The state of our homes

Hundreds of homes will soon be assessed as part of a nation-wide survey on housing quality. The survey will help provide a better understanding of the condition of New Zealand housing and pilot new approaches in data collection, Stats NZ said today.

The General Social Survey (GSS), undertaken every two years, asks questions about the well-being of thousands of New Zealanders, and in 2018 will include questions around housing.

In addition, this year’s General Social Survey will ask participants in at least 400 homes to take part in an assessment of physical aspects of their house undertaken by an independent, trained assessor.

The one-hour assessment, which is completely voluntary, will collect data on the physical characteristics of the house, including things like building size, insulation, and heating as well as the general condition of the house.

“Assessors will just be looking - they won’t need to poke into walls or disturb the house or contents in any way to get the information they need,” household surveys future development manager Calli Seedall said. “We often hear about damp, cold homes that can put the health of New Zealanders at risk. The information gathered in the GSS and housing assessments will increase understanding of housing quality in New Zealand.”

People renting and owner-occupiers will be invited to take part in the physical-house assessments, but all individual information will be completely anonymised. “Researchers and policy makers will be able to see the overall results of the assessments, but they won’t know who owns or rents any given home represented in the data,” Calli Seedall said.

The individual inspection results and temperature readings will not be used for compliance purposes by any agency.
This is a great example of collaboration between agencies. The physical housing assessment survey is jointly funded by independent building research organisation BRANZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment MBIE.


Land Information NZ LINZ are working with BRANZ to design the digital tool that will be used for the assessments and Otago School of Medicine are also supporting temperature taking at all homes included in this year’s GSS.

The 2018 General Social Survey will run from April 2018 to March 2019, with initial results due out later in 2019.

See New Zealand General Social Survey – information release for previous releases.

The upcoming census on 6 March 2018 will include new questions on mouldy homes. See Census will take stock of our mouldy homes.

For more information about these statistics:
Visit The state of our homes


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