An international housing affordability survey says house prices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are severely unaffordable.
The Demographia International Housing Affordability survey rates the affordability of 100 urban property markets in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
It shows the area's affordability by working out how many years it would take, on an average household income, to buy an average-priced house.
Survey co-author Hugh Pavletich says out of 100 markets Auckland rated 15th-equal. Christchurch was 29th and Wellington was 39th equal.
The survey found it takes Aucklanders 6.6 years' full wage or salary to pay off a house. In Christchurch it takes 5.9 years and Wellington 5.2 years.
The survey shows no urban centres in New Zealand have affordable houses and blames excessive regulations for strangling the market. The restricted expansion of the major urban centres is a particular problem, the survey says.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand president Howard Morley says council regulation has been a major factor in driving up house prices.
Morley says he knows of property developers who have stopped building houses because of the regulation headache.
He says he understands the need for some regulation but feels the rules could be simplified in some cases.
Local Government New Zealand President Basil Morrison dismisses the survey findings.
Morrison says regulations are in place for a reason and house prices are driven by other factors.
found the most unaffordable property markets are Los Angeles and
Orange County in California.