There's been a lot said about the City of Sails over the past few weeks. The government's 2015 budget has brought attention once more to the astronomical prices, handing over a $52 million package to boost land supply and tighten the reins on enthusiastic investors. And the Reserve Bank has made a couple of LVR restrictions as a response to the soaring values. But does that mean residential property investment is out of your reach? Definitely not. 

For those who think property investment is only for the cashed-up, there are plenty of opportunities to grow your long-term wealth without breaking the bank in the here and now. Sure, the Auckland market is expensive – that's no secret.

The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show that prices here have been on the up and up, rising an impressive 18 per cent between April 2014 and the same time this year. There are still affordable options on offer – it's just a matter of getting the right property investment advice to make sure you're on track to meet your financial ambitions. 

Other areas of the country have been cruising along at a more moderate level. Take the Waikato/Bay of Plenty, for instance. The median price of a home in this region rose by 4.2 per cent alone during April, according to REINZ. This is still a good level of growth compared to the national average for the year, which jumped around 5.3 per – and that's including Auckland!

"Auckland continues to dominate the real estate market in terms of price movements, but we are starting to see some of the smaller regions show improvements in the number of sales being made and price increases," REINZ Chief Executive Colleen Milne said in a May 12 release. 

Buying an investment property in Hamilton could be a good platform to start off on. The latest AMP360 first home buyer affordability report shows that mortgage repayments on a home in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty only took up 21.28 per cent of a first-time buyer's median take-home pay in March 2015.

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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