Alarm over home ownership numbers is premature

Thursday 18 November 2004

Census numbers purportedly showing falling home ownership should not be relied upon, retirement issues commentator Michael Littlewood says.

By The Landlord

At the Labour Party conference, politicians pointed to a fall in ownership rates as reason for the government to get involved.

Lobbyists such as David Skilling from the New Zealand Institute believe the census data supports his view that New Zealand’s economy is “hollowing out”.

The annual censuses relied upon by the politicians and pundits indicate home ownership dropped from 74% in 1996 to 68% in 2001.

However, an analysis of the data by Michael Littlewood shows the census does not support the “falling home ownership” story.

“The most that we know is that the declared rate of home ownership has fallen, but even that change doesn’t necessarily tell us what is really happening,” Littlewood says.

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