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  Community » Waikato Progress Indicators - Tupuranga Waikato » Report cards » Housing affordability

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Housing in the Waikato region was slightly less affordable in 2017 compared with 2007, although this can vary from year to year.

This indicator is the ratio of the Waikato region’s housing costs to household income, from the New Zealand Household Economic Survey (HES).

Why is this indicator important?

Housing affordability relates to three aspects - the ability of people to rent or purchase housing in a locality of their choice at a reasonable price; their capacity to meet ongoing housing costs; and the extent to which their discretionary income is available to achieve an acceptable standard of living. Access to affordable housing is essential if people are to have enough residual income to cover other basic living costs while also saving for irregular or unexpected unavoidable costs. Housing costs take up a large share of the household budget and represent the largest single expenditure for many individuals and families.

Housing affordability

Bar chart of housing affordability in the Waikato region

Year ended 30 June Ratio of housing costs to total household income (%)
2007 15.4
2008 14.1
2009 15.5
2010 13.6
2011 14.7
2012 16.0
2013 14.1
2014 16.4
2015 14.7
2016 16.1
2017 16.0

What is this indicator telling us?

  • The ratio of housing costs to household income in the Waikato region has been volatile in recent years, at around 14% to 16%.
  • The Waikato region tends to have relatively more affordable housing than the national average, due largely to higher housing costs in Auckland (18% to 20% of household income).
  • The ratio of housing costs to household income in New Zealand are currently the highest in the OECD.

Check out related information on our website and other organisations’ websites listed on our Waikato Progress Indicators’ Useful Links page.


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New Zealand Household Economic Survey (HES) data can be found via Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) website(external link). Data are in Table 6: Housing costs to household income ratios, over all households, by region.

Update details: Annual data to year ended June 2017, with 2018 results expected around November/December 2018. 

Customised data request requirements: Nil


Territorial Authority (TA) disaggregation: No 

Other regions: The survey regions are Auckland, Wellington, Rest of North Island, Canterbury and Rest of South Island. Rest of the North Island is used as proxy for Waikato region due to high sample error associated with Waikato region sub-sample for this item.

New Zealand: Yes

Other countries/ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Secondary statistics from the OECD Wellbeing Report: Housing – Key findings(external link). In particular, latest data on the ratio of housing costs to adjusted disposable income shows that New Zealand is 38th out of 38 (mostly developed) countries in terms of housing affordability.

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