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Home Ownership On The Decline In NZ

New Zealand has slipped down the international rankings of countries with a high percentage of owner-occupied housing, according to a quarterly residential market survey issued by Massey University’s Real Estate Analysis Unit.

In 1986 New Zealand had the highest percentage of owner-occupied housing in the world but now it just scrapes in the top 10.

The survey found that while less New Zealanders are buying homes, many still view paying off a mortgage on a house as their main form of wealth accumulation.

The survey found that some of those who rent accommodation choose to do so because they have alternative investment strategies, which at least equate with the returns of housing investments. Another group of renters, thought to be the majority, cannot afford to buy because they lack the necessary deposit, or have insufficient debt servicing capacity. The survey suggests this latter group will grow as the percentage of New Zealanders owning their own homes continues to decline.

Overall rents have remained static since the last quarter and the national median rent has stayed at $190 per week for the last two and a half years. Early indications that more New Zealanders are now returning home is likely to result in a demand for rental accommodation in Auckland, and therefore mean an upward movement in rents.

Singapore is a clear leader in owner-occupied housing (90%), followed by Taiwan (85%) and Spain (81%).

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