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The need to build: the demographic drivers of housing demand

Affordable housing Housing supply Housing development Housing markets Housing New Zealand

The political ‘buck passing’ of the responsibility for unaffordable housing by successive governments in New Zealand has created extremely expensive housing markets in cities such as Auckland and Wellington– and a national housing crisis. Auckland is the sixth least affordable city among 92 major global housing markets, according to the 2020 Demographia housing survey.

This report uses demographic projections to estimate housing demand; consider long-run implications on the housing market; and point out economic effects – beyond housing – on healthcare, tax policy, etc. Demographic trends help project population size and household composition, size and demand in New Zealand in 2038 – and even 2060.

Report overview:

  • Chapter 1 covers the methodology, technical aspects, and caveats – and also explains how demographic and dwelling projections were calculated for Chapters 2 and 3 through fixed assumptions on fertility, migration flows, and life expectancy.
  • Chapter 2 illustrates the demographic results gained from the Spectrum software and projects New Zealand’s demographic composition (size and median age) for 2038 and 2060 with 36 central projections for both years based on data analysis.
  • Chapter 3 covers how demographic ageing contributes to additional increases in housing demand on top of population growth.
  • Chapter 4 reviews both the qualitative research and analysis of demographic implications on the housing market, and the changes to household size and composition.
  • Chapter 5 covers New Zealand’s housing public policy within the political and economic spheres.
  • Chapter 6 explores the long-term implications for fiscal prudence of the likely demographic changes such as increased longevity and demographic ageing.
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