A Kingston homeowner is encouraging young Queenstowners to shift from Struggle Street to her cheaper home patch.
Anna Hattaway, 28, arrived in the Wakatipu from Auckland a year ago.
But sick of paying rent, Hattaway and fiance Andrew Harvey, 34, opted to buy a house a bit further afield and pump money into a mortgage instead.
Due to steep Queenstown property prices – according to October’s Roost Home Loan Affordability Index, the resort is the least affordable place in New Zealand to buy a house – the couple bought in “quaint” Kingston after
visiting there on a fishing trip.
In August, they forked out $270,000 for their three-bedroom, two-bathroom Kingston home – the mortgage is only $50 a week more than they were paying their Kelvin Heights’ landlord – and they haven’t looked back since.
“We haven’t been stressed at all. It’s fine – mortgage goes out, it’s still the kind of money that we had before.”
“We’ve got a lot of friends that are really struggling and they always say ‘You know we won’t be able to afford to have children’. It’s just sad,” Hattaway says.
“At least out here we can afford to do things we want to do.”
She claims the 25-minute commute into Queenstown is “nothing” compared to at least an hour’s slog each way in Auckland.
“When I lived in Auckland I used to drive, then catch a ferry, then walk like a good 25 minutes to Westhaven, so
I was travelling all day to get to and from work.”
To cut petrol costs, Hattaway, who works in compliance support at Lakes Environmental, carpools with a work colleague.
She gets defensive when Kingston is called a hick town, considering there are a couple of pubs, a golf course, fire brigade and a good community.
Hattaway: “I’m a city girl myself and I think it is fine.
“There are heaps of young couples out here… obviously with the same mindset as us.”
Although they don’t have the Queenstown nightlife on their doorstep any more, Hattaway says people come to visit them, or they take turns being sober driver if they have a night out in the resort.
“We have actually saved money since we moved here,” Hattaway claims.