New Zealand household incomes rose 2.3 per cent in the year to June, while average housing costs were unchanged, with slightly higher rents offset by lower mortgage payments.
Statistics New Zealand figures show the average annual household income from all regular sources increased slightly for the June, from $79,256 to $81,067.
Average weekly total housing costs were unchanged at $249, equal to about $13,000 a year.
Contributing to this slight rise in household income was an increase in average annual household income from wages and salaries.
This rose 5.4 per cent over the past year, up from $77,843 to $82,029.
In the past year, almost three-quarters of all households had at least one member earning wages or salaries, putting them in that category of an average household income of $82,029.
The average annual individual income from all sources was up 2.2 per cent to $38,843.
Within that, average individual wages and salaries rose 4 per cent to $46,169.
New Zealand Superannuation and war pensions rose 6.3 per cent to $16,276 a year.
Within total housing costs, a slight increase in average weekly rent payments (from $261 to $273) was offset by a slight decrease in average weekly mortgage payments (from $375 to $357).
The slight change in mortgage payments was due to a decrease in average weekly mortgage interest payments (from $254 to $234) during the survey period, reflecting the impact of the Reserve Bank's past cuts to official interest rates.
Average weekly mortgage principal repayments were unchanged, at $147.
Rents and mortgage payments make up the bulk of housing costs.
Rising home insurance and council rates had less of an impact on overall housing costs.
In the past June year, mortgage payments made up 44.5 per cent of total housing costs.
In the past year, average weekly spending on property rates rose 6.6 per cent, to $42 a week, up $136 for the year. But that reflected a jump of 8.7 per cent in Canterbury to $38 a week, with all other regions showing little or no change.
Building related insurance rose from an average of $17 a week to $19 a week, up $133 a year on average.
Building-related insurance payments were up an average of $3 a week in Wellington, Auckland, and Canterbury. Average house insurance in Wellington is now $20 a week, Auckland $22 a week and Canterbury $16 a week.
In fact, total housing costs as a proportion of household income fell slightly from 16.4 per cent to 16 per cent. That reflected stable housing costs and slightly higher household incomes.
- The Dominion Post
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