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Mega Landlords Claim Refuted

Federation chief says the numbers simply don’t appear to stack up.

By: Sally Lindsay

1 February 2022

The Property Investors’ Federation has rebutted a Sunday Star Times article claiming there are 605,722 investment properties owned by 533,000 people or businesses in New Zealand.

Federation president Andrew King says the numbers do not appear to stack up. “Firstly, the numbers given equates to an average ownership of just 1.14 properties per owner.

“Secondly, the article claims there are 605,722 investment properties throughout the country, yet there are only 500,000 rentals across the country in New Zealand with about 70,000 owned by the government and many more owned by councils and community housing providers. Where are the roughly other 100,000 investment properties claimed in the article?”

King says the article assumes in every case where more than one property is owned, that property is classed as an investment. However, he says it could be a holiday home, a second residence, a house provided for children to live in or the owner may be overseas.

“The article then appears to count each investor’s own home as an investment property, reducing the number of people classed as owning one or two houses and inflating the number owning three to five. If this is correct then 66% of investors own one property, 26.5% own two to four and 7.5% more than five. That doesn’t demonstrate investment property owned by mega landlords.”

Even if it is assumed the data is correct, which it doesn’t appear to, it still doesn’t show mega landlords owning hundreds of properties. The data shows the following people owning investment properties.

  • 1-2 properties 205,945
  • 3-5 properties 82,315
  • 6 plus properties 23,600

Only 1,163 people, or 0.37% of all investors, own more than 20 properties, according to the article. King says this is an interesting point as while the number of mega investors is extremely low, the proportion of properties they own seems to be increasing.

“This is actually likely, as Kainga Ora builds more rentals. In addition, government changes over the past few years are aimed at increasing the attractiveness of large corporates owning rental property in New Zealand.”

He says as a nation we need to consider if this is really in our country’s and tenants’ best interests. “Large corporate rental owners tend to have large overheads and requirements for bigger profits that lead to higher rental prices.”


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