Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1997  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/06/1997   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Housing >> Housing & Lifestyle: Youth housing

Housing and Lifestyle: Youth housing

In 1996, 11% of young people aged 15-19, and 51% of young people aged 20-24, had formed their own households.

Leaving home and becoming independent is a significant event in a young person's life. An essential part of this process involves finding appropriate and affordable housing, especially near jobs, education and other facilities1.

PROPORTION OF YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS, 1996


Source: Labour Force Survey (unpublished data).

Young people and housing

In this review, young people refers to people aged 15-24 years. Older people refers to people aged 25 years and over. Young households refers to households where the reference person was aged 15-24 years. Older households refers to households where the reference person was aged 25 years and over. This review excludes people living in non-private dwellings. In 1996, 57,000 young people lived in non-private dwellings.

A reference person is one of the partners in a couple family household; the parent in a one-parent household; and the person in a lone-person household. In other households it is an adult nominated by the household.

Group households are two or more persons living in the same household that are not related to each other by blood, marriage (including de facto marriage), fostering or adoption.

Outright owners are households where the reference person does not owe anything for loans used to purchase the dwelling, nor is their home mortgaged.

Purchasers are households where the reference person is paying off a loan or mortgage for the dwelling.

Public renters are households where the reference person rents from a State or Territory housing authority.

Private renters are households where the reference person rents from a real estate agent or private landlord.

All renters include public, private, and other renters. Other renters are households where the reference person rents from a landlord who is an employer (private or government), an owner/manager of a caravan park, or a housing co-operative/community/church group.

Separate houses are self-contained dwellings with access on all sides (at least one half metre). They include houses that have an attached flat.

Semi-detached, row or terrace houses, or townhouses are dwellings with their own private grounds and no dwelling above or below. They are attached in some structural way to, or separated by less than one half metre from, one or more neighbouring dwellings.

Flats, units or apartments include all self-contained dwellings in blocks of flats, units or apartments that usually share a common entrance. They include houses converted into flats and flats attached to houses.


Living arrangements
In 1996, 64% of all young people were living with their parents. However, there were quite different patterns of independence within this broad age group. The proportion of young people living with their parents decreased steadily with age, from 99% of those aged 15 years to 31% of those aged 24 years.

In 1996, young people aged 15-19 predominantly lived with their parents. Only 11% of people in this age group had left to form their own households. Of these, 65% lived with unrelated people in group households, and 21% lived with a partner, with or without children. However, 51% of young people aged 20-24 had formed their own households. Of these 43% lived with unrelated people in group households, and 40% lived with a partner, with or without children.

For both age groups of young people living away from their parents, the most common form of household was a group household. For young people who have not yet formed their own family, a group household provides the economic advantage of shared costs. Moreover, 59% of group households contained only two people.

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE, 1996

Age group (years)

15-19
20-24
Total
Living arrangements
%
%
%

With parents
86.3
44.5
64.3
In own households
10.6
51.1
31.9
    Couple only
1.4
12.7
7.4
    Two parent
0.8
7.9
4.5
    One parent
0.8
3.1
2.0
    Lone person
0.7
5.6
3.2
    Group
6.9
21.9
14.7
Other family households(a)
3.1
4.3
3.8
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
'000
'000
'000
Total young persons
1,198.2
1,328.7
2,526.9

(a) Includes young people living with relations who are not their parents.

Source: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia (cat. no. 6224.0)


Housing tenure and type
In 1994, 6% of the 6.7 million households in Australia were young households. 66% of these households were private renters and 6% were public renters. Relatively few young households were home purchasers (16%), reflecting the time taken to save a housing loan deposit, and also the lifestyle priorities of this age group.

The tenure type of young households was related to the family type of those households and their life-cycle stage. In 1994, 34% of young couple-only households and 32% of two-parent households were purchasing their own home, compared with 10% of lone-person households, and 8% of one-parent households. The differences are partly explained by the lower income levels of lone-person and one-parent households.

Young households are more likely than older households to live in medium or high density housing. In 1994, 52% of young households were living in separate houses, 16% in semi-detached, row or terrace houses, or townhouses, and 32% in flats, units or apartments. In comparison, 81% of older households were living in separate houses, 7% in semi-detached, row or terrace houses, or townhouses, and 11% in flats, units or apartments.

TENURE TYPE OF YOUNG HOUSEHOLDS, 1994

Renters

Outright owners
Purchasers
Private renters
Public renters
All renters(a)
Total(b)
Mean weekly income
Total young households
Household type
%
%
%
%
%
%
$
'000

Couple-only households
2.8*
33.6
50.3
2.3*
58.9
100.0
846
93.7
Two-parent households
3.2*
32.2
47.8
8.8*
58.4
100.0
599
44.2
One-parent households
* *
7.7*
48.7
35.2
87.5
100.0
287
32.7
Lone-person households
3.5*
9.7
68.1
7.3
79.0
100.0
399
80.9
Group households
1.0*
6.2
79.9
1.9*
88.4
100.0
876
179.2
All households
2.1
15.6
65.6
6.3
77.1
100.0
707
430.7

(a) Includes other renters.
(b) Includes other tenure types.

Source: Australian Housing Survey (unpublished data).


Barriers to private renting
With two thirds of young households in the private rental market, barriers to renting may have significant impacts on young people. Some landlords and agents may have negative perceptions about young people, especially young groups wishing to share accommodation1.

In 1994, 8% of young renters reported that they had been refused rental accommodation. Of those, 32% were refused rental accommodation because of their age, 17% were refused because they had no references, 11% because they were seeking to rent as a group, and 8% because they were students.

Housing affordability
There is no single standard measure of housing affordability. One measure used in housing research is the ratio of housing costs to income2. Under this measure households are considered to have affordability problems if their income is relatively low (the bottom 40% of the household income distribution) and they spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

In 1994, 31% of low income households spent more than 30% of their gross weekly incomes on housing. However, young households with low incomes were more likely than older households with low incomes to have affordability problems (53% compared to 29%).

There were relatively few young low income households purchasing their homes (9,600). The majority of these (88%) spent more than 30% of their gross weekly income on housing, compared to 67% of older low income households who were purchasing their homes. Older households could be expected to have greater ability to meet mortgage repayments. Of households in the lowest two quintiles, fewer young households (63%) than older households (77%) in private rental experienced housing affordability problems. This may reflect the greater proportion of young households that are group households.

LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS WHO SPENT MORE THAN 30% OF THEIR GROSS WEEKLY INCOME ON HOUSING, 1994

Age group (years)

15-24
25 and over
Total
Tenure type
%
%
%

Outright owners
* *
10.4
10.4
Purchasers
88.4
67.2
68.0
Private renters
62.5
76.9
73.9
Public renters
9.7*
8.5
8.6
Total(a)
53.2
29.5
31.0

(a) Includes other renters and other tenure types.

Source: Australian Housing Survey (unpublished data).


Housing conditions
Dwellings occupied by young households suffered from a greater number of physical problems than those occupied by older households. Young people were much more likely to be renting, and in general rental households experienced more problems. In 1994, 19% of young households reported no problems, compared with 27% of older households. 21% of young households reported five or more problems, while only 11% of older households reported five or more problems.

Proportionally more young households were troubled by problems with water supply, mould/mildew, and leaks/water penetration (22%, 26%, and 16% respectively), than older households (14%, 17%, and 9% respectively). Young households were twice as likely to report problems with doors and security and one third more likely to report problems with draughts and windows, than older households.

PROBLEMS WITH DWELLINGS, 1994

Age group (years)

15-24
25 and over
Problem
%
%

Water supply
22.1
13.8
Sewerage system
3.3
3.3
Electrical
26.4
25.9
Mould/mildew
25.9
17.4
Leaks/water penetration
16.3
9.2
Draughts
31.4
20.8
Infestation of pests
31.5
30.9
Security
11.6
5.6
Windows
33.8
20.1
Doors
22.4
11.8
Access
6.2
4.4
Inadequate roof drainage
10.1
9.1
Surface runoff
12.3
13.3
Structure
11.8
8.0
No problems
18.6
27.1
Total problems(a)
100.0
100.0

(a) Components do not add to total because there may be more than one problem in dwelling.

Source: Australian Housing Survey (unpublished data).


Satisfaction with location
An important factor in housing suitability is location, especially in terms of access to work and services. In 1994, 87% of young households said they were satisfied with the location of their dwelling. Only 2% were dissatisfied, while 11% were undecided. Young people living in semi-detached, row or terrace houses, or townhouses, and flats, units or apartments were more likely to be satisfied with the location of their dwelling (around 91%) than those living in separate houses (84%). This may be because separate houses are less likely to be located in areas with good access to public transport, and close to the work, educational, and entertainment needs of young households.

In 1994, young households that were public renters were least likely to be satisfied with their dwelling's location. Only 68% of young public renters reported satisfaction with their dwelling's location, compared to 76% of young owners, 93% of young purchasers, and 89% of young private renters. Older households living in public housing were more likely to report satisfaction with their dwelling's location (80%). This suggests that the location of public housing may be less suitable for young people.

SATISFACTION WITH LOCATION REPORTED BY YOUNG HOUSEHOLDS, 1994

Satisfied
Neither(a)
Dissatisfied
Total
Total
Dwelling and tenure
%
%
%
%
'000

Dwelling structure
    Separate houses
84.1
12.9
3.0
100.0
222.1
    Semi-detached, row or terrace houses, or townhouses
91.5
7.9
* *
100.0
70.1
    Flats, units or apartments
90.4
7.8
1.8*
100.0
137.4
    Total(b)
87.2
10.6
2.2
100.0
430.7
Tenure type
    Outright owners
75.8
22.1*
2.1*
100.0
8.8
    Purchasers
93.4
6.6
* *
100.0
67.1
    All renters(c)
86.4
10.8
2.7
100.0
331.9
      Private renters
89.2
9.1
1.7
100.0
282.6
      Public renters
67.6
20.9
11.5
100.0
27.0
    Total(d)
87.2
10.6
2.2
100.0
430.7

(a) Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
(b) Includes other dwelling types.
(c) Includes other renters.
(d) Includes other tenure types.

Source: Australian Housing Survey (unpublished data).


Endnotes
1 Maas, F. 1995, National Youth Housing Strategy Interim Report: Discussion Paper, Executive Summary, Department of Housing and Regional Development, Canberra.

2 National Housing Strategy 1992, The Affordability of Australian Housing, Issues Paper No. 2, AGPS, Canberra.

Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.