Fewer Kiwis own their own homes

The number of homeowners in New Zealand continues to fall, with less than half of all Kiwis owning their own property, new Census figures show.

In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand today.

"The decline in home ownership occurred across all age groups, from those in their 20s to those in their 70s, with the largest falls for those in their 30s and 40s," said Gareth Meech, Census 2013 general manager.

"In 2013, 43.0 per cent of people aged 30-39 years owned or partly owned their home, down from 54.6 per cent in 2001."

2013 Census Quickstats about housing, which contains detailed information about New Zealand's housing stock, also reveals trends in the number, type, and size of the dwellings we are living in.

"The housing information released today gives us valuable insight into how New Zealanders are living, and how that's changing over time," Mr Meech said.

Joined dwellings, like flats and apartments, are becoming more common in our main centres, now accounting for 37.0 per cent of occupied private dwellings in Wellington city.

And, while the standard Kiwi three-bedroom home remains most common, the last 12 years had seen steady growth in the number of four- and five-bedroom dwellings.

It also found that more New Zealanders are using electricity to heat their homes and fewer are using gas, wood, or coal.

In 2013, electricity was used for heating in 79.2 per cent of occupied private dwellings, up from 74.8 per cent in 2006, and 72.0 per cent in 2001."

Other key Census points:

* Average annual growth between 2006 and 2013 for occupied dwellings was 0.9 per cent - lower than in any other period between censuses from 1981 onwards.

* One in 10 dwellings were unoccupied on Census night, with the number of unoccupied dwellings increasing in every region since 2006, although there was little change in the Auckland region.

* Use of gas, wood, and coal as heating fuels declined. Bottled gas decreased the most, used in 15.4 per cent of occupied private dwellings in 2013, compared with 27.7 per cent in 2006.


Renting often not by choice

Sad fact is if you don't have the deposit or don't earn enough to support the loan repayments, you're stuck with no option other than to rent. No doubt there are a few who chose to rent due to the fact they have better things to do with their spare time and money rather than maintaining a house and cutting lawns etc.

Just proves to me that the gap between "the have's" and "the have-nots" is getting bigger. And just why are 1 in 10 dwellings empty? Is it because everyone is moving to Auckland or just landlord greed? 

Choosing to rent

In time, renting, not buying, becomes the accommodation of choice. Without a ready population of spirant buyers, there can be negative effects on the market.

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