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Households who rent

Over 450,000 households rent their home

In 2013, 453,135 households rented their home (ie paid rent), up from 388,275 in 2006.

Like households overall, households who rented their home were most likely to be one-family households (63.3 percent) or one-person households (23.5 percent).

Other multi-person households (such as unrelated people flatting together) made up 9.3 percent of households who rented their home.

Over three-quarters of the households renting from a local authority or city council were one-person households.

Most households who rented were renting from the private sector (83.7 percent or 355,554 households). This was an increase from 81.8 percent in 2006 and 78.4 percent in 2001.

There were 52,503 households who reported that they rented from Housing New Zealand, and 11,307 households who rented from a local authority or city council.

The figure for those renting from Housing New Zealand is estimated to be an undercount of about 18 percent, based on a comparison with Housing New Zealand's administrative records. This difference could be due to several factors, such as tenants being away on census night and poorer quality response to the census from these households.

Rental homes have fewer bedrooms than owned homes

In general, rental housing tended to have fewer bedrooms than housing that was owned or in a family trust.

Of households who rented, 29.0 percent were in a two-bedroom home, compared with 13.8 percent of households who owned their home or held it in a family trust.

Households who rented their home were less likely to be in a four-bedroom home (at 13.4 percent), than households who owned their home or held it in a family trust (28.8 percent).

Graph, Number of bedrooms by tenure, for households in occupied private dwellings, 2013 Census.

For households who rented privately, the percentage living in a home with:

  • two-bedrooms declined slightly (28.4 percent in 2013, down from 29.8 percent in 2006)
  • four-bedrooms increased (14.6 percent in 2013, up from 12.7 percent in 2006).

For households who rented from Housing New Zealand, the percentage living in a home with:

  • three-bedrooms decreased (41.8 percent in 2013, down from 45.2 percent in 2006)
  • two-bedrooms increased slightly (36.6 percent in 2013, up from 35.2 percent in 2006)
  • four-bedrooms increased slightly (9.3 percent in 2013, up from 8.4 percent in 2006).

About 4 out of 5 households who rented from a local authority or city council were in a one-bedroom home (8,628 households). This was related to the type of households who rented from this landlord sector, most of which were one-person households.

Wide variation in rent paid

There was wide variation in the amount of rent paid. Most commonly, households paid between $250 and $349 a week. However, 8.6 percent of households paid less than $100 a week, and 8.8 percent paid $500 or more a week.  

Graph, Weekly rent paid by households, 2013 Census.

Nationally, the median (half paid more, and half paid less, than this amount) weekly rent in 2013 was $280. Median rent varied according to the number of bedrooms, at $260 for two bedrooms, $300 for three bedrooms, and $360 for four bedrooms.

The highest median rents were in Auckland local board areas:

  • Upper Harbour – $430
  • Devonport-Takapuna, Orakei, and Howick – $420
  • Hibiscus and Bays, and Waitemata – $400.

Of the territorial authority areas (districts and cities), Selwyn district had the highest percentage increase (75.0 percent) in median weekly rent since 2006, at $280 in 2013, compared with $160 in 2006.

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