Statistics NZ estimates the number of households renting their homes increased by 15,400 in the year to June, while owner-occupied households increased by 7900

Statistics NZ estimates the number of households renting their homes increased by 15,400 in the year to June, while owner-occupied households increased by 7900

The number of households renting their homes is increasing at almost twice the rate of those who own their own homes, according to the latest estimates from Statistics New Zealand.

Statistics NZ estimates there were 1,771,300 NZ households at the end of June, up 24,300, or 1.4%, compared to June last year.

Of those, 1,100,800, or 62%, owned their own homes, 604,100, or 34%, rented their homes and 66,400 (4%) lived in free accommodation, such as that provided by a relative.

During the year the number of households that rented their homes grew by 15,400 (2.6%) while the number that owned their own home grew 7900 (0.7%).

The percentage of households that own their own homes has been declining for many years, while the percentage that rents has been increasing.

According to Statistics NZ, in June 1999, 69% of households owned their own homes, while 28% rented.

However the latest estimates may not be entirely reliable.

The base figures for Statistics NZ's household tenure estimates come from Census data, which is then adjusted quarterly.

However problems with the 2018 Census mean the current figures are still being based on the 2013 Census data.

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Greg, would you be able to share the percentages since the spike in Auckland property values starting in 2012 ? Would be interesting to see if the gap is growing.


We are not running a bespoke data-to-order service. If you are that keen on it you can go to the Stats NZ website and do it yourself. If that's beyond your capabilities we can arrange to do it for you, for a substantial fee.

I have been wondering about that. How substantial are the fees the banks and RE sector pay for a story? Maybe we could have a whip round and get a story about transaction volumes by price range and the decimation of the top end this year. Few of us would chip in I reckon.


Joe. You know that is not true, and it is grossly insulting to suggest it. In fact, it is defamatory to suggest something you know just isn't the case. It can't be substantiated because it isn't and has never been true. Ever. If you defame us again, you will be banned.

David, I presume JWs comment stems from frustration regarding the persistent deleted comments and links to data which show a very significant slow down in the top end of the property market.

I undertand your defence of Interest and its journos but when there is a story it should be covered.

This lack of coverage may lead folks to believe there is bias in favour of an industry which does clearly provide a good deal of revenue to the site ~ even if it is not the case.

Perhaps you can help the situation with a story covering the fall is volumes over the top end of the market and what this means for the outlook on the rest of the market ? There is a big story there.

Have a great weekend.

Kind regards,


Oh I can clearly hear the sounds of Loser's Lament "Harp, harp, harrrp"

Housework, we need thoughtful comment. Up your game.

If you dont like being mocked then why all the bleating from JW and yourself not to mention accusations. I agree with David that Joe Wilkes should be banned for his downright ignorant comments. Stop it.

Ignorance stems from failure to look at facts

Indeed !

Glitzy, you post "Housework, we need thoughtful comment. Up your game" a bit rich from you after your following comment of yesterday:

by Glitzy | 5th Jul 19, 1:19pm
Lol, JW I think you have moved Yvils favorite toy :)

by Glitzy | 5th Jul 19, 2:07pm
And there was I thinking the screaming reel experience was limited to when i go fishing :)

I can copy & paste more of your thoughtful comments if you like?

Oh and how about the one you (Glitzy) just posted below:

by Glitzy | 5th Jul 19, 11:39pm
Yvil, have you finished Five on a Treasure Island yet ? Your next assigned reading is The Magic Faraway Tree.

Thoughtful comment?

It is the like of this sort of comment that confirm for me that we need a government that will bust for once and all this rentier ugly culture.

Would be nice if you weren’t quite so trigger-happy with banning people. So many keyboard warriors lost in battle here for no good reason. saving4AUhouse, PropertyPrices2Fall, BuyLowSellHigh, Nic Johnson, Eco Bird etc. I suspect Joe is Nic Johnson though. Reincarnation, it’s a miracle.

But the big question.. who is DD a reincarnation of?

Ashley Church’s granny

Nic Johnson was the worst of all with his predictions, I can only remember him predicting NZ to be in recession in Q2 2019, amongst a an avalanche of apocalyptic forecasts for NZ that were all very, very far off the mark

Yvil, have you finished Five on a Treasure Island yet ? Your next assigned reading is The Magic Faraway Tree.

"Thoughtful comments" please

Personal attacks in the form of cheap slagging of other contributors should not have a place on this site.

Printer8, I'd agree with you. My decision to roast Yvil was purely because of the battering he has given other commentators. I've had my fun so game over.

Mate at least keep your line consistent and dont replicate retired poppys behaviour. Telling someone to be "thoughtful" then go post ad hominem comments yourself.

Battering? From that featherweight? I hear some people pay good money to get treated worse than that. :)

In JW's defence, he did not specify that this site is accepting money from outside interests for favourable coverage. I interpreted his comment as being in reference to the undoubtably paid for spruiking stories on other news sites.

And as I work in advertsing, I can confirm that paying for slatanted news coverage is very common on the major news sites. I have comissioned stories myself on behalf of clients, in areas other than property.

As for cost JW: usually 'advertorial' stories are packaged with a larger media buy: you buy say $30k worth of advertising, and you get a few stories thrown in. Ie see oneroof for a great ongoing example of this.

Joe I think you're thinking of the likes of the NZ Herald, not this site.

You’re probably right Davo36, I must have mistaken the Bayleys advertising at the top of this article as being paid-for advertising revenue.
I have been corrected, and extend my apologies.

Greg, thanks for your reply. My question was a follow up to your article which is very interesting.

As I know you keep a vast amount of data at hand I thought it would be an informative value add if you had the data available. A link between the bubble in Auckland Property and a spike in households renting would be thought provoking. If its too much trouble then so be it. Have a great weekend.

A lot of work can go into preparing data for analysis. Perhaps the Government could help out by providing the information you are looking for.

Sorry Glitzy

Most useless as stats nz is they do not give sep figs for Auckland! Bit antsy today ain’t he?

Someones got the Friday blues. Have a restful weekend people.

2012? Go back another 10 years

In Auckland I expect ownership to now be below 50% and looking at what stats nz say about all of nz owned or mortgaged only rising 7900 in last year whilst Auckland consented 13000 it kind of indicates that majority of what gets built is rented out for benefit of folk who already own their home . So all this building is not making the shortage of houses people can afford to buy, any better is it?

Last I looked percentage of household in Auckland was only a few percentage points behind the rest of the country. However, note that these percentages are HOUSEHOLDS - the percentage of ADULTS in rented accommodation has been above 50% for some years now.

That's a good point. Most of the projects I work on (not an objective view) are built to rent out rather than sell on. In many cases the number of bedrooms per unit is 3 to 4. So the numbers living in rented accommodation will be high compared to a stand alone house. Potentially worse if it's like some Wellington flats where are 4 to 6+ people per room to be able to afford rent.

There has not been much building going on in Auckland during the period of the current boom.

Aucklanders somehow get excited by the rate of housing construction transitioning from an atrociously bad state and becoming just not good.

Could the large amount of immigration to NZ and especially with most coming to Auckland be responsible for the large rise in renters? It would seem to be the logical outcome of many young workers and students coming to Auckland.

Oh no, you misunderstand, they're all very highly skilled workers.

Or they are about to startup a huge IT business.

We don't import poorer people at all.

"the latest estimates may not be entirely reliable" because they come from Lies, Damned Lies and the woeful Statistics (awarded the Excellence in FooBarring pewter medal for 'services' to the 2018 Census)

An additional 24,300 households have been formed in the last 12 months. About 30,000 new houses were consented in 2016 and meant be making their way to the market about now. That seems quite a big discrepancy.

If 3 years from consent to completion then probably 4 to 5 years from conception to completion. Easier to make a baby, but dont let the state get involved in that process.

Well the state is technically indirectly involved in the process of making babies.

Point. That's been a cock up :)

Up, down, sideways.. I hear they all work for improving your state funded baby income..

What, 600 is a big discrepancy?

Heh, there is a big discrepancy somewhere..

I have observed a few of my tenancies are Housing more people than in the past. I have also been more prepared to permit this when I am getting $500+ for three bedroom homes in Nelson. So the name of the game is the percentage of renters is increasing at a faster rate than the number of rental properties.

There’s certainly a bourgeoning demand for rental homes in Palmerston North.

Houses are in particularly heavy demand - compared with flats.

In the top suburb, Hokowhitu, it’s almost impossible to find a good quality rental house. And if you’re lucky enough to find one, you’ll pay a hefty premium.......


The increased number of renters per dwelling is a result of:
1) rents rising faster than incomes
2) rents being a high percentage of individual incomes (in many instances, they are nearing their maximum point after allowing for other costs of living)

That is how tenants are adapting to the market conditions.

I was previously in the residential accommodation leasing business in Auckland and found that in order to meet rising market rents, the number of tenants per dwelling increased to be able to afford market rents.


I'm living overseas at the moment and am planning to return in about a year's time. More and more seeing stats like these I'm increasingly wondering whether there's any point in coming back. The options seem to be - pay through the nose for a rental where (based on the greedy gloating on here) anything more than a stiff breeze is an excuse to increase rents, or maybe my savings (after raiding my retirement funds, of course) will be enough of a deposit to purchase a cold, damp wooden box in one of the most expensive housing markets in the world.

Take the plunge, you don't know what you're missing out on.

I'm well aware of what I'm missing out on. House prices have been going up in double digit percentages basically ever since I entered the workforce. As I've progressed through my career the goalposts keep getting pushed further away. Now I'm looking at taking on a $400,000-$500,000 mortgage (if I'm lucky) just to get into a first home. And I'm well aware I'm one of the lucky ones - I earn an above average income and as such have been able to save enough to get close. But how risky is it now to take on such a massive amount of debt with interest rates unable to fall much further. NZ seems completely broken.

Another option is to remain overseas and load up on NZ and AU property funds (REIT's) and shamelessly take a piece of the property pie from afar. That is what I would be doing.

Reit trusts are a good option for some. Trouble is you cant leverage them using Other Peoples Money (OPM) and you can't add value to them and get a buzz when you make small and effective improvements. All of which you can do when you buy a first home.

REITs are already leveraged themselves. Other than that they are highly liquid and don't call you at midnight to fix the toilet. REITs also allow you to diversify your real estate investments throughout many regions and sectors including residential and commercial. You are effectively being a landlord and receiving rents (dividends) but without all of the headaches of having a rental property locked into one location. I own physical property as well but REITs are the icing on the cake for me.

Good point that REITs are leveraged so that accounts for that. As for getting rung at midnight to fix a toilet, well after years and years of landlording that has not happened to us touch wood.
How easy to sell REIT units/shares

Regarding ease of buying/selling: three mouse-clicks and about two days settlement. Collecting rent? Just open your dividend statements. By far the most liquid real estate category around.

Ever hear of margin lending?

Are you talking to me pragmatist? Yes I have, is that what you do to finance your fletchers holdings. May be youd be better off to sell off the shares and lend out through Harmoney?

Don't own Fletchers, wouldn't touch them with a 10 ft pole. Mercury and Vector, which are both doing okay .. 32%(ish) capital gains on Mercury in a year + dividends, Mercury only about 10% gains + dividends. and yep, have some money in Harmoney, but the loans lately are rubbish, have been withdrawing because there is only junk most days.

D581, I'd do a trip back for a week or two and assess the situation first hand. There is a big slow down happening that is just starting to be reported. Rentals in Auckland are finally getting cheaper but salaries are not significant vs any global financial centre. It is fair to say housing stock is atrocious. You know your own circumstances so come back, have a poke around and see what you think. G.

I am in exactly the same situation as yourself . The thing that really puts me off currently is the quality and pricing of the housing stock compared to where I am currently ( East Coast USA ) , but home is where the heart is as they say so will be looking around for bargains in the next year or so if the downward trends in pricing continue .

That's it for me too. I know most New Zealanders on here are of the 'No. 8 Wire' mentality but I am not living in the windy dog boxes that you like to 'fix up' and call 'homes'. Above all I hate to do maintenance on those sheds like you do. The way you do housing is not passive investing at all.

However, I do like to own NZ property, preferably through REITs. Although the nearest residential REITs are mostly Australian/US based**. That's where you diversify.

** I expect this (the current lack of NZ based residential REITs for example apartments) to change when New Zealand gets with the times. The current dominance of Mom & Pops landlords in the residential sector is a clear indicator of how far behind we really are. It will fade.

Guwop I feel your pain. But 2 things: 1) The momnpop landlord thing ain’t going to go away despite the current ideology-driven measures to put them off, as there are zero alternatives available to them (that suit their mindset) to invest to supplement the NZ Super. They have been bitten by share debacles and finance company collapses. Term deposit returns are lousy. 2) Reits - I have been in and out of them in Asia. They can be a very good investment. But I don’t know if the NZ exchange has the breadth, sophistication and liquidity to platform them. on the flip side, while they are good for investors, they can be bad news for the likes of mall tenants. Once your building is bundled into a Reit, you are driven very hard to maximise returns by building managers. They are utterly ruthless and so the result can be very homoginised shopping as the more quirky retailers are driven out.

Great insight, WhenwillitEnd. Thanks.

Btw, comparing NZ vs East Coast USA property-wise is not a fair comparison in my opinion. Better to compare NZ property market to Hawaii including their similar (lack of) building qualities (however Hawaii weather is a bit warmer at least) and available land restrictions. These are islands after all (even though we like to pretend they are not).

Families living in overcrowded, substandard rentals so they can afford a place to stay. NZ homelessness rates- some of the worst in the World. No meaniful increases in income for years... and a unsustainable housing market in which only the very rich can afford. Somethings gonna give....