Rents up, mortgage payments down

On the whole, we’re spending around the same on housing this year as we did through the last, according to new figures from Statistics New Zealand.

The Household Economic Survey of Income (HES Income) for the year ended June 2009 shows no overall change in average weekly expenditure on housing costs from the previous year.  This result was made up of an increase across all households in average weekly property and ground rent payments (up 8.1 per cent), offset by decreases in average mortgage principal repayments (down 7.1 per cent) and average mortgage interest payments (down 2.8 per cent).

For those making rent payments, median (half pay more, half pay less) weekly rent payments increased from $220 in 2007/08 to $241 in 2008/09 (up 9.5 per cent). Meanwhile, median weekly mortgage payments, for those making these payments, decreased from $328 in 2007/08 to $312 in 2008/09 (down 4.8 per cent), partly reflecting a decrease in mortgage interest rates charged over the survey period.

For those paying rent, median weekly rent payments in the five regions surveyed were as follows: Auckland ($300), Wellington ($250), Canterbury ($245), Rest of North Island ($200), and Rest of South Island ($178).
 
Meanwhile, median weekly mortgage payments were as follows: Auckland ($414), Wellington ($340), Canterbury ($318), Rest of North Island ($262), and Rest of South Island ($219).

Other survey results showed that average (mean) annual household income was $78,876 in 2008/09, up 5.6 percent from 2007/08. The increase was driven primarily by an increase in aggregate wage and salary income.

HES (Income) is a shortened version of the three-yearly full Household Economic Survey. It ran for the first time in the year ended 30 June 2008, and is used to collect data on household and personal income, living standards, and housing costs.