Rates of home ownership rose during the 1920s, dropped during the depression years in the 1930s and peaked at 73.8% of households in 1991. Family home ownership was supported by access to low-interest state mortgages. From 1958 to 1991 parents could use family-benefit payments for their children to create a deposit for a home, add rooms when additional children were born or reduce existing mortgages. Home-ownership rates declined in the 1990s and early 21st century as housing prices rose and those who were not already owners found it difficult to accumulate the necessary deposit and meet mortgage payments.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census data 1916–2013