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Important Information | National Trend | Regional Trend | Territorial Authority Trend

Tenure of Household Tables

This profile conveys information about the six dimensions of housing adequacy. This profile was published and last updated in February 2002.

National Trend

Traditionally in New Zealand, the population of renting households has been smaller than that of owner-occupied households. The home ownership ethic has been shared among New Zealanders for a good half century. However, newer generations of New Zealanders, both the young and the recent migrant communities, have followed a different pattern of housing tenure. This new trend has emerged over the last three censuses, with an increasing number and proportion of households living in rented dwellings.

Possible influences in the emerging trend may be newer generations starting their careers with student loan obligations, a return to later forming of couple households, later childbirth and childfree couples. Other possible influences include the changes in employment patterns (eg shorter-term employment), financial considerations (eg saving for a deposit on a home), and choosing other investment options (eg shares, bonds) over home ownership.

In 1991, just over a quarter (26.2 percent) of total households lived in a home they did not own, while this increased to nearly a third of total households by 2001 (32.2 percent). This trend was also observed in the number of renting households. In 2001, there were 412,197 renting households in New Zealand, a marked increase from 1996 (357,063) and 1991 (301,167).

Figure 1

Graph, Percentage of Households That Own and Do Not Own the Dwelling They Occupy.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001

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Regional Trend

All regions followed the national trend of an increasing percentage of renting households. The six regions with the highest percentage of renting households in 1991 remained in the top six positions in 2001. Gisborne Region consistently had the highest percentage of renting households throughout the last three censuses: 32.9 percent in 1991, 35.0 percent in 1996 and 37.1 percent in 2001. While Gisborne Region was the only region with the percentage of renting households higher than 30 percent in 1991, there were nine regions with the percentage of renting households above 30 percent in 2001.

The number of renting households cast a different picture from the percentage of renting households. As expected, throughout the three censuses, Auckland Region had the largest number of renting households (85,437 in 1991, 103,593 in 1996, and 130,536 in 2001). Wellington Region had the second largest number of renting households in 1991, overtaken by Canterbury Region in 1996 and 2001.

Figure 2

Graph, Number of Renting Households.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001

Between 1991 and 2001, of all the regions, Bay of Plenty, Nelson, and Auckland had a percentage increase in the number of renting households greater than 50 percent (58.8 percent, 58.4 percent, and 52.8 percent respectively), compared to a 36.9 percent increase for New Zealand.

Figure 3

Percentage of Renting Households and Ranking1 for Selected Regional Councils 1991, 1996 and 2001

Region 1991 % 1991 Rank 1996 % 1996 Rank 2001 % 2001 Rank
Gisborne 32.9 1 35.0 1 37.1 1
Waikato 28.6 2 32.1 2 32.6 4
Manawatu-Wanganui 28.3 3 31.4 3 32.2 6
Wellington 27.9 4 30.2 5 33.3 3
Auckland 27.3 5 30.8 4 35.6 2
Hawke's Bay 26.1 6 29.5 6 32.3 5

1 Highest percentage of renting households ranking = 1.
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001

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Territorial Authority Trend

Most of the territorial authorities reflected the national trend in the percentage of renting households, showing an increase between 1991 and 2001. There were 15 territorial authorities with a percentage of renting households over 30 percent in 1991, by 2001 33 territorial authorities had reached this level. The graph below shows the percentage change in renting households for territorial authorities with the highest percentage of renting households in 2001. The lowest percentage of renting households was consistently observed in Hurunui District in all three census years (15.0 in 1991, 17.1 in 1996 and 19.0 percent in 2001).

The largest increases in the number of renting households, between 1991 and 2001, were in Tauranga District (111.5 percent), Waitakere City (92.5 percent), Kapiti Coast District (92.4 percent), Rodney District (85.2 percent), Queenstown-Lakes District (83.4 percent), and North Shore City (81.8 percent).

Figure 4

Graph, Territorial Authorities With the Highest Percentage of Renting Households.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001

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Important Information

Tenure of Household

Tenure of Household refers to the nature of occupancy of a private household in a dwelling at the time of the survey. Tenure of household seeks to ascertain if the household rents or owns the dwelling and whether payment is made by the household for the right. It does not refer to the land on which the dwelling is situated. This variable has undergone a change since the 1996 Census. Tenure is now an attribute of the household rather than of the dwelling. Previously in 1991 and 1996 tenure figures were for dwellings. These have been adjusted to calculate time series data, and are now for households only.

Tenure of household categories used in this analysis:

Owned

  • Dwelling owned or partly owned by usual resident(s), who make mortgage payments
  • Dwelling owned or partly owned by usual resident(s), who do not make mortgage payments
  • Dwelling owned or partly owned by usual resident(s), mortgage arrangements not further defined

Not owned (renting households)

  • Dwelling not owned by usual resident(s), who make rent payments
  • Dwelling not owned by usual resident(s), who do not make rent payments
  • Dwelling not owned by usual resident(s), rental arrangements not further defined

Calculations

Percentages have been calculated using stated answers only.

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