NZ inequality worsens as renters’ costs outpace income gains

By Leith van Onselen

From Statistics New Zealand comes a new report showing how housing costs for lower income earners has surged at the same time as their income growth has been subdued [my emphasis]:

The average annual household income has risen 41 percent since 2008, up more than twice the rate of inflation, Stats NZ said today.

Over the same period, average annual housing costs increased 43 percent.

“Although average household income grew 41 percent over the last decade, individual households experienced this growth differently,” labour market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. “While income for the poorest tenth of households grew 29 percent, for the richest tenth, income grew 47 percent.”

From 2008, the average annual household income rose just over $30,000 (41 percent), to reach $105,719 (before tax) in 2018. Over the same period, average annual housing costs increased 43 percent, from $11,967 to $17,122, according to the latest household income and housing-cost statistics. Inflation as measured by the consumers price index increased 17 percent over the same period.

Household income includes any income from wages and salaries, self-employment, investments, government benefits, and superannuation. Housing costs include rent and mortgages, property rates, and building-related insurance…

“Although the ratio of housing costs to household income hasn’t changed significantly over the last decade, certain types of households, such as renters and poorer households, pay a higher proportion of housing costs,” Mr Attewell said.

For the year ended June 2018, 1 in 5 (21 percent) of renting households spent 40 percent or more of their household income on housing costs, including rent. This compared with 7.5 percent of homeowners who spent that much of their household income on housing costs, including mortgages…

People living in rented dwellings are three times more likely to spend 40 percent or more of their household income on housing costs compared with those in owner-occupied dwellings.

Comments

    • DefinitelyNotTheHorribleScottMorrisonPM

      Yes, I’m sure it buys them an extra couple of days to come up with the readies – although this is still overly generous in my view.

  1. DefinitelyNotTheHorribleScottMorrisonPM

    Wow. Average housing costs are cheap as a percentage of average income. This is why negative gearing must be retained. Also because it’s just so sexy and sophisticated to say. Oh, and it underwrites bad property investments, which is good for jobs and growth.

  2. Although the ratio of housing costs to household income hasn’t changed significantly over the last decade

    It never does change significantly. What changes significantly is the quality of the housing.
    i.e. People will always spend about 1/3 of their income on housing. Are they getting better housing or worse housing as time goes on?

    Worse. Shortage.

  3. I cant believe this. Jacinda is only the second leader of a country to have a baby while in office and what about her appearance on the Stephen Colbert show? Top notch stuff, that’s what is important