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Kiwi home ownership levels sink

The level of home ownership in New Zealand has slipped to just two-thirds of the population.

Thursday, December 13th 2001, 5:49PM

by Jenny Ruth

And although we think of ourselves as being high up in the home ownership stakes, we now rank only eighth, according to Massey University’s Professor Bob Hargreaves.

Back in 1986, more New Zealanders owned their own homes than any other nationality.

Now, "Singapore (90%) is a clear leader in owner-occupied housing, followed by Taiwan (85%) and Spain (81%)," Hargreaves says in his latest commentary on the New Zealand rental housing market.

Ireland, Belgium, Australia and Britain all have higher levels of home ownership than New Zealand does, he estimates.

But Hargreaves’ survey shows home ownership levels aren’t necessarily linked to wealth. Home ownership is Switzerland, "one of the richest countries in the world," is only about 30%.

"Clearly, ownership has cultural as well as affordability considerations," he says.

However, most New Zealanders do aspire to home ownership.

Hargreaves notes that one group of Kiwi renters could afford to buy their own homes but choose not to. "This group may have alternative investment strategies which at least equate with the returns from housing investment," he says.

Other renters though, and these are thought to be the majority, can’t afford to buy a house either because they lack the capital for a deposit or have insufficient debt servicing capability or both.

"The worry is that this latter group is getting larger as the percentage of New Zealanders owning their own house continues to reduce," Hargreaves says.

For those who do rent, Hargreaves finds rents have been static in the last three months, over the last year and in the last two and a half years. The national median is $190 a week with the cheapest place to rent being Invercargill at $110 a week and the most expensive being Auckland at $275 a week.

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 6.24 5.10 5.59 5.59
ANZ Special - 4.89 4.99 -
ASB Bank 6.50 ▼5.05 ▼5.25 ▼5.35
ASB Bank Special - ▼4.69 ▼4.89 ▼4.99
BankDirect 6.50 ▼5.05 ▼5.25 ▼5.35
BankDirect Special - ▼4.69 ▼4.89 ▼4.99
BNZ - Mortgage One ▼6.65 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay ▼6.24 - - -
BNZ - Special - - ▼4.69 -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys ▼6.24 5.19 5.39 5.29
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.99 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Credit Union Auckland 6.70 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.45 5.75 5.75 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 6.45 - - -
Finance Direct 6.10 6.45 6.69 7.10
First Credit Union 6.45 - - -
HBS Bank 6.14 5.39 5.39 5.39
HBS Special - 4.99 4.99 4.99
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heretaunga Building Society 6.45 5.10 5.40 -
Housing NZ Corp 6.49 5.19 5.49 5.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier 6.60 4.89 4.89 ▼4.99
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - ▼4.49 ▼4.49 ▼4.49
ICBC 6.75 5.99 6.39 -
Kiwibank 6.15 5.39 5.49 5.69
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 6.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 5.09 4.99 5.39
Liberty - - - -
Napier Building Society 6.50 5.80 6.70 -
Nelson Building Society 6.70 5.65 5.95 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
NZ Home Loans 6.60 5.39 5.49 6.29
Perpetual Trust 7.70 - - -
Resimac 5.84 5.60 5.65 5.79
SBS Bank 6.14 5.39 5.39 5.39
SBS Bank Special - 4.99 4.99 4.99
Sovereign 6.35 ▼5.05 ▼5.25 ▼5.35
Sovereign Special - ▼4.69 ▼4.89 ▼4.99
The Co-operative Bank 6.20 4.89 4.99 5.20
TSB Bank ▼6.24 5.45 5.49 ▼5.40
TSB Special - - 4.99 5.40
Wairarapa Building Society 6.20 5.75 5.95 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac ▼6.15 5.39 5.39 5.59
Westpac - Capped rates - ▼6.15 ▼6.15 -
Westpac - Offset ▼6.15 - - -
Westpac Special - - ▼4.69 -
Median 6.45 5.19 5.39 5.39

Last updated: 31 July 2015 11:25am

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