Story: City history and people

Housing tenure in the four main cities

Housing tenure in the four main cities

At the start of the 20th century the majority of city residents rented their dwellings. Government initiatives to create a property-owning democracy – through cheap state mortgages, among other things – saw home-ownership rates skyrocket in the 1920s. They fell during the 1930s economic depression, then rose steadily, peaking at 73% (both nationally and in the four main centres) in 1986. Since then home-ownership rates have declined. The reasons include increased costs, lower subsidies, and young people delaying settling down and having children. By the 2000s the ideal of a property-owning democracy was in retreat.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: New Zealand census, 1916–2006

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How to cite this page:

David Thorns and Ben Schrader, 'City history and people - Suburban growth', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 June 2023)

Story by David Thorns and Ben Schrader, published 11 Mar 2010