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More evidence of housing burden on the elderly – Treasury research

Large numbers of people risk being economically stressed in their old age by the high cost of housing, according to a new study.

Tuesday, August 30th 2022, 5:52PM 1 Comment

by Eric Frykberg

This would apply to homeowners with a mortgage as well as people paying rent.

The research was commissioned by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission and carried out by the Treasury.

It was based on information contained in the annual in-depth research programme of Stats NZ, the Household Economic Survey (HES).

The analysis showed superannuitants still paying rent were likely to be spending 40% or more of their NZ Super income on housing.

But the problem was even worse for people still paying off mortgages.

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Director of Policy, Suzy Morrissey said 80% of mortgagees over 65 had to spend more than 40% of their NZ Super on housing costs.

And more than half were spending over 80% of NZ Super on housing costs.

“But when compared to those who own their homes outright, this is almost totally reversed,” Morrissey said.

“More than half of people in this group spent less than 20% of NZ Super on housing costs.”

Morrissey added this analysis was based solely on income received from NZ Super and did not factor in other earnings.

However, this was important for the biggest chunk of the superannuitant population: the 40% who only have NZ Super to live on.

Morrissey added these problems were compounded by changes in home ownership patterns in the last three decades.  In 1986, 87% of people over 60 were homeowners, had their mortgages paid off and were mainly retired from employment.    

By 2018, home ownership of the over 60s had fallen slightly, to 80%. But one fifth of those elderly home owners were still paying off a mortgage, one fifth were paying rent and many were still in paid work.

And this trend would steepen. Long term, the balance of homeownership among the elderly was expected to shift to 60% homeowners and 40% paying rent. By 2048, the renter population would amount to almost 600,000 people.

Moreover, mortgage and rent costs had been rising faster than outright ownership costs.

All this created a real challenge for many older people in the future, according to Dr Morrissey.

“When NZ Super was introduced, it was with the underlying assumption that those accessing it would be mortgage-free homeowners.

“Today, the reality is very different.”

This latest research is just the latest in a series of reports showing financial difficulties in old age.

The most dramatic evidence of that came from research at Massey University, which showed people living an active life with plenty of outings in the big city could need more than $500 a week on top of NZ Super to pay the costs.

The latest version of this annual research programme is due out next week.

Tags: housing market

« Govt expected to move on data sharingTough year ahead but long term prospects improve – ASB »

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Comments from our readers

On 31 August 2022 at 12:23 pm FutureMatters said:
And even still this Gov't is disincentivising Mum & Dad investors who are trying to supplement their retirement income with what is a legitimate business. The latest is that Australians with investment property in NZ can claim interest as an expense for all rental investment

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.14 6.75 6.39
ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.14 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.14 6.75 6.39
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.14 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.74 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 6.79 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 6.99 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.89 6.55 6.35
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.69 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.74 7.35 6.99
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 7.99 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 6.99 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.65 7.25 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.74 7.09 6.95
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 7.14 6.49 6.35
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.14 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 7.79 7.55 7.45
TSB Special 8.64 6.99 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - 6.55 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac 8.64 ▼7.49 7.35 6.99
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼6.89 6.75 6.39
Median 8.64 7.14 6.82 6.65

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