Trusts Reduce Home Ownership Measures: 28 July 2006

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Trusts Reduce Home Ownership Measures: 28 July 2006


A discussion paper released today by the Reserve Bank shows that about one-fifth of household assets are held in trusts, and this has had the effect of lowering census measures of home ownership.

The paper looks at family trusts: who owns them, what they contain, and how trusts affect measurements of wealth, income, and home ownership.

The Household Savings Survey (HSS) was undertaken by Statistics New Zealand in 2001, and collected data on household wealth, including the assets and liabilities of family trusts. The paper re-examines the HSS data, finding that in 2001:

* about 4 per cent of individuals and 12 per cent of couples had trusts;

* total holdings of trusts were $93 billion--around 19 per cent of all household assets; and

* the average amount held by a trust was $707,900, compared with an average $243,600 held by a household.

In the research, HSS data and data on the number of tax returns from private trusts was used to adjust figures on home ownership from the census. …

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