PHOTO: A sunset over the hills behind Dunedin. Photo: 123RF

Home ownership is fast becoming one of the most controversial small talk topics. Otago’s median house price has ballooned over the past couple of years, so is owning a home still a possibility?

“The number of houses sold for more than $3 million in the Queenstown Lakes area has gone through the roof.”

Dunedin has bucked the nationwide trend for the number of properties listed for sale last month, CoreLogic says.”

“Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes have overtaken Auckland as the most expensive region to buy property, new industry data shows.”

Those were among stories about property appearing in the Otago Daily Times over the past month.

Traditionally, home ownership is something many younger people try to achieve but as more and more headlines point to prices rising and stocks dropping, are the hopes of being a homeowner are diminishing?

Joseph Potter believed they were.

The 43-year-old public servant from Dunedin had eight offers declined over a four-month period last year – a process that left him feeling “bloody exhausted”.

“It feels like being rejected. I know it shouldn’t, but it does. But all it is … someone has just put more money than you.

“It is just stressful,” he said.

Potter believed having an offer declined took an emotional toll on someone as well.

“It is like when you put in a job application or when you ask someone to go out with you. The whole point is that you are waiting for that thing you want to happen to happen, and then you get that phone call, it is like a psychological punch,” he said.

Previously, homeowners would have been able to get a builder’s report done on the property before making an offer but Mr Potter said the sheer number of people showing interest in a home when it was on the market did not make that possible anymore.

“You have to go in committing to all or nothing, hell or high water.

“As a potential homeowner nowadays, you can’t rely on those safety nets. You are either in or out,” he said.