Census suggests most housing development has occurred in the wealthier parts of Auckland, while high growth poorer districts have been neglected

Census suggests most housing development has occurred in the wealthier parts of Auckland, while high growth poorer districts have been neglected

The latest census data suggests that not only has the number of new homes being built failed to keep up with population growth, but much of the new building activity hasn't happened where it is most needed, as developers concentrate their activities on wealthier suburbs where their margins will be greater, rather than poorer suburbs where the need is greatest.

The census data released this week by Statistics NZ shows that between the 2013 and 2018 censuses, the country's usually resident population increased by 10.8% while the total number of dwellings increased by just 6.2%.

That suggests a significant shortfall in housing compared to population growth. The table below gives those figures for all territorial authorities throughout the country and for the local board areas of Auckland Council.

They show there were wide variations in build rates versus population growth throughout the country but also that places where significant under building occurred were not confined to the main centres.

The shortfall between population growth and dwelling growth was greatest in Ruapehu District which was the only place in the country to record a small decline in the total number of dwellings.

After that, the area with the biggest shortfall was Opotiki on the east coast of the North Island, where the population grew by 10% over the five years between the 2013 and 2018 censuses but the number of dwellings grew by just 0.3%.

Or looking at it another way, only one new dwelling was built in Opotiki for every 70 people added to its population (the figure on the far right of the table below).

That was followed by Waitomo where just one new dwelling was added for every 22 new residents in the district, and Rangitikei where one new dwelling was added for every 17.7 new residents.

So it's not just the cities that are facing a housing shortfall, many country areas could also be feeling the squeeze.

In Auckland, where housing shortages have been most noticeable because of the sheer scale of migration-driven population growth, the region's population increased by 156,168 (11%) between the 2013 and 2018 censuses, but housing stock increased by just 6.5% over the same period.

And a look at the figures by Auckland's local board areas (at the bottom of the table below), shows that there was a much greater rate of housing growth in the wealthier parts of the city than in less wealthier parts where population growth was greater.

In the leafy streets of the Waitemata Board area, which includes the CBD and many of the city's wealthiest suburbs such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Herne Bay (a map below the table shows the boundaries of all Auckland board areas), one new home was built for every 1.8 residents added to the area's population between censuses.

Other areas with high numbers of new homes compared to population growth were Waiheke (one new home for every 2.4 new residents), Upper Harbour (1:2.9) and Hibiscus and Bays (1:3).

But in the Otara-Paptoetoe board area, just one new dwelling was added for every 12.9 new residents and in Manurewa it was 1:12.6 and in Mangere-Otahuhu it was 1:11.8.

In fact more homes were added in the Devonport-Takapuna board area (660) between the censuses than were built in Mangere-Otahuhu (633), even though Mangere-Otahuhu's population increased by 7491 over that period and Devonport-Takapuna's increased by just 2505.

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Changes in Usually Resident Population Numbers and Total Dwelling Numbers Between 2013 and 2018 Censuses for all Territorial Authority and Auckland Local Board Areas Number of people per dwelling 2018 census Number of additional people per new dwelling 2013-2018
Territorial Authority area  Population 2018 Census   Increase or decrease
2013–18 
 
 Dwellings 2018 census   Increase or decrease
2013–18 
 
 Number  %  Number  %
Far North District 65,250 9,516 17.1 29,472 2,037 7.4 2.2 4.7
Whangarei District 90,960 13,965 18.1 37,887 2,712 7.7 2.4 5.1
Kaipara District 22,869 3,906 20.6 12,030 1,203 11.1 1.9 3.2
Auckland Region 1,571,718 156,168 11.0 538,182 32,778 6.5 2.9 4.8
Thames-Coromandel 29,895 3,717 14.2 25,524 1,575 6.6 1.2 2.4
Hauraki District 20,022 2,214 12.4 9,228 504 5.8 2.2 4.4
Waikato District 75,618 12,240 19.3 27,675 3,117 12.7 2.7 3.9
Matamata-Piako District 34,404 2,868 9.1 13,845 654 5.0 2.5 4.4
Hamilton City 160,911 19,299 13.6 58,161 4,641 8.7 2.8 4.2
Waipa District 53,241 6,573 14.1 20,835 2,079 11.1 2.6 3.2
Otorohanga District 10,104 963 10.5 4,242 180 4.4 2.4 5.4
South Waikato District 24,042 1,971 8.9 9,675 216 2.3 2.5 9.1
Waitomo District 9,303 396 4.4 4,239 18 0.4 2.2 22.0
Taupo District 37,203 4,296 13.1 20,682 1,272 6.6 1.8 3.4
Western Bay of Plenty  51,321 7,629 17.5 22,041 2,007 10.0 2.3 3.8
Tauranga City 136,713 21,924 19.1 55,626 5,967 12.0 2.5 3.7
Rotorua District 71,877 6,597 10.1 28,464 1,017 3.7 2.5 6.5
Whakatane District 35,700 3,009 9.2 14,190 456 3.3 2.5 6.6
Kawerau District 7,146 783 12.3 2,733 45 1.7 2.6 17.4
Opotiki District 9,276 840 10.0 4,230 12 0.3 2.2 70.0
Gisborne District 47,517 3,864 8.9 18,435 510 2.8 2.6 7.6
Wairoa District 8,367 477 6.0 4,113 162 4.1 2.0 2.9
Hastings District 81,537 8,292 11.3 30,444 1,263 4.3 2.7 6.6
Napier City 62,241 5,001 8.7 25,215 591 2.4 2.5 8.5
Central Hawke's Bay 14,142 1,425 11.2 6,297 189 3.1 2.2 7.5
New Plymouth District 80,679 6,495 8.8 33,579 1,998 6.3 2.4 3.3
Stratford District 9,474 486 5.4 4,059 159 4.1 2.3 3.1
South Taranaki  27,534 954 3.6 11,958 273 2.3 2.3 3.5
Ruapehu District 12,309 465 3.9 7,011 -57 -0.8 1.8 n/a
Whanganui District 45,309 3,156 7.5 19,710 480 2.5 2.3 6.6
Rangitikei District 15,027 1,008 7.2 6,675 57 0.9 2.3 17.7
Manawatu District 30,165 2,706 9.9 12,282 705 6.1 2.5 3.8
Palmerston North 84,639 4,560 5.7 32,631 1,017 3.2 2.6 4.5
Tararua District 17,943 1,089 6.5 7,893 135 1.7 2.3 8.1
Horowhenua District 33,261 3,165 10.5 15,693 711 4.7 2.1 4.5
Kapiti Coast District 53,673 4,569 9.3 24,798 1,248 5.3 2.2 3.7
Porirua City 56,559 4,842 9.4 18,765 846 4.7 3.0 5.7
Upper Hutt City 43,980 3,801 9.5 16,710 771 4.8 2.6 4.9
Lower Hutt City 104,532 6,294 6.4 39,456 1,203 3.1 2.6 5.2
Wellington City 202,737 11,781 6.2 80,109 3,369 4.4 2.5 3.5
Masterton District 25,557 2,205 9.4 11,355 429 3.9 2.3 5.1
Carterton District 9,198 963 11.7 4,119 432 11.7 2.2 2.2
South Wairarapa 10,575 1,047 11.0 5,664 435 8.3 1.9 2.4
Tasman District 52,389 5,232 11.1 23,001 1,704 8.0 2.3 3.1
Nelson City 50,880 4,443 9.6 21,213 1,200 6.0 2.4 3.7
Marlborough District 47,340 3,924 9.0 22,149 249 1.1 2.1 15.8
Kaikoura District 3,912 360 10.1 2,220 138 6.6 1.8 2.6
Buller District 9,591 -882 -8.4 5,571 102 1.9 1.7 -8.6
Grey District 13,344 -27 -0.2 6,537 168 2.6 2.0 -0.2
Westland District 8,640 336 4.0 4,734 249 5.6 1.8 1.3
Hurunui District 12,558 1,029 8.9 6,720 489 7.8 1.9 2.1
Waimakariri District 59,502 9,513 19.0 23,454 3,150 15.5 2.5 3.0
Christchurch City 369,006 27,537 8.1 151,968 3,753 2.5 2.4 7.3
Selwyn District 60,561 15,966 35.8 22,677 6,015 36.1 2.7 2.7
Ashburton District 33,423 2,382 7.7 14,640 1,065 7.8 2.3 2.2
Timaru District 46,296 2,364 5.4 20,883 1,044 5.3 2.2 2.3
Mackenzie District 4,866 708 17.0 3,519 345 10.9 1.4 2.1
Waimate District 7,815 279 3.7 3,882 195 5.3 2.0 1.4
Chatham Islands 663 63 10.5 333 12 3.7 2.0 5.3
Waitaki District 22,308 1,479 7.1 11,400 597 5.5 2.0 2.5
Central Otago District 21,558 3,663 20.5 10,974 1,164 11.9 2.0 3.1
Queenstown-Lakes  39,153 10,929 38.7 19,140 3,483 22.2 2.0 3.1
Dunedin City 126,255 6,006 5.0 52,533 2,400 4.8 2.4 2.5
Clutha District 17,667 777 4.6 8,619 291 3.5 2.0 2.7
Southland District 30,864 1,251 4.2 15,210 627 4.3 2.0 2.0
Gore District 12,396 363 3.0 5,562 147 2.7 2.2 2.5
Invercargill City 54,204 2,508 4.9 23,055 600 2.7 2.4 4.2
Total all TA areas 4,699,719 457,719 10.8 1,855,929 108,603 6.2 2.5 4.2
                 
Auckland Local Board Areas                
Rodney 66,417 11,535 21.0 27,357 2,973 12.2 2.4 3.9
Hibiscus and Bays  104,010 14,181 15.8 39,909 4,728 13.4 2.6 3.0
Upper Harbour 62,841 9,171 17.1 21,261 3,174 17.5 3.0 2.9
Kaipatiki  88,269 5,775 7.0 30,633 930 3.1 2.9 6.2
Devonport-Takapuna  57,975 2,505 4.5 22,485 660 3.0 2.6 3.8
Henderson-Massey 118,422 10,737 10.0 37,569 1,461 4.0 3.2 7.3
Waitakere Ranges  52,095 3,696 7.6 18,639 645 3.6 2.8 5.7
Great Barrier  936 -3 -0.3 1,125 174 18.3 0.8 0.0
Waiheke  9,063 723 8.7 5,862 303 5.5 1.5 2.4
Waitemata  82,866 5,730 7.4 39,162 3,192 8.9 2.1 1.8
Whau  79,356 6,762 9.3 26,031 921 3.7 3.0 7.3
Albert-Eden 98,622 3,927 4.1 34,278 480 1.4 2.9 8.2
Puketapapa  57,555 4,617 8.7 18,150 516 2.9 3.2 8.9
Orakei 84,318 4,779 6.0 32,445 1,323 4.3 2.6 3.6
Maungakiekie-Tamaki 76,284 6,279 9.0 25,881 525 2.1 2.9 12.0
Howick  140,970 13,845 10.9 45,921 3,015 7.0 3.1 4.6
Mangere-Otahuhu  78,450 7,491 10.6 18,900 633 3.5 4.2 11.8
Otara-Papatoetoe  85,122 9,459 12.5 21,606 732 3.5 3.9 12.9
Manurewa 95,670 13,428 16.3 24,819 1,062 4.5 3.9 12.6
Papakura 57,636 12,000 26.3 18,243 2,526 16.1 3.2 4.8
Franklin  74,838 9,519 14.6 27,897 2,817 11.2 2.7 3.4

Auckland Local Board Areas Map

 

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32 Comments

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Ruapehu district lost 57 dwellings between censuses? Bush fires or something else?

Probably old farm houses that arent liveable?. But with the amount of new ski houses being built in Ohakune and Horopito, I would have still thought there to be an increase

Probably homes that were built with quality materials and real tradepeople, that stood the test of time.

They previously housed workers who were paid a decent wage, in a local industry that was shut down became its now cheaper to import goods maunfactured by cheap (child) labour in Asian countries.

If we continue to do this, your grand children will be the slave labour. As it is, your children are probably on a less than living wage with an hour or more commute to work, and possibly living in substandard accommodation.

Its the attitudes of people like you who care not for the future, and probably living off easy capital gains at the expense of the next generation, that has and is ruining the fabric of this country.

Capital gains have been kind to me also, however I have seen the social costs of this short term neoliberal economic theory that has only benefitted the few. This article is more evidence of this, and dear I say it Trump has realised how exporting manufacturing to Asia has hollowed out the middle class in the US also; which it has done here. The executives of these public companies that have created this destruction (and got these short term bonuses) are the ones who are buying up Ponsonby and Grey Lynn. Ironically, houses on small sites that were built for the average work; the same houses you are condemning.

Roger Douglas & Jonkey didnt represent the people that voted for these traitors. Globalisation sounds good in theory, but only if you want to enslave your grandchildren. The only growth that should be encouraged is that which is good for everyone and sustainable over the long term.

i agree. Used to live in Ohakune. Very hard to find a rental and if you do, $300 per week is the starting price for a 2 bedroom shack thats freezing cold in winter

.

Ohakune river overflow. Major flooding in 2013, and a few incidents since then.

So if Canterbury increased its population by 11.2% but only grew dwellings by 6.9% according to your logic, its grossly undersupplied with housing? Because I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who claims that there is a housing shortage in Christchurch and surrounding areas.

Hi K.W.,

That shows exactly why we should be very weary of anecdotal "evidence".

The actual facts (i.e. objective evidence) can be very different!

TTP

What is people per dwelling?

Chch has Selwyn & Waimak as relief valves.

Selwyn's population growth and house building numbers are amazing.

In percentage terms it was the district with the fastest population growth between 2013 and 2018. It grew from 45,000 to 60,000 people. It is very quickly becoming Christchurch's equivalent to Lower Hutt in size and proximity to the main city.

In absolute number terms Selwyn is the fifth fastest population growth district after the Auckland supercity and the city jurisdictions of Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch.

Selwyn's most amazing numbers though relate to its ability to respond to population growth. It built over 6000 houses. That is second only to Auckland. Selwyn actually built more houses than Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch between 2013 and 2018.

That means the small district of Selwyn that contains less than 1.5% of New Zealand's population built 6% of New Zealand's new housing stock between 2013 and 2018!

Selwyn was one of only a few districts able to build enough houses to keep up population growth. In 2018 the number of people per dwelling was 2.7. Which equals the number of new people to the district divided by the number houses built in the district for the 5 years between 2013 and 2018.

I'm in Christchurch. There are lots of homeless around, lots !!

Christchurch has 2,000+ people on the Start Housing Register.

There is definitely a shortage of 1 and 2 bedroom townhouses and basic 'starter homes'. Also, ChCh wages are lower than Auckland.

Here in Canterbury we are pushing forward, slowly.

Anecdotally I find these results quite interesting.

Based in New Plymouth, our population has clearly increased - you can tell by the traffic alone.
However employment opportunities are decreasing, so I am seeing many working age people leaving town (often with families in tow).

It would be good to see this analysis factoring in age of the population as well.

In my opinion a dwelling made up of 2 Adults and 4 children, paints a completely different picture to a dwelling made up of 6 working age Adults, which again is completely different to a dwelling with 6 retirees.

I raise this as I wonder how "dwellings" is measured given the proliferation of retirement/lifestyle villages. i.e. an assisted living/hospital type care facility with 30-40 people in a building v the small independent units for 1-2 residents, or is the entire village just counted as 1 dwelling.

Your increase in traffic is just the dodgy bastards moving from Auckland and Wellington. There are not many of them, they just move around a lot.

Yes I think you right to want to factor in age with the data. Certainly over the last few years Auckland has been turning in to an huge old age peoples home, that's going to weigh heavily on our economy in the near future. Stuff article: Elderly migrant parents abandoned to isolation. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/63925002/

12
up

so we increased the population by 10.8% in five years and wonder why we have capacity and infrastructure problems.
as homer would say DUH

Since we are good at importing people from overpopulated parts of the world, why not get slum developers from those places to come along and provide some relief to our poor regions' housing woes.

Successive governments' failure to address housing, low productivity and their implicit endorsement towards the "door wide open" immigration policy might eventually end in shanty towns sprouting up across the country.

13
up

I'm surprised there's no mention of Auckland's 40,000 unoccupied homes most of which are likely to be in the center of our city. Looking at the latest census data we really, really need an Empty Homes Tax.
Auckland is a good example for why we need it, since wage earners can't afford a home. Having at least 40,000 unoccupied private dwellings is just insane. Vancouver only had officially 8,500 unoccupied private dwellings and yet they brought in an Empty Homes tax which so far is collecting huge amounts of revenue for them, up to $38 million in their first year! Which is used to build new affordable homes. NZ Census link: http://statsnz.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=97e2e97c2...

I agree. Withholding properties from a market for speculation while the local population suffer is beyond unethical

Yes I very much agree that leaving so many empty homes in our major cities is unethical and very bad for our economy. The most absurd this is how much potential tax revenue NZ is missing out on that could be used for new homes. Considering we have five times more empty homes in comparison to what Vancouver had before the brought in their Empty Homes Tax. Looking at the census data (Unoccupied by TALB & SA2) most of the Auckland unoccupied homes appear to be near the CBD wealthy suburbs and North Shore. http://statsnz.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=97e2e97c2...

Quelle surprise:

developers concentrate their activities on wealthier suburbs where their margins will be greater

ECON101 in action, perhaps?

The invisible hand of the market appears to favour the wealthy.

Auckland Councillors, lead by Penny Hulse, blocking of the affordable housing provision was hardly invisible.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/310710/auckland-councillors-reject-a...

Of course. This is where the overseas cash went large for school zones. No tax paying local would pay $4m for a house that historically struggled to push $2m.

Quite an achievement:

1. Auckland stock up 6.5% since 2013 and residential sales down 26.47% (29,645 v 21,796)
2. Rodney stock up 12.2% since 2013 and sales down 20 (1724 v 1704)

Not because people cannot afford stuff though, eh....

The wealthy get new homes because they can afford them. The poor don't get new homes because they can't afford them. When a taxpayer sponsored breeding programme creates too many poor people & not enough wealthy people, this outcome was assured 50 years ago. Discourage the people with no means of support themselves to not have babies is the only answer. Everything else is noise. Welfare is not only destroying those people it locks into welfare by continuing the poverty cycle into generations, but will eventually sink the Good Ship NZ Inc at some point if it continues. As it will all welfare states around the planet. The best way to get kids out of poverty Jacinda is to not encourage them with welfare.

Indeed, the better welfare seems to have been earlier government efforts to increase housing supply to make housing affordable for more Kiwis. Helped generations achieve access to home ownership.

One more reason to not to leave urban development in solely private hands, private developers will develop where they'd expect higher returns, which is not necessarily where it is needed the most and as the data shows it hasn't been where there's been higher demand.

Greg- a very interesting article. But surely in Auckland, with one new house having been added for every 1.8 additional people, surely that is more than keeping up with population growth, given approx 2 people per household, and more in Auckland. Or have I got this wrong somehow?

Yes you somehow misinterpreted the numbers Greg compiled. Auckland only built one house for every 4.8 newcomers to the city/region.

Well of course this was going to happen .

Would a developer build a house in Mangere or Greenhithe , given than the cost of construction per m2 is identical , but the sale prices are circa $750k in Mangere and circa $1,5 to $2,0 million in Greenhithe .

Not to mention how hard it is to sell in lower income areas to people with no money , and the theft and other such nonsense from the site during construction .

The problem is that Auckland cannot build houses that ordinary workers can afford. Both $750k and $2m is too much for workers whose households incomes are near the median.