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New Zealand Treasury Working Paper No. 99/09
New Zealand Government, The Treasury, Wellington
This paper explores readily available data up to 1996 on New Zealand's saving rates and the level of savings, and examines the portfolio allocation of savings. It finds that New Zealanders' household saving rates are low, whilst above average public saving rates leave national saving rates closer to OECD average levels. Whilst New Zealand has lower net wealth per household than many of its OECD counterparts, a good portion of this is associated with differences in per capita incomes. New Zealanders hold a higher proportion of their savings in housing than people in many other countries, as would be expected given our lower per capita incomes. Even given this, New Zealand has above average home ownership rates and housing space consumption is high by world standards. Historically, the returns on different domestic asset classes suggest that the risk adjusted real return on housing has been relatively high.
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