Australian Bureau of Statistics
4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1995
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/1995
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Housing Stock: Trends in housing
MATERIALS OF OUTER WALLS OF OCCUPIED PRIVATE DWELLINGS
Source: Census of Population and Housing (1911-1981); Australian Housing Survey (1988 and 1994).
MATERIALS USED FOR OUTER WALLS OF NEW DWELLINGS, 1993-94
Source: Building Approvals
Cost of materials
Between 1987 and 1994 the cost of materials used in house building increased by 44% (see Housing - National summary tables). One factor in this increase may have been the cost of using materials to build more environmentally friendly dwellings. While energy conservation measures, such as solar energy and insulating walls and ceilings, may add to the initial cost of construction, the longer term financial savings, as well as savings to natural resources, are considered important by many home buyers1.
Rooms and amenities
The number and types of rooms and amenities in a dwelling can be used as a broad indicator of its size and characteristics. In 1994, 70% of dwellings had three or more bedrooms. 83% of separate houses had three or more bedrooms, compared to 37% of semi-detached houses and 10% of flats/units. 23% of dwellings had two or more bathrooms or ensuites. 74% of dwellings had separate toilets (rooms). Separate houses were more likely to have these facilities than other types of dwellings.
Dual flush toilets and reduced flow shower heads are seen as environmentally friendly because they use less water. In 1990, 25% of dwellings had dual flush toilets. By 1994, 39% of households had dual flush toilets and 22% of households had reduced flow shower heads.
PROPORTION OF DWELLING TYPES WITH SELECTED ROOMS/AMENITIES, 1994
(b) Includes caravans not in caravan parks, houseboats, improvised homes and houses and flats attached to shops. These dwellings will often not be self contained.
Source: Australian Housing Survey; Environmental Issues Survey
Heating and insulation
The source of energy used for household lighting, water heating and room heating has been a focus of environmental concern in recent years. In 1994, 37% of households used electricity for room heating and 29% used mains gas. 17% of households used wood or coal for room heating. The most commonly used fuels for heating water were electricity (61%) and mains gas (31%).
Due to climatic variations across Australia, there are marked differences between the states and territories in the use of household heating. While over 99% of households in Tasmania, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory used energy for room heating, only 18% of households in the Northern Territory and 45% of households in Queensland did so.
Overall, the proportion of dwellings with insulation increased slightly between 1980 and 1994. In 1980, 11% of dwellings were reported as having wall insulation and 42% with roof insulation. In 1990 the proportions had increased to 15% and 49% respectively with 13% of dwellings reported as having both wall and roof insulation. By 1994, 18% of dwellings were reported as having wall insulation and 51% as having roof insulation. 15% of households were reported as having both wall and roof insulation.
In 1994 the main reasons why households installed insulation were because it was thought to be warmer in winter and cooler in summer and it would save on energy bills. The main reasons why households without insulation had not installed it were the cost, being uninterested in it or not having thought about it, or thinking that it was unnecessary because of the climate.
PROPORTION OF HOUSEHOLDS USING SELECTED ENERGY SOURCES, 1994
Source: Australian Housing Survey
PROPORTION OF DWELLINGS WITH INSULATION
Sources: National Energy Surveys; Survey of Income & Housing Costs and Amenities (1990); Australian Housing Survey (1994)
1 National Housing Strategy (1992) Housing choice: reducing the barriers Issues paper no. 6.
2 Housing Characteristics and Decisions: A Comparative study of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra (8710.0).
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