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Types of occupied dwellings

About 8 out of 10 private dwellings are separate houses

At the 2013 Census, of those occupied private dwellings for which the type was indicated, most were separate houses (81.1 percent or 1,193,358 dwellings). Of separate houses for which the number of storeys was indicated, about 3 out of 4 were one-storey (single level).

Private dwellings that were joined to other private dwellings (eg units, apartments, and terraced housing) made up 18.1 percent (266,748 dwellings) of occupied private dwellings for which the type was known. This was the same percentage as in 2006 (which may be due to data quality issues or a slow rate of change nationally), but a small increase from 16.9 percent in 2001.

Of joined private dwellings for which the number of storeys was indicated, 43.5 percent were part of buildings that had more than one storey.

The remaining 0.7 percent of occupied private dwellings for which the type was known (10,782 dwellings) was made up of mobile dwellings, improvised dwellings or shelters, and private dwellings in motor camps. The number of occupied dwellings of these types more than doubled since 2001.

Of the 8,739 occupied non-private dwellings, hotel, motel, or guest accommodation (4,866 dwellings) was the most common type.

Other types of occupied non-private dwellings included:

  • residential care for older people (providing rest-home or hospital-level care) – 822 dwellings
  • boarding houses – 174 dwellings.
Number of occupied dwellings
By occupied dwelling type
2013 Census
Occupied dwelling type Number of occupied dwellings  
Occupied private dwelling   
Occupied Separate House 1,193,358
Two or More Flats/Units/Townhouses/Apartments/Houses Joined Together 266,748
Other Occupied Private Dwelling(1) 10,782
Occupied Private Dwelling Not Further Defined(2) 91,068
Total occupied private dwellings 1,561,956
Occupied non-private dwelling
Institution 2,550
Other Occupied Non-private Dwelling 6,045
Occupied Non-private Dwelling Not Further Defined(3) 144
Total occupied non-private dwellings  8,739
Total occupied dwellings 1,570,695
1. Consists of mobile and improvised dwellings, roofless or rough sleepers, and dwellings in a motorcamp. In 2001, this category was called temporary private dwellings.
2. Consists of baches, cribs, other holiday homes, dwellings adjoined to or part of a business or shop, and private dwellings that could not be further classified according to whether they were separate or joined.
3. Consists of communes and other non-private dwellings that could not be further classified according to their type/function.
Source: Statistics New Zealand

Joined dwellings most common in Auckland and Wellington regions

Private dwellings joined to other private dwellings were most common in the Auckland and Wellington regions (making up 24.8 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively, of private dwellings for which the type was indicated). In contrast, the Tasman region had the lowest percentage of joined dwellings, at 7.4 percent.

Of the territorial authority areas (cities and districts), Wellington city had the highest percentage of private dwellings that were joined, at 37.0 percent. This was an increase from 32.7 percent in 2001.

About 1 in 4 private dwellings in the Queenstown-Lakes district were joined.

Graph, Territorial authority areas with the highest percentages of joined private dwellings, 2001 and 2013 Censuses.

Waitemata had the highest percentage of private dwellings that were joined, at 70.6 percent in 2013. This was the only area in New Zealand where joined private dwellings were more common than separate private dwellings. (Waitemata includes the Auckland central business district and inner city residential suburbs of Westmere, Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, and Parnell.)

In 2013, the Auckland local board areas with the next highest percentages of joined dwellings were:

  • Albert-Eden – 38.5 percent (up from 33.9 percent in 2001)
  • Maungakiekie-Tamaki – 36.6 percent (up from 30.0 percent in 2001).

Multi-storey dwellings becoming more common

Multi-storey private dwellings have become more common since 2006. In 2013, of those for which the number of storeys was indicated:

  • 24.6 percent of separate houses had two or more storeys (up from 23.3 percent in 2006)
  • 34.7 percent of joined dwellings were part of two- or three-storey buildings (up from 32.9 percent in 2006)
  • 8.7 percent of joined dwellings were part of four- or more storey buildings (up from 6.5 percent in 2006), but this may be partly due to difficulties with data collection for apartments in 2006.

Multi-storey separate houses were most common in the Auckland and Wellington regions. In 2013, the percentages of separate houses that were multi-storey were:

  • Auckland region – 37.7 percent (up from 34.7 percent in 2006)
  • Wellington region – 33.2 percent (up from 31.7 percent in 2006).

The percentage of separate houses that were multi-storey increased in nearly all Auckland local board areas. Upper Harbour had the greatest increase in the percentage of these dwellings (at 56.2 percent in 2013, up from 48.6 percent in 2006). Orakei had the highest percentage of these dwellings (69.3 percent in 2013, up from 64.5 percent in 2006).

Joined dwellings that were part of two- or three-storey buildings were most common in the Wellington region, at 46.4 percent, up from 45.2 percent in 2006.

The percentage of joined dwellings that were part of two-or three-storey buildings increased in the majority of Auckland local board areas. Upper Harbour had the highest percentage of these dwellings, at 67.1 percent, up from 61.0 percent in 2006.

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