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A few years ago, an essay in the New Yorker began with this ominous opening line: “It is, I promise, worse than you think.”

That story was about climate change, but the same sentiment applies to Aotearoa New Zealand’s housing market. Anyone who absorbs the reporting of new price records each month will have a vague sense of the problem. Those who are actively trying to buy a house will feel it viscerally, deep in their bone tissue.