Housing | The Salvation Army

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After initial signs of housing stresses easing for people on lower incomes, by late 2023 the surge of inward migration renewed the pressures on supply and affordability of rentals and housing prices.

The past five years have seen high levels of house building, but during 2023 the number of consents declined after a record year in 2022.

Dwelling consents per thousand residents—1973–2023 (September years)

At the same time, in 2023 the population growth was again faster than the growth in house building.

House prices have declined from their peak in 2021, but at the end of 2023 the national median price remained around 25 percent higher than pre-Covid-19 numbers in 2019 and there were signs of prices starting to increase again.

The number of households waiting for government-subsidised public housing steadily increased during 2023, in contrast to the significant decrease in the previous year up to December 2022.

Public Housing Register—2018–2023

The number of people in emergency and transitional housing is down from the peak levels of two years ago, but the transitional housing numbers did not change significantly during 2023.

Active tenancy bonds in the rental market are increasing, but the question is whether this is enough to keep up with rapid population growth in 2023.

Rents in lower-income communities have been increasing much faster than CPI Consumer Price Index (CPI) and average wage growth over the past decade. During 2023 there were some signs of increases slowing, but large increases in places such as Kaikohe, New Plymouth and Auckland show new pressures on rental housing.

Total debt per household, adjusted for inflation, is reducing on average, and this is the case for both housing as well as consumer and credit card debt. But the rapid rise in interest rates over the past two years makes servicing this debt more expensive, especially for lower-income households.

Housing, consumer and credit card debt per household—2013–2023


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