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Housing

Commentary

Overview

In 2006, areas of high rent were concentrated mainly in Auckland and North Shore cities, and in parts of Manukau city, particularly near the northern coast. Levels of home ownership have been highest in the outer districts and lowest in Auckland city; however, a lower proportion of people own their home now than in the past. Multi-unit dwellings are mainly found in the Auckland region's cities, and in particular within central Auckland.

Mapping high and low rent areas

Figure 13.1 shows the median rent for area units in the Auckland region. Median rent is one aspect of housing affordability. The median rent for each area unit is the midpoint of weekly rent values (half pay more than this, and half pay less) for all households that did not own their dwelling. Median rent is an approximate indicator and the data should be used with caution. Darker patches on the maps indicate higher rents. Note that this data has not controlled for the number of people living in each dwelling.

Figure 13.1

Median Rent

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 13.1 (PDF, 3.8MB)

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High and low rent areas over time

In 1991, areas of high rent were found in northern parts of Manukau city, with some areas in Auckland and North Shore cities also having high rents. From 1991 to 2006, the median rent in the vast majority of area units increased. In 2006, areas of high rent were more concentrated in Auckland city, the northern parts of Manukau city, and much of North Shore city. The largest increases in median rent between 1991 and 2006 were in areas of Auckland city, and in a few area units in southern Manukau city.  

Home ownership

Figure 13.2 shows the percentage of occupied private dwellings that are owned by their occupier, for 1991 to 2006. Darker patches show higher proportions of owner-occupier dwellings.

Figure 13.2

Percentage of Dwellings Owned by Occupier

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 13.2 (PDF, 3.8MB)

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Between 1996 and 2006, Rodney district had the highest levels of home ownership. In 1991 Waitakere city was the highest. Over time there has been a decrease in home ownership; this is evident in the maps, which show that most area units in the Auckland region become lighter in colour over time. In 1991 there were 20 area units with more than 90 percent of dwellings owned by their occupier. By 2006 no area units had more than 90 percent of dwellings owned by their occupier.

Home ownership in the Auckland region as a whole has declined; the percentage of owner-occupier dwellings decreased from 73 percent to 64 percent between 1991 and 2006. This decrease is similar to the figures for New Zealand, which fell from 74 percent to 67 percent over the same period.

The percentage of occupied private dwellings owned by their occupier fell in all territorial authorities of the Auckland region between 1991 and 2006. Table 13.1 shows the change in home ownership for each territorial authority.

Table 13.1

Percentage of Owner-occupied Dwellings in Auckland Region 
By territorial authority 
 1991–2006
  1991   1996   2001  2006  
 Territorial authority Percent 
 Rodney district  81.0  78.0  74.5  73.6 
 North Shore city  79.8  75.3   69.1 70.3
 Waitakere city  81.1  75.4  69.3   67.6 
 Auckland city  62.2  60.0  56.1   56.1 
 Manukau city  75.7   71.1   65.3  63.0 
 Papakura district  74.9   69.3   65.9   63.2 
 Part of Franklin district(1) 75.3  74.1  73.6  72.4

(1) Part in the Auckland region.
Source: Census of Population and Dwellings

Auckland city had the lowest levels of home ownership between 1991 and 2006, with 56 percent of dwellings owned by their occupier in 2006. In Auckland city, especially central Auckland, factors such as the high number of students and young professionals, and increases in house prices, are likely to have contributed to the low levels of home ownership over the period.

Research by the Auckland Regional Council shows that there are also differences in levels of home ownership by ethnicity. For example, with the exception of the Fijian ethnic group, less than one-quarter of all Pacific groups owned or partly owned their dwelling (Auckland Regional Council, 2007a). This may be partly due to the younger age structure of the Pacific ethnic group.

Multi-unit dwellings

Occupied dwellings can be classified according to their structure and function. Multi-unit dwellings are occupied private dwellings that are physically attached to at least one other residential dwelling. This includes flats, units, townhouses, apartments, or houses joined together. Multi-unit dwellings are a rough indicator of medium-high density housing.

Figure 13.3 shows the percentage of dwellings in each area unit that are multi-unit dwellings.

Figure 13.3

Percentage of Dwellings that are Multi Unit

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

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The maps show that area units with high proportions of multi-unit dwellings are mainly in the four cities of Auckland region. In particular, area units in central parts of Auckland city have had consistently higher percentages of dwellings being multi-unit than anywhere else in the region. The largest increases between 1996 and 2006 were in northern parts of North Shore city and some area units in Manukau city, Auckland city, Waitakere city, and Rodney district.

Areas with higher proportions of multi-unit dwellings have a lower proportion of people aged 0–14 years living in the area. Conversely, people aged 65 years and over are more evenly distributed throughout areas with high and low proportions of multi-unit dwellings. More information is in the Notes and sources section.

Implications

There are implications for housing in the Auckland region:

  • Median rent is likely to continue rising in the future. The Auckland Regional Council estimates that for renting households with a household income of $20,000 or less, about two-thirds were paying above an 'affordable' level of rent (estimated at 30 percent of gross income) in 2006. (Auckland Regional Council, 2007b).
  • There is a move away from owner-occupied detached dwellings, and this is likely to continue in the future.

Related chapters

  • Commuting
  • Income
  • Population density

Further information

This page is part of Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region, available on www.stats.govt.nz.

Notes and sources

Definitions

Median rent measures the centre of the rent distribution. It is calculated by taking the midpoint of rent values (half pay more than this, and half pay less). The data used is weekly rent paid by households who did not own their dwelling.

Housing tenure refers to the nature of a household's occupancy in a private dwelling. The data used is the percentage of occupied private dwellings that are owned by their occupier. In the 1991 data, the categories 'provided free' and 'rented or leased' were treated as equivalent to 'not owned' in other years.

Due to changes in the treatment of dwellings held in a family trust, care should be taken when looking at housing tenure over time. In the 2006 Census, home ownership through family trusts was explicitly identified. In the data used for this chapter, dwellings in a family trust were aggregated with the owner-occupier category.

More information about the housing tenure variable is on the Tenure of household page on www.stats.govt.nz.

Data sources

The data are based on the census usually resident population count from the 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses. The Consumers Price Index (June 2006 base) was used to adjust the median rent data for 1991, 1996, and 2001, to enable meaningful comparisons with the 2006 data. More information about the consumers price index can be found on the Consumers price index page on www.stats.govt.nz.

The maps display data at area unit level. Area units are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities. They generally coincide with suburbs (in urban areas) and rural neighbourhoods. The Auckland region is made up of 399 area units, while there are 1,927 area units throughout New Zealand. Digital boundary files, used for constructing the maps, can be downloaded from Digital Boundaries on www.stats.govt.nz.

The Auckland region is one of 16 regions, which are aggregations of area units governed by regional councils. More information about the geographical hierarchy of areas and the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

Multi-unit dwellings

Figure 13.4 shows the relationship between the percentage of multi-unit dwellings in an area unit, and the percentage of people aged 0–14 years, and 65 years and over.

Figure 13.4

Young and old vs multiunit dwellings

The left-hand scatter plot shows a negative relationship between the percentage of dwellings in an area unit that are multi-unit, and the percentage of the population that are aged 0–14 years. That is, areas with a high percentage of multi-unit dwellings have a low proportion of children living there. At the other end of the age scale, there is no relationship between the percentage of multi-unit dwellings in an area unit and the percentage of the population aged 65 and over living there.

References

Auckland Regional Council (2007a). Pacific Peoples in the Auckland Region 2006 Auckland Regional Council, 2006 Census series.

Auckland Regional Council (2007b). Housing and Households in the Auckland Region 2006 Auckland Regional Council, 2006 Census series.

Further reading

Statistics New Zealand (2005). Downtown Dwellers 2005: New Zealand's CBD Residents.

Statistics New Zealand. Statistics on Housing Affordability.

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