NZ economy

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According to STUFF households’ net worth – the measure of their assets minus their liabilities – fell a combined $10.3 billion in the three months to the end of December, Stats NZ said.

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The fall of 0.5% follows declines in the three previous quarters, but was at a slower rate.

“The four quarters of decline in household net worth have resulted in an annual fall of $176b, or 7.3%, from the peak in December 2021,” national accounts institutional sectors senior manager Paul Pascoe said.

“The total net worth of households was $2251b in December 2022.”

A fall in house values contributed to the drop, taking wealth down by $12.3b, or 1%. These values also fell through the previous three quarters, but the rate of decline had ease from the average of 1.8% in the earlier part of the year.



Real Estate Institute data showed that house values were down 14.2% in February compared to the same time a year earlier.

Financial assets increased in value, mainly due to a $2.6b in currency and deposits and $1.8b in insurance and pensions.

The value of investments in equity and investment funds was down $0.1b after a drop of $14.9b the previous quarter.

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Household debt rose $3.2b, or 1.1%.

Stats NZ data also showed households’ net disposable income increased 1.8% in the quarter to $57.4b, while spending lifted 1.7% to $55.3b.

Stats NZ said this reflected price increases because there was little change in the volume of goods and services consumed.

“The total disposable income of New Zealand households increased at a slightly higher pace than the rise in living costs,” Pascoe said.

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The household saving ratio, which compares household saving to net disposable income, increased to 3.6% from 3.5% in the September 2022 quarter



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