Immigrant’s first Auckland house rising $4000/week

The value of the first Auckland home of a software engineer who immigrated here from Sri Lanka four years ago is going up about $4000/week, considerably more than what he’s earning from his high-paying job.

Now, Manoj Alwis, 36, is considering loading up with an extra $50,000 debt on his mortgage to buy a car, possibly a fully electric Tesla.

“My property price is going up every week, like $4000,” said Alwis, citing data on NZME’s OneRoof which gives online real estate estimates of a property’s worth.

“I’m going to get a good car now. I’d like to spend a maximum of $50,000, just top up my mortgage.”

Last November, he paid $620,000 for a new two-bedroom Takanini home which he said in July was valued at $730,000. Today, that same place appears on OneRoof at $825,000.

The house has risen in value by $205,000 in about a year, equivalent to nearly $3942/week.

A new job he starts next month will see him earn an amount he was reluctant to disclose, but the OneRoof data shows his house is rising in value at nearly double his pre-tax income.

That sort of behaviour has Te Pūtea Matua Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr worried.

New Zealand’s house prices are above a level that is sustainable given the outlook for the supply of, and demand for, housing, he says.

The underlying demand for housing has declined significantly due to low population growth since Covid-19 broke out last year. At the same time, house building is at record high levels and mortgage interest rates are rising.

Household debt is a concern, particularly if other economic factors influence people’s ability to repay mortgages.

But Alwis said his career was going better than ever and he was now in a new position where he earns the most he has ever earned in New Zealand.

Immigration has been a success and now all he wants is to find the right person as his partner.

Alwis arrived in 2017 and said the key to him buying was having a good education bringing with it a reasonable income, saving hard and reducing spending.

He ditched takeaways and only has one or two beers socially occasionally.

“After so much hard work as a single person, it was a great experience and big milestone. The most important thing is you should have a target and motivation,” he wrote on the Kiwi First Home Buyers Group social media post on July 4.

Alwis saved a $62,000 deposit in three years while simultaneously supporting his mother in Sri Lanka, sending her $250/month for medical and healthcare needs. He was previously earning $82,000/year at Auckland University when he bought the house last year but says his income is now above that at a new company.

Since then, he has swapped to another business and is earning even more.

He has no flatmates and pays all the mortgage on his own.

REINZ said this week national prices shot from $747,000 last November to $925,000 last month. Auckland’s median rose 26 per cent annually from $1,030,000 last November to $1.3m last month – another record median.

Alwis is a Buddhist, believes in karma and doing the right thing by people but he said he applies a “rational, analytical” philosophy to religion and just tries to treat people well.

In 2019, he brought his mother to visit New Zealand for two months and said that made him “extremely happy” and proud. His father died some years ago.

The $250/month he sends his mother goes on “some medicine, to the doctor for checkups, and for donations to the temple and poor people”.

Alwis has other items on his wish list. He is looking for love: “I want to settle down. It’s hard to find Kiwi girls.”

Source: Read Full Article