South Islanders more likely to own homes

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014

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Just over two-thirds of Cantabrians own their homes, and South Islanders are more likely to be homeowners than North Islanders, last year's census shows.

Canterbury's home ownership rate is continuing to fall, down from 70.3 per cent in 2006 to 68.2 per cent at the time of the latest census in March 2013. This was the fifth-highest out of the 16 regions.

Christchurch city's home ownership rate was 64.8 per cent.

Home ownership has been declining across the country since the early 1990s, something attributed to rising house prices and social trends.

Home affordability studies have tracked a marked increase in prices relative to incomes in the past 20 years, especially in the main centres.

Nationally the most homeowners were in Tasman region (75 per cent) followed by Marlborough and Southland, while the fewest were in Gisborne (59 per cent), and then Auckland and Waikato.

The nationwide home ownership rate was 64.8 per cent . The figures include a growing number of homes owned by a family trust. About 56 per cent of owner-occupied homes had mortgages.

The census data also revealed that Canterbury has 206,916 occupied homes, 5256 more than in 2006. The region also had more than 28,000 permanently or temporarily unoccupied homes, up from 18,000 in the previous census.

It also had the most homes under construction - a total of nearly 12,000.

New Zealand has just over 1.5 million occupied homes, of which almost 1.2 million are free-standing houses. Nationally, Selwyn district had the biggest rise in the number of occupied homes, with an increase of almost a third since 2006.

While three-bedroom homes are still the most common, accounting for 45 per cent, New Zealand homes are continuing to grow with an increase in homes with four or five bedrooms. Rental homes had fewer bedrooms than those occupied by their owners.

Most rented homes were one-family households, with 9 per cent occupied by groups of flatmates. Almost 84 per cent rented from private landlords, an increase from 2006.

New Zealanders identifying as ethnically European were most likely to own their own home, followed by Asian, Maori, and Pacific peoples.

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- The Press

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