George and Melinda Rossolatos can't see why first-home buyers wouldn't consider moving to Onehunga.
The couple have lived in their Alfred St home for 15 years and are finally ready to upgrade.
The three bedroom 1860s weatherboard cottage has a council valuation of $450,000 - almost $100,000 below the current average house price for Auckland and much less than the skyrocketing inner suburbs.
First-time buyers have complained of feeling shut out of the Auckland property market as prices skyrocket but real estate agents are adamant they can still get value for money.
Using the realestate.co.nz website, which has listings from all the major real estate companies, the Herald searched for standalone three bedroom homes on freehold sections with an asking price under $500,000.
There were hundreds listed that fitted that criteria yesterday, with the majority in South Auckland but a few scattered on the central city fringe.
Some were touted as "do-ups" while others had already had extensive renovations carried out.
There were 13 listed in Auckland city, and a further 17 on Waiheke Island alone.
They were all situated as far out as Mt Albert in the west of the city, around to Onehunga and Mt Wellington further south and across to Glen Innes in the east.
The cheapest home was a $309,000, 1970s duplex on Mataroa Rd in Mt Wellington.
Just under the $500,000 mark was a place for $499,000 on Castlewood Grove in Blockhouse Bay on a 962sq m site.
There were up to 150 homes in West Auckland.
There were about 15 homes listed on the North Shore, with many in the suburbs of Birkdale and Beach Haven and several more in Glenfield, with a handful on Manuka Rd. The Herald revealed last week that with 45 sales and a median sales price of $424,500, the street had had more sales than any other street in Auckland.
South Auckland has the biggest choice and the most affordable, with more than 600 homes in Manukau, Papakura, and Franklin.
The Rossolatos say Onehunga has been the perfect "starter area".
Well blow us down with a feather. There really ARE affordable homes for first home buyers in Auckland. All that's required is for those potential buyers to compromise a little in terms of where they live.
We first entered the house market in the early 1980's building a less-than-1000sqft three-bedroom box. It wasn't a castle, but it was our house and we were immensely proud of it. When we sold it in the late 80's to move towns, we made a reasonable capital gain due to a spike in house prices during the Lange/Douglas years. We had to start somewhere, and we did.
Some bad decisions eroded our equity in later years, and we had to revise our expectations downwards. That was a matter of simple reality, a quality that seems absent today when young people expect to be able to move straight in to an executive home in Remuera or Fendalton. Life of course is nothing like that, and you have to do the hard yards first.
So maybe Kate Sutton and others like her simply have to revise THEIR expectations downwards as we and countless others have done over the year. The most important thing is to get a first step on the property ladder, and to do that, you have to be prepared to compromise. The Herald has done us a service by demonstrating that there are dozens of homes in Auckland on the market right now with price tags of less that $500,000. And that makes a nonsense of last week's Herald on Sunday story.