31 August, 2015
Thanks for the house deposit mum, don’t forget to mow the berm dad
This weekend, if you’re heading out to an Open Home and not relying on mum and dad for a hand out to buy the house, then
you’re a rare breed.
And if you’re out mowing the lawns this Saturday and decide to mow your neighbour’s berm then give yourself a big pat on
the back. You’re a rarity too.
A new nationwide survey has found 62% of Kiwis say it will be difficult to buy a house without financial support from
family or friends. If this is broken down into Aucklanders versus the rest of the country, 72% of those in our biggest
city believe they will need assistance to hop onto the property ladder versus 52% of other New Zealanders.
The drive behind the HRV State of Home survey, conducted by independent research company Buzz Channel, was to gain an
insight into what issues New Zealanders face when it comes to their homes and to increase awareness about the importance
of having a dry and warm home.
Respondents were also asked about home ownership, what priorities are key in their lives, and what they thought of their
neighbours and the area they live in.
The contentious berm issue has potential to drive neighbour relations awry with more than half of Kiwis either refusing,
or being reluctant, to mow their neighbour’s grass verge.
However, even though a big majority would either ignore it or begrudgingly do it, a third of Kiwis say they would
happily do their neighbour’s berm, with retirees and those aged between 55-74 most likely to oblige.
The dream of owning a home continues to be a major hurdle with just over 40% believing they are not at all likely to own
a house in the next 3 - 5 years.
Yet owning a home is still the Kiwi dream with 86% of Kiwis aged between 18-34 years old having a goal to own their own
home and almost 60% believing owning a home is essential to achieving financial security.
The plight of home ownership is also impacting on parents of home buyers with two-thirds of homeowners concerned about
their children’s home ownership prospects. While 44% agree the onus is on parents to help out, only a quarter are in a
position to be able to assist their children onto the property ladder.
HRV chief executive Bruce Gordon says homeownership remains a major preoccupation for New Zealanders but sadly it’s not
going to be possible for generations of Kiwis to come.
“First home buyers need a leg up but we may also need to look more towards renting as a long term alternative to owning
a home,” he says.
“That makes it even more essential that our rental housing is warm, dry and safe to live in because at present, much of
it isn’t and something needs to be done. While moves to have all rentals insulated sufficiently are great, the
government also needs to look at heating and ventilation solutions to truly make these homes comfortable, warm and
If a house alarm went off, generally New Zealand’s neighbourhood watch instincts kick in with 68% either having a look
from their own property or going over and checking it out. Although 15% would ignore the alarm altogether, with
students, renters, and those aged between 18-to-34 more likely to take no notice.
Meanwhile, just over 1 in 4 people have called noise control on their neighbours, with Aucklanders more likely to have
made the call to the noise police (32%) than non-Aucklanders (24%).
In terms of priorities in life, New Zealand is a career driven, DIY and holiday obsessed nation. At the top of the list
of life priorities is saving up for a dream holiday or OE (24%), followed closely by advancing their career (22%) and
renovating their current home (19%).
“The major surprise from the survey showed insulation, double glazing windows, heating and ventilation is more important
to most people than a good school zone," says Gordon.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE HRV STATE OF HOME SURVEY 2015
Home ownership just a dream for many
• 62% believe it will be difficult to buy a house without financial help from family or friends
• 41% believe they are not at all likely to own a house in the next 3 to 5 years.
• 44% believe their parents are now expected to help their children buy their first home
• 86% of Kiwis aged between 18-34 years old have a goal to own their own home
School zones lower priority than dry heated homes
• Having insulation, double glazing, heat pump and ventilation is more important to people than a good school zone
• Top priority in life is saving up for a holiday (24%) followed by advancing their career (22%)
• More than half of Kiwis would either refuse, or be reluctant, to mow their neighbour’s grass verge
• 15% would ignore a house alarm, with students, renters, and those aged between 18-to-34 more likely to take no notice
• 1 in 4 people have called noise control on their neighbours. Aucklanders are more likely to have called noise control
(32%) than non-Aucklanders (24%)
Damp homes a burden on NZ economy
• A third of Kiwis are concerned about the impact a damp, cold or mouldy home has on their family's health
• 37% of respondents had between 2 and 5 sick days in the last 12 months
• More than 50% of New Zealand households are affected by asthma and allergy
Kiwis forced out of homes
• 26% of New Zealanders have moved out of a house because it was cold, damp and mouldy. Up from 20% in 2014
• 82% of homes experience condensation
• 25% of those who suffer from asthma or allergy say their living arrangements aggravate symptoms
• 65% of people throw more blankets on the bed to stay warm during winter rather than turning on a heater
Renters worse off
• Renters have 4.7 sick days per year on average compared to overall average of 2.8 days
• Half of renters experience condensation every morning in winter
• Renters more likely than other groups to throw another blanket on the bed, wear warm socks and thermals to bed, and
sleep with their heads under the duvet
Healthy home, healthy body, healthy mind
• Just over a quarter would like to be living in a warmer, drier, healthier home in the next five years
• 26% want to renovate and modernise their current home rather than move