NZ home ownership at lowest level in more than 60 years

Home ownership is at its lowest point since 1951.

Home ownership is at its lowest point since 1951.

Home ownership numbers in New Zealand have fallen as low as levels seen in the early 1950s and post-First World War periods. 

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand in its Century of Censuses report showed the percentage of households that owned their own home had dropped to 64.8 per cent by 2013, the lowest rate since 1951 when it was 61.5 per cent.

In the United States home ownership was at 63.7 per cent, while in Australia, 67 per cent of people owned their own home according to 2011 data. In Singapore the home ownership rate was at 90.3 per cent last year, in Sweden in 2013 it was at 69.6 per cent and in the United Kingdom it was 64.6 per cent.

How can we fix the housing crisis?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

READ MORE: A century of change in New Zealand

Data showed this number rose during the 1920s but fell during the Great Depression, hitting an all-time low in 1936 at around 50 per cent, before rising steadily during the 1950s.

It peaked in 1986 and 1991 at 73.5 per cent.

Figures from the 2013 census showed a downward trend in home ownership, with a decline seen across the board from people in their 20s and 70s.

After strong rises in house prices in the 2000s, prices fell nationally after the global financial crisis hit in 2007.

Rebounding house prices since then, particularly in Auckland, have been making it harder for people to get their own homes.

The average asking price on Auckland properties has increased by more than $130,000 in the last year, the June Trade Me Property index showed on Wednesday.

Ad Feedback

The average asking price for property outside of Auckland increased by just $13,950 to $404,550. The average Auckland house was $834,300.

The proportion of renters has also increased, to 31 per cent of households in 2013 from just over a quarter in 1991.

In May, ACT leader David Seymour said home ownership had become the privilege of the wealthy.

Seymour said house prices in Auckland, and to a lesser extent other parts of the country, had risen so high, so fast that owning one was increasingly a function of the wealth of a young person's parents.

However, Christchurch property expert Hugh Pavletich said at the time that it used to be quite easy to buy a home and it could be again.

"In 1978 I bought my first house for $24,000 with a mortgage of $20,000 on a single earner income of $8000 a year. The house was three times my income and the mortgage was two and a half ," he said.

* Auckland prices rise 10 times faster than the rest of NZ
* Home ownership now for privileged few - ACT

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback