Most New Zealand householders own their own homes but they are less likely to do so than in the past. The proportion of households owning their dwellings either with or without a mortgage fell from 74 percent in 1991, to 71 percent in 1996 and to 68 percent in 2001. There was a further small decline to 67 percent in 2006.15
Information on home ownership by individuals is available from a different measure: tenure holder. In 2006, just over half (53 percent) of the population aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the dwelling they lived in, a small decline from 55 percent in 2001. Home ownership generally increases with age and in both 2001 and 2006 it was highest among people aged 55–74 years (80 percent and 79 percent, respectively). The decline in home ownership between 2001 and 2006 was most marked among those aged between 25–54 years. Over that period, the proportion of the population who owned or partly owned their own homes fell from 38 percent to 34 percent for 25–34 year olds, from 65 percent to 61 percent for 35–44 year olds, and from 76 percent to 72 percent for 45–54 year olds. The only age group to experience a significant increase in home ownership was the 85 years and over age group (from 55 percent in 2001 to 59 percent in 2006).
Home ownership varies widely by ethnic group. In 2006, Pacific people were the least likely to own the dwelling they lived in (22 percent of Pacific people aged 15 years and over). They were followed by people in the combined Middle Eastern, Latin American and African category (24 percent), Māori (30 percent) and Asian people (37 percent). Europeans and people in the Other ethnic group category (almost all of whom identified themselves as “New Zealander”), had higher than average levels of home ownership (58 percent and 65 percent, respectively).
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