to family homes, you'll find a wide range of options to choose from, all with detailed descriptions, photos, and prices.
  • Facebook Marketplace - Facebook Marketplace is a growing platform for buying and selling goods and services, including rental properties. This platform is easy to use and offers a simple way to connect with landlords or tenants who are advertising their properties.
  • Accommodation websites - Websites such as, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor offer various options for all budgets, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury apartments. You can compare prices, read reviews, and book online, making it easy to find the perfect place to stay.
  • Real estate agents - Real estate agents specialize in helping people find rental properties, and they often have a wealth of information and experience to help you find the perfect place. They can also show you properties in person, which can be a great way to get a feel for the area and the accommodation.
  • University halls of residence - If you're a student or a young person, university halls of residence can be a great, affordable option. With convenient locations and a supportive community, halls of residence are a popular choice for many students.
  • Flatmate finder websites - If you're looking to save money on rent and bills, finding a flatmate to share with can be a great option. Websites like Flatmate Finders and Flatmate Match connect people looking for shared accommodation, making it easy to find a suitable flatmate and a shared place to live.

Rent prices in Auckland

New Zealand tends to think about rent as a weekly payment rather than monthly, so keep that in mind when you go hunting for homes. It's also important to consider Auckland's relatively low average salary when you're thinking about your budget.

For renting a three-bedroom house or unit in Auckland, you should set aside around NZ$600 a week. For something similar in a nicer neighborhood, the price is around NZ$150 or more a week. For a four-bedroom house, the price will rise again. As prices vary greatly across the city, it's best to check out TradeMe to assess what landlords are asking or look at the tool on New Zealand's Tenancy Services website, which allows you to see market rent averages from suburb to suburb.

As in most cities, CBD living is by far the most expensive. There are areas of Auckland that tend to be cheaper (Eastern and Southern suburbs), but the distance from town is not always an indicator of price. Some very expensive enclaves are far from the city, near desirable beaches and bush, for instance, Waiheke Island and Piha.

If you are planning to flat (flatshare) or board, you will generally pay around a quarter to a third of the area's average rental price.

The reality of living in Auckland is that you could always find a nicer house in a nicer area for more money. If you wanted to pay NZ$3,000 a week, you could easily do so. The trick is to find a neighborhood and a price range that suits the life you want to live.

For more general information about renting and lease arrangements in New Zealand, check out our guide to accommodation in New Zealand.

The housing market in Auckland

The housing market in Auckland is known for being one of the most expensive in New Zealand, and prices can be quite high, especially in popular suburbs such as Ponsonby, Mount Eden, and Parnell. That being said, there are still affordable options available for those willing to look.

In recent years, the Auckland housing market has seen a trend of sharply increasing prices, with demand for properties outpacing the supply of available homes. This has led to a tight rental market and increased competition for rental properties, making it important for new expats to start their search for housing as early as possible. In 2022, a slow decline in housing prices began, but prices remain high by international standards.

For new expats, it's important to consider your budget and the type of lifestyle you're looking for when deciding on a location. Areas such as Mount Eden, Devonport, and Grey Lynn offer a good balance of affordability and accessibility to the city, while suburbs like Ponsonby and Parnell tend to be pricier but offer a more central location and a wider range of amenities. Casting a wider net and looking in Henderson and South Auckland can also help you find cheaper listings.

Buying property in Auckland

Generally, property in Auckland is bought and sold through a real estate agent, who acts as a mediator between the buyer and the seller. Private sales also occur, but if you are a new arrival to the country, it is more likely you will be using a real estate agent to help you get to grips with the process.

The process of buying a house in Auckland typically involves the following steps:

  • Research and budgeting: Determine your budget and research the local housing market. This can be a lengthy process, especially if you are new to the city and working out what area will suit you or your family best.
  • Home loan/mortgage: Work with a bank or broker to determine loan eligibility, interest rate and terms. In New Zealand, you can choose between floating or fixed interest rates, and your broker will help you determine the best choice for your financial situation.
  • Legal advice: Get support from a lawyer for the legal aspects of the process. While it is not required by law to have a lawyer when buying or selling a house in New Zealand, it is highly recommended. A lawyer can provide valuable advice and support in navigating the legal aspects of the real estate process, such as reviewing and negotiating the Sale and Purchase Agreement and ensuring that all necessary legal requirements are met.
  • Finding a property: This is the fun part! Browse online listings, visit open homes, or work with a real estate agent who will alert you to promising properties.
  • Due diligence: Conduct due diligence with a LIM report and final valuation to ensure the property is in good condition. Depending on the location of the property, it may be worth assessing its foundations and susceptibility to natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and slips.
  • Making an offer: Make an offer to the seller or participate in an auction, depending on how your sale is being conducted.
  • Signing sale agreement: Sign a legally binding Sale and Purchase Agreement with the seller.
  • Settling the sale: Transfer ownership and pay the purchase price to the seller.

For more detailed information on the buying and selling process, check out our article about buying property in Auckland.

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