Family Net Worth in New Zealand

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2 Reproduction of material Material in this report may be reproduced and published, provided that it does not purport to be published under government authority and that acknowledgement is made of this source. Citation Statistics New Zealand. (28). Family Net Worth in New Zealand. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand Published in October 28 by Statistics New Zealand Tatauranga Aotearoa Wellington, New Zealand ISBN

3 Contents 1. Introduction Net worth Assets Debt Conclusion Appendix 1 Additional graphs and tables References i

4 ii

5 1. Introduction Family Net Worth in New Zealand presents information on New Zealand families assets and liability holdings. This report is divided in three sections one dealing with net worth, one with assets and another with debt. Each section will look at the similarities and differences of different family types and how net worth varies according to the characteristics of families. Each section will be divided into two parts the first will look at families and the second people who are not living in family situations. This report is based on data collected between 1 October 23 and 3 September (this period is referred to as throughout this report) through the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) wave two (which included the assets and liabilities module). SoFIE began collecting data in October 22, and is the largest longitudinal survey ever run in New Zealand. The primary focus of SoFIE is to look at the changes in individual, family and household income, and the factors that influence these changes, such as involvement in the labour force, and family composition. The survey re-interviews the same group of individuals over eight years (or 'waves'), in order to build a picture of how their circumstances and lifestyles change over time. A module on assets and liabilities will be included in every second wave of the survey. The data used for this analysis is cross-sectional, although the survey is a longitudinal one. When the next assets and liabilities module is released, longitudinal analysis will be possible. This will allow a look at how net worth has changed over time. This report provides the first detailed description of the level and distribution of the net worth of New Zealand families. The original Household Savings Survey, carried out in 21, was the first major national collection on assets and liabilities in New Zealand, but it collected information only about the respondent and their partner, if there was one. This meant no family data was available from the survey. SoFIE collected assets and liabilities data for the whole household, which has allowed information about families to be analysed. For this report, a fairly restrictive definition of a family, based on what was collected in SoFIE, will be used. A family is either a couple only (defined as two people who are partnered only with each other, and who can be married, in a civil union or in a de facto relationship), or a couple or single person in a parent/child relationship (for example couples with one or more children, or one parent with one or more children). There can be more than one family in a household, but families that spread across households are not measured beyond the household that they are interviewed at. Families may have people living with them who are part of the household but not the family unit. For example, a couple may live with an elderly parent or a one-parent family may live with a brother or sister of the parent. The elderly parent or sibling is not part of the family unit. Non-family members like this are separated out in this analysis and are analysed separately in two categories those who live with others and those who live alone. 1

6 Families are a key conduit for social assistance and while information about family income has always been available, information about wealth has not been regularly collected. As wealth is unevenly distributed across the population, it is important to examine which types of families are more likely to have a high level of net worth and compare them with those who have low net worth. Families with high debt levels are also of interest to policy makers, since such debt can lead to unpleasant social consequences if there is not enough money coming in to service it. This data allows an analysis of debt levels by income, but does not have information on the amount of money families are using to service the debt (except for mortgage payments). Although composed of individuals, the family can be seen as an entity in its own right, because generally family members have a sense of obligation towards one another and perform functions of care and support that are intimately binding. Families have always been a fundamental social and economic unit, playing a key role in personal and group decision making, caring for children and the elderly, and ownership and inheritance of private assets (Review of Official Family Statistics, 27). Recent decades have seen increasing diversity in the living arrangements of families with, for example, children being part of blended families and civil unions being introduced. Many families also extend beyond the bounds of a single household. Statistical collections of family data have not always been able to keep up with these changes. The review of family statistics recently undertaken by Statistics New Zealand, has aimed to improve the data collected on families. Purpose and objectives The purpose of this report is to describe the net worth of New Zealand families.the analysis presented in this report is by no means exhaustive. While remaining largely descriptive, the work has nevertheless laid some important ground work for formulating future in-depth statistical analyses. Further data from SoFIE will allow longitudinal analysis to be undertaken. Terminology For the purpose of this and other reports by Statistics New Zealand, the term net worth is defined as the difference between the value of total assets and the value of total liabilities. The term should not be confused with other similar concepts, such as net wealth, for example, which includes the value of future earning potential. SoFIE respondents aged 15 years and over provided a best estimate of their assets, based on their current market value. In the most cases the current market value differs from the purchase price, but includes a range of factors such as current market condition, wear and tear of the asset, and price at the latest valuation. Noncommodity assets, such as business equity, that do not have a readily active market can therefore be difficult to value. Debt is usually easier to measure, as it has a monetary value. The core family types used to analyse assets and liabilities and overall net worth in this paper are: couple couple with one or more children one parent with one or more children. This breakdown is chosen on the basis that SoFIE can provide a solid sample size for further analysis. Where possible, however, families are divided into those with dependent children (aged under 18 years, and not in full-time employment) and those with adult children. 2

7 Families are composed of people of different ages, and earlier research into net worth (Cheung, 27) showed that age was the key reason for differences in net worth. Because there is no single age for a family, a compromise has to be reached on how to place a family into a particular age group. There are a number of different ways this could be done for example, taking the age of the oldest or the youngest adult in the family. Because the accumulation of net worth is closely associated with income over time, another possibility is to use the age of the highest income earner. All methods of assigning a family age have disadvantages taking the highest income earner may result in the adult child of the family representing its age, for example. Taking the oldest or the youngest adult is arbitrary and may have no link with levels of net worth. As a result it was decided to adopt the age of the highest income earner for the purposes of this report. For completeness, two types of non-family units are also included in the analysis non-family members who live alone and non-family members who live with others, though these will be analysed separately at the end of each section. Table 1 shows the most detailed level of family types used in the report, mainly for overview type analysis. Table 1 Type of Family by Age of Highest Income Earner Age of highest income earner (years) Number of families in the population Couple only ,3 Couple only ,6 Couple only ,3 Couple with at least one dependent child 276, Couple with at least 45+ one dependent child 114,2 Couple with adult children only 1 72,8 at least one dependent child adult children only 128,4 4,2 Non-family type Number of people Non-family live alone 382,2 Non-family live with others 243,2 ( 1 ) No age breakdown could be analysed for couples with adult children and the two types of one-parent families because the number of families in the SoFIE sample was too small. 3

8 2. Net worth Average and median net worth levels in families The total net worth of families in, as shown in figure 1, was skewed towards lower values of net worth, with a long tail of higher net worth values. The lowest 2 percent of families had a net worth of $4,6 or less and the highest 2 percent had net worth of $489, or more, but the graph shows that some of this group had a family net worth over $1,95,. Families held about $378.2 billion of net worth in, making up around 81 percent of the net worth held by New Zealanders. Figure 1 Net Worth Distribution of Families Negative ,49 1,5 1,124 1,125 1,199 1,2 1,274 1,275 1,349 1,35 1,424 1,425 1,499 1,5 1,574 1,575 1,649 1,65 1,724 1,725 1,799 1,8 1,874 1,875 1,949 1,95+ Net worth ($) Number of families () Overall, average and median net worth varied considerably amongst the different family types. The average net worth ranged from $85,5 for one-parent families with at least one dependent child to $538, for couples with adult children only. Age and life-cycle stage are strongly associated with the level of family net worth, reflecting the fact that the more years there are to accumulate assets and pay off debt the higher the net worth is likely to be. 4

9 Figure 2 Family Type by Average and Median Net Worth Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Family net worth ($) There was a marked difference between average and median (half above that level and half below) net worth, reflecting the fact that the distribution of net worth is skewed towards lower values, with a long tail of higher values. Figure 3 shows the proportions of each type of family in family net worth quintiles. Quintiles are calculated by dividing all families into five groups according to the amount of net worth held. Quintile 1 (under $4,6) contains the 2 percent of families with the lowest net worth, while quintile 5 (over $489,) contains the 2 percent with the highest net worth. All family types were represented in both the lowest family net worth quintile and the highest quintile. However, low net worth was most common among families in which the highest earner was under the age of 45 and among one-parent families. This emphasises the importance of age in relation to family net worth. dependent children families also tended to be young, based on the age of the highest income earner 33 percent were aged under 35 years and 75 percent were under 45 years. 5

10 Figure 3 Family Type by Family Net Worth Quintile Distribution Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children Family net worth Quintile 1 Under $4,6 Quintile 2 $4,61 13,5 Quintile 3 $13,51 258, Quintile 4 $258,1 489, Quintile 5 $489,1+ adult children only Percent The effect of children on family net worth Five of the detailed family types being analysed comprise children living with their parents. For three of these family types, at least one of these children is dependent, while the other two family types have adult children only. Families with adult children only were much more likely to have one child (87 percent of one-parent families with adult children only, and 69 percent of couples with adult children only) than other family types. For one parent families with at least one dependent child, 44 percent had one child, 36 percent had two, and 2 percent had three or more. Couple with children families One way of looking at the effect of children on family net worth is to look at the difference between families with children, compared with couple only families. It would be expected that couples with children would have a lower family net worth than couple only families, because of the expense of raising children. However, couple only families aged under 45 had a lower average and median net worth than couples in the same age group who had at least one dependent child. A clue to the reason for this can be found in the different age structures of the two family types. Around 73 percent of those living in couple only families where the highest income earner was aged under 45 were aged under 35. This compares with 52 percent of adults (including any adult children) being aged between 35 and 44 in families of couples with dependent children where the highest income earner was aged under 45. It is also useful to look at the effect of an extra child on the family net worth of families with children, as set out in table 2. 6

11 Table 2 The Average and Median Net Worth of Couple Families with Children By number of children, Average family net worth ($) Median family net worth ($) Couple aged under 45 with at least one dependent child 1 child 23,3 16,5 2 children 32,4 159, 3 or more children 316,6 135, Couple aged over 45 with at least one dependent child 1 child 52,4 286,3 2 children 565,1 321,8 3 or more children 511,5 272,8 Couple with adult children only 1 child 558,7 333,2 2 or more children (1) 492, 334,5 (1) The number of families in this group is small and subject to high sampling errors, so it is not possible to analyse the data to the same level as other family types. Couples with one dependent child had a lower average and median family net worth than families with two or more children. This is likely to be because these families were more likely to be younger and therefore have had less time than their counterparts to accumulate wealth. Another way of looking at the data is to consider the effect of the age of the youngest child for families with dependent children. One-quarter of couples aged under 45 with dependent children had a youngest child aged zero or one year, with a similar proportion having a child aged between two and four years. On the other hand, nearly half of those aged 45 and over had a youngest child aged between 13 and 17 years. Figure 4 shows how the family net worth of couples with dependent children was influenced by the age of their youngest child. It shows that for couples aged under 45 years net worth rose steadily until the youngest child was aged 12. Family net worth dropped for those whose youngest child was a teenager. Because few couples aged 45 and over had a youngest child aged under five years, the proportions are very small and must be treated with caution. For those aged 45 years and over there is no drop in net worth when the youngest child is a teenager. 7

12 Figure 4 Average Family Net Worth of Couples with Dependent Children By age group of couple Family Net Worth ($) Age group of youngest child (years) Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged 45+ years Note: The number of families where the highest income earner is aged 45 years and over and the youngest child is under 5 years is small and the data should be treated with caution. children families Because there are relatively small numbers of one-parent families with adult children only, and because the vast majority of these families have just one child (87 percent), they are not included in this analysis, because its purpose is to look at the effect of children on family net worth. For one parent with dependent children families, the table below shows that having three or more children lowered average family net worth considerably, but the effect on median family net worth was not so pronounced. Table 3 Average and Median Family Net Worth for One-parent families with Dependent Children By number of children, Average family net worth ($) Median family net worth ($) dependent children 1 child 81,6 21,7 2 children 96,4 35,1 3 or more children 74,3 3, Figure 5 shows that the net worth of one-parent with dependent children families is affected by the age of the youngest child. Family net worth rises as the age of the youngest child rises, particularly after 5 years of age. 8

13 Figure 5 2 Average and Median Family Net Worth of One-parent Families By age of youngest child Family net worth ($) Age group of youngest child (years) Average Median The effect of income on family net worth There is a relationship between annual family income and family net worth. This relationship varies in different family types according to age and the stage of the life cycle that the family is at. The relationship between low income and low net worth is particularly strong across all family types, but the relationship between high income and high net worth differs according to age. Couples aged under 45 had a very weak relationship between high income and high net worth only 17 percent of these couples in the top income quintile were also in the top net worth quintile. This compared with 64 percent of couples where the highest income earner was aged between 45 and 64 years and 75 percent of couples 65 and over. Figure 6 6 Percent Family Income Quintile by Family Net Worth Quintile Couples aged under 45 years 4 2 Under $28,8 $28,81 47,8 $47,81 68,7 $68,71 1,1 $1,11+ Family income quintile Family net worth Quintile 1 Under $4,6 Quintile 2 $4,61 13,5 Quintile 3 $13,51 258, Quintile 4 $258,1-$489, Quintile 5 $489,1+ Source: SoFIE assets and liabilities module, wave two 9

14 dependent children families had the highest proportion of families in the bottom quintile of net worth out of all family income quintiles. Almost threequarters of one parent with dependent children families in the lowest income quintile were also in the lowest net worth quintile, with significant proportions in family income quintiles two and three also in the lowest family net worth quintile. In other family types, the relationship between high family income and high family net worth became more prevalent with the age of the family. Couples where the highest income earner was aged 65 years and over had the strongest relationship between high income and high family net worth. See appendix 1 for a full set of graphs showing family net worth by family income quintiles for all family types. The effect of age on family net worth Throughout this report the age of the highest income earner has been used to classify families into a particular age group and life cycle stage. The analysis in this section, however, is based on the ages of the adults living in families. The main difference between the two approaches is that when using the age of the highest income earner, each family is counted once; when using the age of individuals, each family can be counted more than once, depending on the number of adults living in the family. For example, in a family that contained a 37-year-old, a 29-year-old and a 13-year-old, the two adults would be in two different age groups, so the family would be counted twice once for people aged years and once for people aged Figure 7 gives an overview of the age structure of adults living in each broad family type. It shows that a large proportion of couple only families were aged 55 years and over. The most common age group for couples with at least one dependent child was years. For couples with adult children only the age was bimodal, with the majority of adult children at the young end and their parents 45 years and over. Oneparent families with at least one dependent child were younger, whereas those with adult children only were more evenly spread across the age groups. 1

15 Figure 7 Family Type by Age Distribution of Adults Living in Families Couple Age group (years) Couple with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Percent In general, family net worth was lower for those below age 35, but increased considerably in the ages between 35 and 64 years. The year age group represented the peak of family net worth, with average net worth just above or below half a million dollars for couples, couples with dependent children, and couples with adult children only. The median family net worth for couples with dependent children and one-parent families was lower than the other couple-based families, but were still at a peak in this age group. A full set of graphs showing age group by family net worth is contained in appendix 1. The vast majority of people aged 65 years and over lived in couple only relationships (note that this analysis does not include older people living alone they are included in the non-family analysis.) The average net worth of couple only families aged 65 and over was $488,, and the median family net worth was $33,7. Both average and median family net worth tended to decrease with age after 65 years, though the median decreased more slowly than the average (another indicator of the long tail in the distribution of net worth). This is shown in the table 4. Table 4 Average and Median Family Net Worth For couples where at least one person is aged 65 years and over, Couples where at least one person is aged Average family net worth ($) Median family net worth ($) years 594,8 343, 7 79 years 426, 293,5 8 years and over 4,2 283,9 11

16 The effect of qualifications on family net worth This analysis also looks at the characteristics of individuals living in families (families can be counted more than once, depending on the qualifications of the individual members of the family). Analysis by the qualification of family members showed that educational qualifications have a considerable effect on family net worth. This can be illustrated in the table below, which shows the combined effect of qualification and age. The $857,1 average family net worth for university qualified people living in 65 + couple families was the highest for any group in this report. Table 5 Average Family Net Worth for Individuals Living in Couple Only Families By age and highest school qualification, No qualifications School Vocational University Average family net worth ($) Couple only aged under 45 93, 19,6 2,2 186,1 Couple only aged ,9 547,9 542,9 658,9 Couple only ,2 487,8 548,3 857,1 For other family types the trend of increasing family net worth with increasing educational qualifications also held true. For example, for couples with dependent children where the highest income earner was aged under 45 years, average family net worth was $231,7 for people with no qualifications and $369,7 for those with a university qualification. For one-parent families with dependent children the figures were $75,3 and $167,9, respectively. See appendix 1 for a table showing family net worth by highest qualification for all family types. The effect of ethnicity on family net worth Like all other variables that relate to an individual rather than a family, the approach taken here is to look at families with at least one person having the target ethnicity. Total response ethnicity is used. An article in a recent Social Policy Journal (Callister et al, 27) talked about family ethnicity as knitting a jumper using two woolly concepts and pointed out that both family and ethnicity concepts are difficult to define. The authors looked at various options for outputting data on ethnic families and said the method being used here was one of two supported options. Families with at least one person of European ethnicity were by far the most common families, reflecting the population share that people of European ethnicity have (68 percent of the population was European at the time of the 26 Census 2 ). This was the only ethnic group where five different family types were able to be presented (all other ethnic groups were too small to do this, so core family-type data is used). For families with at least one person of European ethnicity, one-parent families with dependent children were strongly concentrated in the lower family net worth quintiles, with 8 out of 1 families of this type in the two lowest family net worth quintiles. ( 2 ) This figure excludes those who gave New Zealander as their ethnicity. If this group is included in the European ethnic group, the percentage identifying as European rises to 78 percent, which is close to the 21 Census figure of 8 percent. 12

17 European ethnicity couples with adult children only were the most likely family type to be in the top two quintiles (just over two-thirds of these families are in these two quintiles). The average and median family net worth was relatively high in all family types containing at least one person of European ethnicity, even though big variation still existed between family types. Couple and couple with children European ethnicity families both had average family net worth in the mid-$4, level. Among families where at least one person was of Māori ethnicity, almost 7 in 1 oneparent families were in the lowest quintile, and very few were in the highest quintile. Families containing at least one person of Pacific ethnicity had the lowest overall family net worth of all the ethnic groups analysed. Very few families had a level of family net worth that put them in the top family net worth quintile, and 86 percent of Pacific ethnicity one-parent families were in the bottom quintile. The most striking feature of the average and median family net worth of families with at least one person in the other ethnic group, was the distribution of family net worth amongst one-parent families. The average family net worth for this family type and ethnic group was $21,7, compared with $161,8 for one-parent families of European ethnicity and under $5, for families of Pacific and Māori ethnicities. Figure 8 5 Percent Family Type by Family Net Worth Quintile Other ethnic group Couples Couples with children children Family net worth Quintile 1 Under $4,6 Quintile 2 $4,61 13,5 Quintile 3 $13,51 258, Quintile 4 $258,1 489, Quintile 5 $489,1+ Source: SoFIE assets and liabilities module, Wave 2. See appendix 1 for a full set of graphs for family net worth by ethnic group. The net worth of non-family members There are two types of non-family members. The first type is people who live alone in one-person households. The second is a mixture of two sorts of living arrangements people who live with a family but are not part of the family, and people who live with other people who do not themselves form a family (for example, flatmates). 13

18 The two types of non-family members had very different characteristics. The median and average age of non-family members who lived alone was 55 years, compared with an average of 35 years and a median of 28 years for those who lived with others. Overall, net worth was lower for non-family members who live with others, compared with those who lived alone. Eighteen percent of non-family members who lived with others had negative net worth this was the highest rate for all family and non-family types. This group was more likely to include young people with high student loan debt and not much in the way of assets. In comparison, only 6 percent of non-family members living alone had negative net worth. Net worth by age For both non-family members who lived alone and those who lived with others, average net worth increased with age until age 65 years. In the case of non-family members who lived alone, median net worth did not decline until age 75 years. Table 6 Average and Median Net Worth for Non-family Members By whether they live alone or live with others, Net worth of non-family members who live alone Age group (years) Average ($) Median ($) ,7 14, ,5 84, ,5 122, ,2 169, ,3 173, ,7 17,6 Net worth of non-family members who live with others Age group (years) Average ($) Median ($) ,2 2, ,6 17, ,4 34, ,6 53, ,6 86, ,7 1, ,8 63,3 Source: SoFIE assets and liabilities module, Wave 2. Net worth by qualification For people who lived alone, the level of the highest qualification made a difference to the average and median levels of net worth. Those with a university qualification had an average net worth of $227,2 compared with $17,2 for those who had no qualification. The average levels for those with school and vocational qualifications were $173,6 and $197,6, respectively. However, for non-family members living with others, qualifications made little difference to average and median net worth, reflecting the fact that this group had a young age profile and many may not have finished their studies. 14

19 Figure 9 25 Net worth ($) Family Net Worth in New Zealand Average and Median Net Worth for People Who Live Alone and for People Who Live With Others By highest qualification Average Live alone Median Live alone Net worth ($) Average Live with others Median Live with others None School Vocational University The distribution of net worth by sex Figure 1 shows that the distribution of net worth is quite different for males and females, particularly for those who live alone. Among those who lived alone, 6 percent of females were in the top two family net worth quintiles, compared with 45 percent of males. Females in this group are much more likely to be older nearly half (48 percent) of women who lived alone were aged 65 years and over, compared with 22 percent of males. Conversely, half (49 percent) of males who lived alone were aged under 45 years, compared with 25 percent of females. The different age structure accounted for a lot of the differences in family net worth, reflecting the fact that the more years you have to accumulate assets and pay off debt, the higher your net worth is likely to be. Many of the older women were likely to be widows, who had net worth built up over time when they were part of a couple. For non-family members who lived with others, the picture was very different, and the majority of both males and females in this group were under 45 years (79 percent of males and 7 percent of females). Both sexes had a distribution skewed to the lower values of net worth, but females had a greater proportion in the bottom two quintiles than males (64 percent and 59 percent, respectively). 15

20 Figure 1 4 Percent Net Worth Quintile for Non-family Members By living situation and sex Quintile 1 Under $4,2 Quintile 2 $4,21 3, Quintile 3 $3,1 99,8 Family net worth Quintile 4 $99,81 218, Quintile 5 $218,1+ Living situation by sex Live alone Males Live with others Males Live alone Females Live with others Females 16

21 3. Assets This section looks at the type of assets families have and the value of them. The SoFIE questionnaire collected information about the following assets: property superannuation/life insurance bank accounts investments credit cards business trusts timeshares vehicles/leisure household items other assets. Because relatively small numbers of families held superannuation/insurance, investments, credit card positive balances, business, trusts, timeshares or other assets, this analysis will concentrate on the remaining asset types, which are owned by a reasonable proportion of families (though all will be included when total assets are discussed). All of the asset types not covered had a median value of zero (which means at least half did not have the asset) for all family types. Assets owned by families The total value of assets held by families in was $454.8 billion dollars. Figure 11 shows the value of family assets averaged over all families, whether or not they had assets, ranged between $596,6 and $634,9 for couples aged 45 64, couples aged 45 and over with dependent children, and couples with adult children only. For the next group, the average was $55,4 for couples aged 65+ and $391,5 for couples under 45 with dependent children. Considerably lower average family assets were experienced by couples aged under 45 ($295,5) and one-parent families with at least one dependent child ($112,9). Age is again a factor here, with older families having had more time to accumulate assets. The median value of family assets ranged from $442,7 for couples with adult children, to $35,1 for one-parent with dependent children families. 17

22 Figure 11 Family Type By average and median value of assets Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Types of asset Value of assets ($) The most common type of asset held by all core families was, not surprisingly, household items. Ownership of a vehicle was the next most common asset, followed by bank deposits and property assets. As stated earlier, very few families had positive credit card balances, timeshares, or trust assets. Figure 12 Household items Vehicle Bank deposit Property Investment Superannuation/insurance Business Trust Credit card Timeshare Other Asset type Asset Ownership By core family type Couples Couples with children One-parent families Percent 18

23 Property assets Family Net Worth in New Zealand Around 8 percent of couples aged 45 64, couples 65 and over, couples 45 and over with dependent children, and couples with adult children reported having property assets, as shown in figure 13. This can include the family home, as well as investment properties or holiday homes. Younger families were less likely to have property assets, with one parent with dependent children families having the lowest incidence rate at 3 percent. Figure 13 Family Type by Property Asset Ownership Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Asset (percent) Property assets made up between 39 and 47 percent of total family assets averaged over all families (whether or not they owned property). The median value of property assets for all one-parent families was zero, meaning at least half of this type of family did not own property with or without a mortgage. The average value of property assets across all one-parent families was $7,1 (it was $18,6 for those oneparent families who had property). For other family types, the median property values were highest for couples with adult children only. The highest average property values were similar for couples where the highest income earner was aged between 45 and 64 years, couples with adult children only, and couples with at least one dependent child where the income earner was aged 45 years and over. The graph below shows the importance of property assets to the level of family net worth. In all family types shown there was a much higher proportion in the lowest quintile of net worth when there were no property assets, compared with when there were. The biggest difference was among one-parent families, particularly those with dependent children. Thirteen percent of one-parent families with dependent children were in the lowest net worth quintile when the family owned property, compared with 82 percent when they did not. 19

24 Figure 14 1 Percent Family Type and Property Asset Ownership By family net worth quintile Have property No property Have property No property Have property No property Have property No property Have property No property Couples Couples with dependent children Couples with adult children only dependent children adult children only and presence of property assets Family net worth Quintile 1 Under $4,6 Quintile 2 $4,61 13,5 Quintile 3 $13,51 258, Quintile 4 $258,1 489, Quintile 5 $489,1+ Bank deposit assets The majority of all family types had bank deposit assets. One-parent families with at least one dependent child had the lowest average ($3,5) and median ($2) value of bank deposits of all family types who had them. Couples aged under 45 with at least one dependent child were next-lowest, with an average value of $11,5 and a median value of $1,8. The family type with the highest average and median values for bank deposits (averaged over those who had bank deposits) was couples only, where the highest income earner was aged 65 years and over. For this family type the average was $55,9 and the median was $15,. All the median values were much lower than the average values, indicating that most families have a relatively low bank balance. Bank deposits made up around 5 percent of total assets over all family types. They were about 1 percent of total family assets for couples where the highest income earner was aged 65 years and over, but for families with dependent children they only made up between 2 and 4 percent of total family assets. The presence of bank deposits had much less impact on the distribution of family net worth quintiles among most family types than property assets had. This is because, as explained above, the value of these assets is low for many families. For most family types, having bank deposits meant they were more likely to be in the top family net worth quintile. 2

25 Figure 15 1 Percent Family Type and Presence of Bank Deposits By family net worth quintile Have deposits No deposits Have deposits No deposits Have deposits No deposits Have deposits No deposits Have deposits No deposits Couples Couples with dependent children Couples with adult children only and presence of bank deposits dependent children adult children only Family net worth Quintile 1 Under $4,6 Quintile 2 $4,61 13,5 Quintile 3 $13,51 258, Quintile 4 $258,1 489, Quintile 5 $489,1+ The assets of non-family members Non-family members who lived alone had more assets than non-family members who lived with others. The average value of assets for people who lived alone was $215,3 and the median value was $137,. In contrast, the values for non-family members who lived with others were $91,4 and $22,1, respectively. The main difference between the two non-family groups for the type of assets owned was with property assets. Fifty-eight percent of non-family members who lived alone owned property, compared with 26 percent of those who lived with others. Those who lived alone have a much older age profile than the other group, and the data shows that families with older people are also more likely to own property. 21

26 Figure 16 Asset Type for Non-family Members By living situation Asset type Household items Live alone Vehicle Live with others Bank deposit Property Investment Superannuation/insurance Business Credit card Trust Timeshare Other Percent 22

27 4 Debt This section looks at the level and type of debt that families have. The types of debt included are: mortgages bank debt credit card debt other debt. The value of total debt held by families in New Zealand in was $76.6 billion. Figure 17 shows how the level of debt varied by family type for families who had debt. Couples aged 45 years and over with dependent children, and couples aged under 45 years had the highest average debt levels with around $113,2 each, compared with just $14,5 for couples aged 65 and over. Couples aged under 45 with dependent children and couples with adult children also experienced fairly high debt levels in, with averages of $11,7 and $17,9, respectively. Oneparent families have relatively low levels of average debt. Families with a high level of debt are those in prime age groups for purchasing and paying for property. Figure 17 Family Type by Average and Median Debt For those families who had debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Family debt ($) 23

28 Types of debt Credit card debt was the most common type of debt for all family types except one parent with dependent children, where other debt was more common. Other debt includes store cards, hire purchase and non-bank loans. For both types of couplebased families with dependent children, for those aged years, and for those aged 65 years and over, mortgage debt is the second most common debt. Other debt is the second most common debt for most of the remaining family types. Overall, 76 percent of families had non-mortgage debt, comprising any combination of credit card, bank loan or other debt, and 42 percent had mortgage debt. Figure 18 Family Type by Type of Debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Mortgage Bank Credit card Other Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Percent Debt to income ratio The level of debt to level of income ratio gives an idea of how easy it is for families to pay off debt. However, the aggregate data presented here cannot reflect the situation of individual families and only gives an idea of which types of families are likely to have a high level of debt compared with their income. On average, for every $1 of income for couples aged under 45 years with dependent children, there was an average debt of $162 and a median debt of $19. For couples only aged the average debt per $1 of income was $1,1, but the median was only $38. One-parent families with dependent children had an average of $112 and median of $29 of debt for every $1 of income, similar to couples aged under 45, where the figures were $15 and $88, respectively. The lowest level of debt per $1 of income was for couples aged 65 and over, where the average was $37 and the median $2. 24

29 Mortgage debt Not surprisingly, mortgage debt is not as common as property assets, since a sizeable proportion of families own property without a mortgage. However, in three family types all couple-based families with children over half of the families had a mortgage. One-parent families and couples aged 65 and over were much less likely than other families to have a mortgage. Figure 19 Family Type by Proportion with a Mortgage Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Mortgage (percent) Mortgages make up a large proportion of the value of family debt. Over all families, mortgages make up 81 percent of total debt and there is little variation across family types. Couples with adult children have the lowest proportion of debt covered by mortgages, at 71 percent. For those families with a mortgage, the highest average and median level of the mortgage is experienced by couples aged under 45 years. The average mortgage amount for this family type was $188,6 and the median amount was $137,5. Couples with dependent children, irrespective of the age of the highest income earner, had average mortgage levels around $148,. Mortgage levels of oneparent families with a mortgage were relatively low at around $87,, and were very similar for both one-parent families with dependent children and one-parent families with adult children. 25

30 Figure 2 Family Type by Average and Median Mortgage Amount For those families who had a mortgage Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Mortgage ($) Non-mortgage bank loan debt Over all families, 28 percent had a bank loan, but there was some variation among the different family types, related to the age of the family. Three family types had around 35 percent of families with a bank loan: couples aged under 45, couples aged under 45 with dependent children, and couples with adult children only. For oneparent families, around 3 percent had a bank loan. Couples aged between 45 and 64 and couples aged 65 and over had the lowest incidence of bank loans. Figure 21 Family Type by Proportion with Bank Loan Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Bank loan (percent) 26

31 The value of bank loans for those who had a loan was relatively low, especially compared with the value of mortgages, and these loans made up 11 percent of the total family debt. The highest value bank loans were in couple aged families, where the average loan was $51,2, followed by couple with adult children families with an average loan of $44,9. These two family types had much bigger value loans than the rest of the families. Credit card debt A large number of families reported having credit card debt in. Couples aged 65 and over and all one-parent families had lower-than-average credit card debt. Around 6 percent of all other family types had this type of debt. Figure 22 Family Type by Proportion with Credit Card Debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Credit card debt (percent) While very common, the amount of credit card debt was, on average, relatively small and total credit card debt made up only 2 percent of total family debt. Of those who had credit card debt, the three family types of couples with children, and couples aged years all had an average credit card debt between $3,2 and $3,9, and a median debt between $1,5 and $2,4. They had the highest levels of average and median credit card debt of all family types with this type of debt. The lowest levels of credit card debt were among couples aged 65 and over ($1,7 average and $8 median) and one-parent families with dependent children ($1,9 average and $1,1 median). 27

32 Figure 23 Family Type by Average and Median Credit Card Debt For those families who had credit card debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Other debt Credit card debt ($) Other debt includes store cards, hire purchase agreements and loans from non-bank sources. The family types most likely to have other debt tended to be younger or had young adults in the family couples aged under 45 and couples with adult children. Only two family types stood out for having a low incidence of other debt couples aged and couples aged 65 and over. Figure 24 Family Type by Proportion with Other Debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Other debt (percent) 28

33 Other debt makes up around 6 percent of total debt. Of the families who had other debt, three family types have higher average levels of this type of debt: couples aged under 45 years with dependent children ($14,2 average), couples with adult children only, and couples aged under 45 years (both with a $12,9 average). In all cases, though, the median debt is relatively low. Couples aged 65 and over have the lowest level of other debt, just $2,4 on average, with a median of $1,2. Figure 25 Family Type by Average and Median Other Debt For those families who had other debt Couple aged under 45 years Couple aged years Average Median Couple aged 65+ years Couple aged under 45 years with dependent children Couple aged 45+ years with dependent children Couple with adult children only dependent children adult children only Other debt ($) The effect of debt on family net worth There is no straightforward relationship between debt and net worth, because debt can be used to purchase assets or used for day-to-day living. However, in all family types, those with no debt had a greater proportion in the top two family net worth quintiles than those families with debt. For one parent with dependent children families, those with no debt had a greater proportion in the bottom two quintiles of family net worth than those with debt. 29

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