Rent today, buy tomorrow

By Amy McGillivray

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Tauranga residents Aaron and Ariane Altments plan to buy their own house one day but know they will have to downgrade from their rental. Photo/George Novak
Tauranga residents Aaron and Ariane Altments plan to buy their own house one day but know they will have to downgrade from their rental. Photo/George Novak

More people are choosing to rent, delaying the Kiwi dream of owning their own home.

Figures for the total number of households in dwellings owned or partly owned in Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty District dropped from 51.5 per cent in 2006 to 46.5 per cent in 2013.

Tauranga Realty Services chief executive Ross Stanway said it was the lowest home ownership in New Zealand had been.

"Our historic attitude in New Zealand has always been a desire to own your own home. It's been seen as security and an investment," he said.

The younger generation's attitude had changed to the point where home ownership was not such a high priority, he said.

"Now people are marrying later. The younger generation are much more mobile and much more willing not worry about longer term stuff."

Tauranga Harcourts managing director Simon Martin said home ownership was still a dream for most Kiwis but agreed they were leaving it to later in life.

He expected the decline would continue as long as the recent LVR restrictions were in place as young people were now struggling to get into the market.

Rent today and buy tomorrow

Western Bay of Plenty district and Tauranga City home ownership figuresTotal households in dwellings owned or partly owned: 2006 - 51.5 per cent; 2013 - 46.5 per cent

Total households in dwellings not owned or held in a family trust: 2006 - 31.3 per cent; 2013 - 33.5 per cent

Total dwellings held in a family trust: 2006 - 53.2 per cent; 2013 - 49.8 per centContinued from P1

Arataki residents Aaron, 27, and Ariane, 32, Altments would like to own their own home one day but are happy renting for the time being.

"I reckon we want to buy a house in the next three to five years," Mr Altments said.

"Right now we rent and we've got quite a nice house and we can afford to pay the rent. If we buy a house we're going to have to downgrade quite a lot and pay double our rent."

Mrs Altments said it was important to them to have a house as an asset but the main issue was the huge amount of money needed for a deposit.

Tauranga City councillor Steve Morris said the figures were a "bit of a worry".

"We've got an abundance of supply of land so the issue in Tauranga is not supply of land but building costs."

A big part of the problem was the demands developers placed on people who bought in their subdivisions. Developers often required people built to a certain minimum size, with a particular cladding, a certain type of fence and a set number of bathrooms, he said.

"When you built back in your grandparents' day they built as they could afford," Cr Morris said.

"Today's generation doesn't really have that option.

"It's just wrong that people who are first home buyers have to build to such a standard."

As a councillor and a contender for the National Party's Bay of Plenty electorate seat, he would be pushing for legislation to be put in place to require developers to reserve a portion of new subdivisions for affordable homes with no such requirements, he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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