Skip to content

Statistics New Zealand figures show household net worth fell by a further $33.5 billion in the June quarter, with over half of this due to falls in property values - but our rate of savings increased


By David Hargreaves

Our net worth is still falling - but we are saving more than we spend, according to the latest household net worth figures from Stats NZ.

The figures for the June quarter show that the total household net worth of Kiwis dropped another $33.5 billion (1.5%) in the quarter.

Since peaking in total value at 2,433 billion in December 2021, Kiwi households have seen their net worth falling by some $255.2 billion - nearly 10.5%.

However, the drop has followed on from periods of massive gains, including a $390 billion rise in net worth in just 2021 alone.

As you might imagine, much of this has been about house and land values.

And indeed, over half the decline in the June quarter - some $17.158 billion - was due to continuing falls in property values.


"This quarter’s decrease in household net worth was mainly due to the continuing fall in equity and investment fund shares and value of owner-occupied property," Stats NZ's national accounts institutional sectors senior manager Paul Pascoe said.

But it wasn't all about property.

Pascoe said equity and investment fund shares fell by $19.9 billion, or 2.2%, in the June quarter. Equity includes the ownership of rental properties, which has also been impacted by falling property values.

The fall in equity and investment fund shares was partly offset by a $3.3 billion rise in currency and deposits, and a $2.6 billion increase in insurance and pensions. Insurance and pensions increased due to higher pension entitlements and decreasing outstanding insurance claims, mainly from Cyclone Gabrielle and Auckland Anniversary flood payouts.

A rise in household loans of $2.5 billion also contributed to the decline in household net worth.

Meanwhile, though, we are continuing to save more than we spend, despite high interest rates and the general high cost of living.

Stats NZ said household saving rose $122 million to $1.4 billion in the June 2023 quarter. The saving ratio, which compares household saving to net disposable income, is at 2.4%, up from 2.2% in the March 2023 quarter. An increase in the saving ratio means that households are saving relatively more of their disposable income.

Household net disposable income increased by $952 million (1.6%) to $59.6 billion during the quarter, while household spending rose by $830 million (1.4%) to $58.2 billion. The increase in household spending was led by increased spending on services and durable goods, such as motor cars and audio-visual equipment.

The increase in net disposable income was driven by increases in interest earned by households from their investments (up $551 million), compensation of employees (up $440 million), and social assistance benefits in cash (up $251 million). Offsetting these increases was a fall in dividends received during the quarter.


This story was originally published on and has been republished here with permission.