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Higher housing costs eat into household budgets
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  02 December 2016

Household Expenditure Statistics: Year ended June 2016  –  Media Release

13 April 2018: We've corrected this news story. See Higher housing costs eat into household budgets.

A growing proportion of households are spending more than a quarter of their household income on housing, Statistics NZ said today. From the year ended June 2007 to June 2016, the proportion of households spending one-quarter or more of their total household income on housing costs rose 5.5 percentage points, to 31.3 percent of all households.

In the past three years, more of the household budget was taken up by housing and household utilities expenditure than previously. Between June 2013 and June 2016, average weekly household expenditure increased by $190 (17.1 percent) to $1,300 a week. Spending associated with housing and household utilities contributed the most to this increase (up $61). Housing and household utilities expenditure includes expenses such as mortgage principal payments, rent, maintenance and alterations, property rates, and energy.

Over the three years, household income increased 11.7 percent, on average, to an annual amount of $95,898 (before tax).

Apart from housing expenditure, Kiwi households spent more on food in 2015/16 than three years earlier. The proportion of households that reported eating out increased from 43.3 percent to 51.5 percent, and their average expenditure on restaurant meals increased 50 percent over this period, to $25 a week.

The amount spent on purchasing vehicles was up $27 a week from three years earlier, increasing from $48 to $75, and accounting for most of the increase in transport expenditure. One-quarter of households (25.7 percent) reported buying a vehicle in 2015/16, compared with 21.1 percent of households that reported doing so in the 2012/13 survey.  

Ends

For media enquiries contact: James Weir, Wellington, 021 285 9191, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 2 December 2016

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