Affordable housing highlights Huntly as a commuters paradise.
The Auckland-bound commute may be a pain, but it's all worth it for 22-year old Philip Catchero who bought his first home in Huntly.
With help from his parents on a deposit, he landed a two-storey, three bedroom 1970's brick clad home on a 1113m2 section for $460,000.
He services the mortgage but still lives with parents Daisy and Renerio who also travel for work.
Becoming a home-owner so young has quickly settled him down however.
"It's pretty good to own my home at 22, I just can't go out as much."
Catchero works as a nurse at Middlemore Hospital five days a week and a one-way trip takes him just over an hour.
Before purchasing in October, he was living in Tuakau as a renter but the houses there were too expensive for him.
When he looked further south last year, he found properties in Ngaruawahia and Huntly were more affordable.
Even so, it was stiff competition when securing a home.
"It was really tough aye... when we first looked there was 60 houses on the market and a few months later there was about 45."
Out of 15 of his fellow nursing friends, he and one other are the only ones who have entered the market.
The rest are living in Auckland, some still in their parents' home, he said.
His decision to purchase in Huntly was based on plans to situate himself in the Waikato eventually.
"For me, if there is a chance to move on from Middlemore, I [would] work at Waikato."
And Huntly seems to be the place for him as he happily leaves behind the traffic and the rush of city living.
"The environment here is way better than up there...[and] it suited my mum and dad."
The family originally hailed from the Philippines and immigrated to New Zealand for a better life.
While his parents haven't taken the plunge into the market, he was happy to take on the mortgage.
"This is a way I could help my family and also repay my parents sacrifices for me," he said.
Article by Caitlin Wallace/Fairfax NZ