News: NZ home ownership on the decline?

Wed, 02 May 07

Home ownership is on the decline as more New Zealanders move out of the traditional large family home, reports tvnz.com...

The figures show 66.9% of households owned their home, a drop of almost seven percent in the past 20 years. Home ownership peaked in 1991 when it hit 73.8%.

Robyn Lockhart and her husband are typical of most Kiwis with one or two residents living in larger homes with at least three bedrooms.

The census shows only two thirds of New Zealanders own their own home - a statistic that has been on the decrease over the past 20 years.

Long term leases ‘attractive’

"If you look at overseas trends that's not particularly unusual - places like the Netherlands or France where you have people in long-term leases," says Chris Kane from the Building Research Association which provides independent research, testing, consultancy and information resource for the building and construction industry.

In Auckland, Wellington and Nelson tenants pay premium prices well above the average weekly rent while the cheapest places to live are the West Coast and Southland. People with Pacific backgrounds are least likely to own their home and Statistics New Zealand says that is partly due to the younger age structure of Pacific ethnic groups.

Two years ago the Centre for Housing Research commissioned a study into what New Zealand's housing sector will look like by 2030 and their findings are in line with the latest census. The authors predicted changing attitudes in people's home ownership aspirations.

"For home owners the biggest piece of advice that we could give is to look after your home - $6 billion of maintenance out there needs to be dealt with first” says Kane.


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