There are still cheaper opportunities to buy in Whanganui or other small towns, and "you can find affordable areas even with a 40 per cent deposit."

But Koh also believes the current property cycle won't last forever, and nor will the current limits on buying.

"There will come a time again where you can buy with a 5 or 10 per cent deposit.

"These are abnormal conditions - it won't last forever.

"There will be a downturn, we just don't know when."

Koh says current market conditions have spurred the fear of missing out on home ownership, but she believes there will be opportunities in the future.

However that does mean that when people get on the property ladder, they may have to try to put more money into paying off the mortgage sooner, to ensure they are mortgage-free by retirement.

She says it is also about people being realistic in their expectations. For example, some might have to start with just a two-bedroom property, even if they already have a family.

A group she is more concerned about are people in their 50s and 60s who don't own a home and don't have the ability, or time, to pay off a big debt before retirement.

She says divorce, redundancy, illness and business failure also mean a lot of people are approaching retirement without a mortgage-free home.

"They end up with nothing in their 50s."

They may have saved in KiwiSaver but it's not enough to buy a house or support them.

"Basically they are really having to rely on family to help out or keep on working.

"There is a real epidemic of it."

Source:NZ Herald

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