Experimental Housing Percentage Measure

The Housing Percentage Measure tells us whether households in New Zealand are spending more or less than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

The rent version of the Housing Percent Measure (Housing Percent Rent) identifies the proportion of renters in an area (region, territorial authority and Auckland wards) whose rent is more than 30 percent of their household income. Housing Percent Rent 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 Percent Measure (Housing Percent Buy) looks at the same incomes of the same renters. Housing Percent Buy is an estimate of how many renters would spend more than 30 percent of their income if they bought a lower quartile house with the same number of bedrooms as their current house, in the area that they currently live in. Housing Percent Buy helps us to understand whether many renters can afford to buy a home in their area.

National Housing Percentage Measure

At a national level, the share of potential first home buyer households who would be spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs decreased from 75.9 percent in December 2017 to 74.8 percent in December 2018.

At a national level, the share of renter households spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs remained fairly constant at 31.0 percent in December 2018 (31.3 percent in December 2017).

Figure 1: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, national level (March 2003 to December 2018)

Figure 1: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, national level (March 2003 to December 2018)

Auckland Housing Percentage Measure

The share of potential first home buyer households in Auckland who would be spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs decreased from 88.2 percent in December 2017 to 85.5 percent in December 2018, after reaching a peak of 89.1 percent in December 2016. This ranges from the Howick Ward where 90.8 percent of potential first home buyer households would be spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs to the Waitemata and Gulf Ward where the figure is 66.4 percent.

The share of renter households in Auckland spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs decreased from 32.0 percent in December 2017 to 31.4 percent in December 2018. This ranges from 20.2 percent of renter households in Manukau Ward spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs, to the Albany Ward where the figure is 41.9 percent.

Figure 2: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Auckland (March 2003 to December 2018)

Figure 2: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Auckland (March 2003 to December 2018)

Christchurch City Housing Percentage Measure

The share of potential first home buyer households in Christchurch City who would be spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs decreased from 67.9 percent in December 2017 to 65.8 percent in December 2018.

The share of renter households in Christchurch City spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing costs remained fairly stable at 30.2 percent in December 2018 (30.5 percent in December 2017).

Figure 3: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Christchurch City (March 2003 to December 2018)

Figure 3: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Christchurch City (March 2003 to December 2018)

Wellington City Housing Percentage Measure

The share of potential Wellington City first home buyer households who would be spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs increased from 68.9 percent in December 2017 to 69.7 percent in December 2018.

The share of renter households in Wellington City spending over 30 percent of their income on housing costs was stable at 31.9 percent in December 2018 (32.0 percent in December 2017).

Figure 4: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Wellington City (March 2003 to December 2018)

Figure 4: Share of potential first home buyer (HAM Buy Percent) and renter (HAM Rent Percent) households spending over 30 percent of their incomes on housing, Wellington City (March 2003 to December 2018)

Methodology notes and data tables

Our Housing Affordability Measure downloads and notes of interest page includes more information about how the data have been analysed, the methodology report and downloadable data tables.

Published: May 18, 2020

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