Housing facts

Housing need in Wellington

There were 1085 applications on the Ministry of Social Development social housing register for the Wellington region (Wellington City, Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City and Porirua) at 31 December 2018.

Wellington City
Priority A = 318
Priority B = 68
Total = 386

Lower Hutt City
Priority A = 273
Priority B = 94
Total = 367

Upper Hutt City
Priority A = 90
Priority B = 21
Total = 111

Porirua City
Priority A = 172
Priority B = 49
Total = 221

Total number of applications = 1085

Source: Register by priority and TA - 301 December 2018. Ministry of Social Development.


A Stocktake of New Zealand's Housing - February 2018 

581,000 of households in New Zealand are renters. (page 7)

Home ownership rates have fallen to a 60-year low and could fall further. (page 13)

Median house sale prices nationally rose by around 40% over the past 10 years and by 30% over the past five years.

The average construction cost of an ‘average house’ – rather than an apartment – has risen 28% over the past five years and by 180% over the past 20 years. (page 24)

Over the last decade the number of dwellings owned or managed by Housing NZ peaked in mid-2011 at 69,717 units, falling to 62,917 units in June 2017. (page 27)

It appears from the information available in MSD’s purchasing strategy that of the 2,600 additional Income-Related Rent subsidised units, which have been identified, less than 10%, or just 226, are actual new builds. (page 29)

The annual cost of the IRR subsidies programme grew by almost 80% or $374 million between 2008 and 2017 to $848 million. (page 31)

Source: A Stocktake of New Zealand's Housing, New Zealand Government, Crown Copyright, February 2018.


Affordability and Levels of Renting in Wellington

Median rents in Wellington City are the highest in New Zealand after North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau and Queenstown.

Source: New Zealand Residential Rental Survey, volume 20(1), 2017.

The Trade Me Property Rental Price Index showed a 5.6% increase in national median rent from April 2017 to April 2018.

Source: Trade Me Property Rental Price Index

2013 census figures for Wellington City show that 37% of households were renting, an increase from 33.5% in 2001.

Source: Wellington City: housing tenure. profile.id community profile.

Figures for territorial authorities show that in 2013 Wellington City had the second highest proportion of rented dwellings, higher than both Auckland and Queenstown.

Source: Is New Zealand becoming a nation of renters?


Meeting the Housing Needs of Vulnerable Populations in New Zealand

This project aimed to fill the gap in knowledge on housing for vulnerable and marginalised groups.

Source: Transforming Cities, University of Auckland, October 2015.



Social housing in Wellington

Wellington Region tenure – 2013
The region has lost 1,227 social housing units since 2001, with the share falling from 7.0% to 5.3% in line with broad trend across the country (national share 4.5%).

Wellington City tenure – 2013
The city has lost 543 social housing units since 2001, with the share falling from 5.8% to 4.3%.

Source: Census 2013 (Statistics NZ, 2014). Figures quoted in a presentation by Vicky McLaren, Wellington City Council, to University of Auckland, Transforming Cities and the Centre for Mental Health Research, 21 October 2014.

Affordability and Levels of Home Ownership in Wellington

In a 2018 international survey of housing affordability, homes in Wellington are classed being 'severely unaffordable'.

Source: 14th Annual, Demographia International, Housing Affordability Survey (2016: 3rd Quarter)

2013 census figures for Wellington City show that only 54.9% of households either owned or were buying their own home, a decrease from 58.2% in 2001.

Source: Wellington City: housing tenure. profile.id community profile.

Housing Supply in Wellington

"Wellington is New Zealand's third largest city with around 200,400 residents and it is estimated that there will be around 246,692 people living in Wellington City by 2043. The City has some 77,466 dwellings and the population is expected to grow at a rate of 0.7% per annum until the year 2043. The number of households in Wellington is also expected to increase by almost 21,388. This means that approximately 715 dwellings a year need to be built to keep pace with population and household growth in Wellington. However, based on the number of new dwellings that have been built over the last decade, it is estimated there is a housing supply shortfall of around 3,842 dwellings."

Source: Wellington City Council Housing Accord. Wellington City Council, June 2014.

About Dwell


Contact us

Dwell Housing Trust provides affordable, quality housing for people in need or on a low income. We are more than a landlord - we ensure our tenants have access to the support they need and want to live well, do well and be well.

We believe that affordable, stable and healthy housing is a fundamental right, and that appropriate housing has long-lasting benefits for the people living within those households and the wider community.

© Dwell Housing Trust 2016

    04 384 4854 /
0800 4 DWELL or 0800 439355
 PO Box 24-179, Manners Street
Wellington 6142, New Zealand
 Level 5, 173-175 Victoria Street
Wellington, New Zealand