Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Partnership could see 'real benefit' to housing data

Statistics NZ has been conducting early-stage trials to see how housing data held by CoreLogic could be used. Photo / Chris Gorman
Statistics NZ has been conducting early-stage trials to see how housing data held by CoreLogic could be used. Photo / Chris Gorman

A more detailed picture of home affordability will be available under a proposed partnership between Statistics New Zealand and the private company that holds the country's housing data.

Statistics NZ has been conducting early-stage trials to see how housing data held by CoreLogic could be used, and what light it could shed on home ownership and barriers to it.

Its Integrated Data Infrastructure collects information from across the public sector.

Such a powerful data source can provide valuable insights for the Government and researchers.

Last week, the Treasury released the latest findings from its work using the database.

These identified factors in childhood -- such as having a mother with no qualifications -- that were associated with poor outcomes later in life.

The 1 per cent of children who have all four indicators are four times more likely to leave school without qualifications, nine times more likely to serve a prison sentence, and six times more likely to receive benefits for more than five years before they turn 35.

The Treasury also used the data to create an interactive tool that mapped where vulnerable children lived.

A Statistics NZ's general manager, Evelyn Wareham, told a workshop hosted by the Auckland University of Technology that private housing data could be added to the available data.

After her address, Ms Wareham told the Herald that the timing of any data access was yet to be confirmed.

There was huge demand from both Government and researchers for such information, and access would be a big step forward for better understanding housing affordability, she said, "particularly if we can get a robust connection with other authoritative data sources.

"CoreLogic are already doing some things to show patterns at a local level around home ownership and affordability, but we would be able to provide robust national indicators if we could link the data.

"Currently in the Integrated Data Infrastructure we have the earnings data through the tax information, we have tenancy bond data which covers a large number of properties that are tenanted. We don't have the data around home ownership, which is what you'd need to look at affordability measures."

Jonno Ingerson, director of research at CoreLogic, said the collaboration was exciting.

"CoreLogic has comprehensive and accurate property data for the whole country. This comes from a significant effort to purchase, process, clean and store the data from multiple sources over many years.

"Doing this nationwide is usually beyond the resources of most researchers. We therefore see real benefit in making this information available to Government agencies and researchers through this collaboration with Statistics NZ. Having access to detailed information will allow higher-quality research and better outcomes for New Zealand."

- NZ Herald

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