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4130.0.55.001 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia, 2002-03  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2005   
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Mortgages Up And People Borrowing More: ABS


More owner-occupied dwellings had a mortgage or loan secured against them in 2002-03 than seven years ago, and the average level of these borrowings had risen, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

From 1995-96 to 2002-03:
  • The proportion of owner-occupied dwellings with a mortgage or loan secured against the property increased from 40% to 48%.
  • The median amount of mortgages outstanding was over one-third higher in real terms (CPI adjusted) - up 37%, to $96,000.
  • Median dwelling values increased in real terms by 52% to $250,000.

The average weekly payment for a housing-related mortgage plus property rates was $246 (or 17% of mortgagee households' average income in 2002-03). In real terms (CPI adjusted), the weekly payments in 2002-03 were only 2.5% higher than seven years earlier, due in part to a decline in interest rates substantially offsetting increases in mortgage values.

Of the capital cities, Sydney households paid the highest private rents ($260 per week) and the highest housing-related mortgage payments ($330 per week). Including households that owned their homes outright, Sydney's average housing costs were $185 per week. Sydney also had the highest median dwelling value ($430,000).

Hobart's average housing costs were the lowest of the capital cities at $95 per week, reflecting relatively low mortgages and rents as well as higher rates of outright home ownership. Hobart had the lowest median dwelling value ($150,000).

Other results from the Survey of Income and Housing were:
  • Almost 1.2 million households had purchased their home in the three years prior to 2002-03, with over one-third (36%) being first home-buyers.
  • The median price paid by first home-buyers was $200,000, compared to $280,000 paid by change-over buyers.
  • The majority (78%) of recent home buyers bought established homes, with a median price of $235,000. The median price for recently bought new dwellings was $280,000.
  • Households renting privately paid an average rent of $189 per week, up 7% in real terms since 1995-96 and accounting for 20% of their income. Those renting in public housing paid $81 per week, up 11% in real terms and accounting for 18% of their income.
  • New homes continued, on average, to be slightly larger than established dwellings (3.4 bedrooms compared to 3.1 bedrooms).

Further information is in Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (cat. no. 4130.0.55.001).

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