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Indicator 8: ownership of dwellings

Discussion

The highest form of tenure security for a household is ownership of the dwelling it occupies. Numerous benefits accompany dwelling ownership, including a degree of financial security and a reduced risk of disruption from frequent changes of dwelling.

Over the past three censuses, however, the percentage of New Zealand households that do not own the dwelling they occupy has increased, marking a move away from a long-standing national tendency for people to own their own home. Possible causes include increasing participation in alternative forms of long-term investment, a high level of student debt, higher house prices relative to incomes and people forming families later in life. Among the demographic variables which appear related to home ownership are household income, age and ethnicity. In 2006, 66.9 percent of households in private occupied dwellings either owned the dwelling they lived in or held that dwelling in a family trust. Ownership peaked in the 1991 Census at 73.8 percent, although caution should be used when comparing home ownership trends with 2006 Census figures, because of the new 'family trust' category.

For the 2006 Census, owner-occupied dwellings include dwellings owned or partly owned (with or without a mortgage), and dwellings held in a family trust. Of the territorial authorities, Auckland City had the lowest percentage of owner-occupied dwellings, whereas Waimakariri District had the highest.

Graph, Percentage of Households Living in Owner-occupied Dwellings.

Tables

4.0 Households in owner-occupied private dwellings as a percentage of households in all private occupied dwellings, 1996, 2001, 2006
4.1 Households in owner-occupied dwellings as a percentage of households in all private occupied dwellings, 1996, 2001, 2006
4.3 Median household income $(000) for households in private occupied dwellings, 1996, 2001, 2006
4.4 Households in owner-occupied dwellings by household composition, 1996, 2001, 2006

Specifications

  • Data source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings
  • Frequency: five yearly (available from 1996 onwards)
  • Geographic level of data availability: New Zealand, regional council, territorial authority and urban area. Data may be available down to area unit level subject to confidentiality.
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