Housing ownership lowest for 50 years

Home ownership  is down to its lowest level in 50 years, according to a new report.

Twenty years ago, almost 74 per cent of Kiwi households owned their home, but that fell to just 67 per cent by 2006, according to the Centre for Housing Research, a research agency set up by the Housing Corporation.

Home ownership is at a level last seen in the 1950s, according to the latest census figures analysed in the housing report.

A doubling in median house prices since 2002 and the worst interest rates in a decade are pushing the dream of buying a home further out of reach – especially for the poor, young and single and most of all, single parents.

Fewer people under 40 are buying their own homes. They are also taking longer to do so – and it is costing them relatively more, according to Professor Philip Morrison, author of the report.

More people are buying homes in multi-unit blocks, which in the past were usually occupied by renters. Others are buying farther out of town and accepting a longer commute to work – a trend that has grown in the past five years.

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