Little’s house value increase would have been less than the interest on the mortgage

I blogged yesterday on how Andrew Little’s outrage at his old house increasing in value from $315,000 to $830,000 over 17 years was odd as it was a compound increase of just 5.9% a year.

Also noteworthy was that it increased 81% under Labour and 48% under National.

But I got interested in whether this house would even break even if it had been purchased by some smart property investor who financed it entirely through lending.

Well if you borrowed the $315,000 and paid standard mortgage rates each year from 2000 to 2017, then the amount you would owe the bank would be $936,000 so after you get the $830,000 sale, you are $100,000 down.

Of course in reality you would pay back some principal over that time, but that has an opportunity cost so the fair comparison is total financing vs total increase.

So in reality the average 5.9% increase in house value would not even cover the cost of interest on the initial house if financed through borrowing.  Now you would get rental income from the house for 17 years but as you can see the gain would be from the rental income, not from the increase value.

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