NZ households' net worth hits $2.3 trillion, savings fall to two-year low

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Jul 2021, 11:45AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

NZ households' net worth hits $2.3 trillion, savings fall to two-year low

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Jul 2021, 11:45AM

Rising asset values resulted in New Zealand households' net worth topping $2.3 trillion in the March quarter, up 5.5 per cent or $118 billion over the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said.

Net worth is the value of all assets owned by households less the value of all their liabilities.

Household net worth increased by $402b over the year from March 2020 to March 2021.

This amount was almost the same as the growth over the previous four years from June 2016 to March 2020 ($419b), the department said.

While household loan debt had increased $16b from March 2020, the value of household assets has risen $417b, it said.

"Rising asset prices, including property prices, have meant that the total net worth of New Zealand households has increased strongly in recent quarters," national accounts senior manager Paul Pascoe said in a statement.

The rising value of household owner-occupied property contributed $172b of the rise in household assets since March last year.

Financial assets, which include shares, businesses, equity in rental properties, bank deposits, and retirement savings owned by households, contributed $245b to the increase in household assets since March last year, exceeding the rise from the owner-occupied property.

When combining rental properties with owner-occupied property, the increases in the values of residential property accounted for about 54 per cent of the household asset increase for the March 2021 year, Stats NZ said.

Meanwhile, Stats NZ said savings by New Zealanders in the March 2021 quarter fell to its lowest level in two years after rising sharply in 2020.

Increases in household spending outpaced income growth, leading to a decline in household savings from the elevated levels that prevailed throughout 2020.

"Household spending increased in the March 2021 quarter, after having been kept in check for much of 2020 by Covid-19 restrictions," Pascoe said.