​Survey reveals housing preferences


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​Survey reveals housing preferences

The results of the ‘The Housing We’d Choose’ survey were presented to the Planning, Finance and Community Committee last Thursday.

Over 300 residents were surveyed in Blenheim, Renwick, Spring Creek and Grovetown. The survey aimed to find out what people say they would choose for their future housing needs based on their ability to pay.

A majority of respondents said they would prefer a standalone dwelling. However, once affordability was considered, over a third were willing to consider a higher density form of housing such as a townhouse, duplex or apartment.

The survey found the most important criteria for people in their housing choice were:

  • Location - easy access to shops/the CBD was most important
  • Facilities - close to a park/reserve was most important, followed by proximity to a GP, hospital and recreational facilities
  • Environment - safe from crime was most important, followed by safe from natural hazards, away from industrial areas, roads and noise
  • Property - garage/off-street parking was most important, followed by freehold, sunny and standalone.

Of those surveyed, 76% were owner occupiers and 24% were renters. One person households make up a quarter of all households, which the report notes is expected to increase to one third by 2043.

Committee Chair Mark Peters said they were interesting findings.

“It’s a very important piece of market research and it clearly shows that there is demand for different types of housing other than the traditional standalone three bedroom house.”

“The Council wants to see inner Blenheim thriving in the long term. Having more people living in or close to the town centre can bring vitality and generate economic, social and cultural activity and benefits.”

“While the Council encourages landowners in appropriate fringe areas of Blenheim to develop new greenfield housing, providing roading and water infrastructure in those areas is expensive. The advantage of developing housing in inner Blenheim is that it already has the infrastructure.”

The findings of this survey would also be shared with the property development community and Marlborough Housing Group. The Council’s planning team will undertake a review of the Urban Residential Zone 1 planning provisions next financial year, he said. This would seek to identify any constraints to intensification in that zone.

“The Urban Residential Zone 1 surrounds the Central Business District and is intended to provide for more intensive housing options. However, that intensification is not occurring at the rate that was anticipated. It is important to understand the reasons why.”

“There is also great potential for the Central Business District and some of the industrial parts of inner Blenheim to move to mixed use or more compact townhouses or apartments as well.”

The report notes that Blenheim’s population is ageing rapidly. At the 2018 Census the median age for Blenheim residents was 42 years, higher than the national median of 37 years. Nearly a quarter (22%) of Blenheim residents were aged 65 years or older, compared to 15% of New Zealanders. By 2048 it is projected that a third of Blenheim residents will be aged 65 years or older. The average household size in Marlborough was 2.4 people at the last Census, compared with 2.7 across NZ.

'The Housing We’d Choose' survey report can be downloaded below.

Research First surveyed a representative sample of 366 respondents between November 2021 and January 2022. The results have a margin of error of +/-5.1% at a 95% confidence level.


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.