One in five renting households spent more than 40 per cent of their income on housing costs in the year to June.
Statistics New Zealand figures show that while average housing costs have stayed flat in the past year those with a mortgage have benefited from an average 11 per cent fall.
Average mortgage interest payments dropped from $283.70 a week to $250.80 a week year on year.
Sean Broughton, Statistics New Zealand labour and income statistics manager, said lower mortgage interest rates had helped to dampen housing costs which remained virtually unchanged on 2016 at $318.50.
"Housing costs have been held in check by lower mortgage interest rates, which affected both floating and two-year fixed mortgages," he said.
But renters were almost three times as likely as home owners to spend 40 per cent or more of their household income on housing costs.
In the 2017 year one in five renting households spent 40 per cent or more of the income on rent and other housing costs while only 7.8 per cent of those who owned or partly owned a home spent 40 per cent or more.
The data also looked at the rise of household incomes and housing costs over the past 10 years.
It found average annual household incomes rose 40 per cent between 2007 and 2017 to $98,621 in the year to June 30 - in increase twice the rate of inflation.
While housing costs rose 50.5 per cent to an average of $16,037.
Broughton said despite increases in both income and housing costs the ratio had not changed significantly in the past decade.
For every $100 of income households in 2017 spent an average of $16.40 on housing which was up from $15.40 in 2007.
The research also found the percentage of Kiwis struggling to make ends meet has fallen since 2008 when it hit 20 per cent in the midst of the global financial crisis and a recession.
In the year to June 2017 just 10 per cent of households said they did not make enough money to get by.
At the same time the percentage who say they have more than enough has been on the rise.
In 2008 around 12 per cent said they had more than enough while in 2017 it rose to 22 per cent.
Those with enough rose from 32 per cent in 2008 to 42 per cent in 2017.