Housing Affordability Measure (HAM)

The Housing Affordability Measure (HAM) uses StatsNZ household-level income data to provide a picture of shifts in housing affordability.

The HAM is an experimental statistical series that uses several measures to understand housing affordability in New Zealand. 

Affordability is calculated using data from Stats NZ's Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) to measure income at the household level.

There are three main measures of affordability, each of which can be applied to renting and potential first home buying. One is the percentage of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The second is the percentage of households with below average incomes after housing costs. A third is an affordability index.

Learn more about these measures below.

Experimental Housing Percentage Measure

The Housing Percentage Measure identifies whether each household in New Zealand is spending more or less than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

The rent version of the housing percentage measure helps us to understand housing affordability pressures experienced by renters in local areas around New Zealand and whether these are improving or not.

The buy version of the housing percentage measure helps us to understand whether renters can afford to buy a home in their area.

Experimental Housing Affordability Measure for renters

The Housing Affordability Measure for renters (HAM Rent Median) compares the income after housing costs of renters in different parts of New Zealand to the national median income after housing costs for all households.

The HAM Rent Median helps us to understand the affordability picture for renters in local areas around New Zealand (territorial authorities and Auckland wards) and how this compares to the overall New Zealand affordability picture.

Experimental Housing Affordability Measure for potential first home buyers

The Housing Affordability Measure for potential first home buyers (HAM Buy Median) compares the income after housing costs of potential first home buyers in different parts of New Zealand to the national median income after housing costs for all households.

The HAM Buy Median helps us to understand how affordable buying a house could be for renters in local areas around New Zealand (territorial authorities and Auckland wards) and how this compares to the overall New Zealand affordability picture.

Experimental Housing Affordability Index

The Housing Affordability Index re-scales the household data from the Housing Affordability Measures so that affordability for renters at the start of the time series is 1000.

The Housing Affordability Index helps us to understand the trends over time of housing affordability for renters in local areas around New Zealand (territorial authorities and Auckland wards).

Disclaimer

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Published: July 24, 2019

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