ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication contains results from the State Supplementary Survey conducted in Western Australia (WA) in October 2005. It presents information on the motivators that affect Western Australians in the choice of their current dwelling (and location of that dwelling) and their intentions regarding their future choice of housing. Some characteristics regarding their previous dwelling were also collected.
Data items collected on behalf of the household include current dwelling structure and tenure, number of bedrooms, total household income, whether the dwelling was part of a retirement village or group housing complex, whether modifications had been carried out for the elderly or people with a disability, and type of modification. Data items regarding previous dwellings, housing motivations and housing intentions were answered on behalf of only one person who was randomly selected from the household.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The survey was conducted as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Monthly Population Survey (MPS). Please refer to the Explanatory Notes for further details about this survey.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Carolann Hoad on Perth (08) 9360 5947.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Dwelling type and dwelling tenure
In October 2005, 85% (1,235,700 persons) of all persons aged 18 years and over in Western Australia (1,459,800 persons) were living in a separate house. A further 9% were living in a semi-detached row, terrace house or townhouse and 6% were in a flat, unit or apartment. Persons living in separate houses most commonly either owned or were purchasing their home (82%). In comparison, persons living in other types of dwellings were most commonly renting (57%).
Current region of residence
Around a third of persons living in each of the statistical regions that comprise the Perth Metropolitan area lived in a home that was fully owned. A smaller proportion of those living in the Central Metropolitan statistical region were purchasing their homes (30%) compared with those living in the other regions (between 40% and 43%). The Central Metropolitan statistical region had the highest proportion of private renters (30%) compared with the other regions, South West Metropolitan having the lowest proportion (17%).
By tenure type, similar proportions of those living in the two regions which comprise the Balance of WA (Lower Western WA and Remainder WA) owned (40% and 38%), were purchasing (36% and 37%), were privately renting (18% and 17%) and were publicly renting (4% and 5%) their homes. Maps showing the statistical regions are included in Appendices 2 and 3.
Length of time in current dwelling
Just over a third (35%) of persons had lived in their current dwelling for ten years or more. Of these, the majority (64%) owned their home and a further 31% were purchasing their home. Of the 29% of persons who had lived in their current dwelling for less than two years, almost half (49%) were privately renting their homes, a further 33% were purchasing and 14% owned their home. A fifth of persons had lived in their current dwelling for between two and less than five years with the majority purchasing their homes (55%).
The proportions of persons living in separate houses ranged from 96% of those in couple with children households to 59% of those persons living alone. Over a third of persons living alone fully owned their homes (37%), a further 31% were privately renting and a fifth (22%) were purchasing their home. The majority of persons living in couple only households lived in a dwelling that was fully owned (51%), followed by almost a third in a dwelling that was being purchased (30%). Persons living in couple with children households were most likely to be living in a dwelling which was being purchased (58%), with a further 27% living in dwellings which were fully owned. Around a third of persons living in lone parent with children households were living in dwellings that were fully owned (27%), being purchased (33%) and privately rented (30%).
Just over one-quarter (27%) of persons in WA were living in a seniors household (where at least one usual resident was aged 60 years or over). The majority of these were living in a dwelling that was fully owned (68%) compared with only 23% of persons living in fully owned dwellings in non-seniors households.
Housing for persons aged 55 years and over
Households where at least one usual resident was aged 55 years or over may live in a retirement village or group housing complex. At the time of the survey, 36,100 persons were living in this type of housing (7% of all persons aged 55 years and over) in WA.
Some 97,600 persons in WA (7%) lived in a dwelling that had modifications carried out for the elderly or people with a disability. Of those, 80% had installed hand-grab rails, almost a third had made changes to the layout of the toilet, bathroom or laundry (31%) and almost a quarter had installed access ramps or step free entrances (23%).
Annual household income
Some 38% of persons in WA were living in a household where the total annual income was between $40,000 to less than $90,000 (551,300 persons), 30% where it was $90,000 or more (436,400 persons) and 28% where it was less than $40,000 (412,700 persons). Persons in households earning less than $40,000, and in households earning between $40,000 to less than $90,000 had higher levels of home ownership (fully owned) compared with those earning $90,000 or more (45% and 32% respectively compared with 29%).
Across all annual household income ranges, the majority of persons in WA were living in three or four bedroom dwellings (82%). The proportion of persons with a household annual income of less than $40,000 declined with each additional bedroom, from 77% of those in bedsit or one bedroom dwellings, to 14% of those in five or more bedroom dwellings. Just over half of persons living in five or more bedroom dwellings (51%) were members of households earning $90,000 or more per year.
Dwelling status at time of purchase
Almost two thirds of persons living in dwellings which were being purchased or fully owned moved into an established home at time of purchase (63%). This compares with 31% who built their current dwelling and only 6% who purchased a newly-built dwelling. The highest proportion of newly-built dwelling purchasers were couple only households (41%).
Approximately two-thirds (944,600 persons) of all persons in WA (aged 18 years and over) had moved into their current dwelling less than ten years ago. Of these, most had moved from within WA (846,800 persons).
Most recent movers living in the Perth Metropolitan area had previously lived in Perth (16% in the same suburb and 68% elsewhere in Perth), 10% had lived interstate or overseas and 6% had lived elsewhere in WA. These proportions were similar for each of the metropolitan statistical regions.
Of those recent movers currently living in the balance of WA, 77% had previously lived in the Balance of WA (42% in the same town or locality and 36% elsewhere in the Balance of WA), 17% had lived in Perth and 6% had lived interstate or overseas. These proportions were similar for the Lower Western WA and Remainder WA regions.
For those recent movers who had moved within WA only, additional information was collected regarding their previous dwelling. The majority of recent movers' current dwelling tenure type was being purchased (392,200 persons). Of these, a similar proportion had moved from a previous dwelling which was also being purchased (43%) or from a dwelling which was privately rented (38%).
The next largest group of recent movers were privately renting their current dwelling (238,100 persons). The majority of these had moved from another privately rented dwelling (64%) although more than one quarter had been living in a dwelling that was fully owned or being purchased (29%).
Some 166,400 recent movers fully owned their current dwelling. Of these, more than half had moved from a previous dwelling that was also fully owned (56%), close to one quarter had moved from a privately rented dwelling (23%) and almost one fifth had moved from a dwelling that was being purchased (18%).
Three quarters of the 30,700 recent movers who were publicly renting their current dwelling, previously lived in a dwelling that was rented (39% privately and 37% publicly).
More than a third of persons (34% or 291,500 persons) cited a change in family or personal circumstances as a reason for moving. The most common change was getting married or moving in with a partner (24%) with similar proportions quoting an increase in household size (15%), the breakdown of a marriage or relationship (15%) and to be independent (14%).
Choice of current location
Recent movers were asked the reasons why they chose to live in their current location (935,000 persons). They could provide more than one reason. The most common reasons given were a 'quiet location' (43%), 'close to family or friends' (42%) and 'familiarity with area' (41%). Other common reasons given were 'access to facilities and services such as schools or shops' (41%) and 'safe neighbourhood' (40%). More than one-third (35%) of persons in WA stated 'suitable price range' as a financial reason for the choice of their current dwelling location.
Choice of current dwelling
Recent movers were also asked why they chose their current dwelling (935,200 persons). They could provide more than one reason. The most common reasons given for choosing the current dwelling were 'appearance and layout' (57%) and 'larger residence' (57%). Almost half (45%) of persons in WA stated 'suitable price range' as a financial reason for the choice of their current dwelling.
One quarter of all persons in WA (aged 18 years and over) plan to move within the next three years (360,800 persons). Most future movers intended to remain in WA (255,700 persons) with only 6% intending to move interstate or overseas. Almost one quarter (23%) did not know the location of their future dwelling.
Most future movers currently living in the Perth Metropolitan area intended to stay in Perth (19% in the same suburb and 44% elsewhere in Perth), 7% intended to move interstate or overseas and 4% intended to move elsewhere in WA.
Of those future movers currently living in the balance of WA, 71% intended to stay in the Balance of WA (43% in the same town or locality and 28% elsewhere in the Balance of WA). These proportions were similar for the Lower Western WA and Remainder WA regions.
Almost half of future movers had lived in their current dwelling for less than two years (48%), around one fifth for two to less than five years and another fifth for ten years or more (21% and 20% respectively). The remaining 10% had lived in their current dwelling for five to less than ten years. More than half (54%) of those intending to move expected to do so within the next twelve months, 22% within the next two years and 17% within the next three years.
Most future movers were currently living in a separate house (289,000 persons or 80% of all movers). Some 44% of future movers were currently living in a dwelling that was privately rented, a further 30% in a dwelling that was being purchased and 21% in a dwelling that was fully owned.
Of those future movers intending to stay in WA (including some who were undecided of the location of their future dwelling) (338,500 persons), almost two-thirds were intending to purchase their future dwelling (64%). A further 23% of these intended to rent their future dwelling and 9% were undecided on their future dwelling tenure.
There were 92,300 future movers who were currently renting and intended to purchase their future home. Of these, 88% stated that home ownership was their main reason for intending to move.
Almost three quarters of future movers intended their future dwelling to be a separate house (72%). A further 11% were undecided as to which type of dwelling they will live in.
Most future movers would prefer their future dwelling to have either three bedrooms (39%) or four bedrooms (38%).
Households where at least one usual resident was aged 55 years or over may live in a retirement village or group housing complex (where residency is restricted to people aged 55 and over). Of these, 85% did not intend to move to this type of housing (67,700 persons).
Choice of future location
Future movers were asked the reasons why they intend to live in their preferred future location (255,700 persons). They could provide more than one reason. The most common reasons given for choosing the preferred future location were 'familiarity with area' (55%), 'central location' (49%), 'better lifestyle' (48%) and 'access to facilities and services' (48%).
Some 42% of future movers stated 'suitable price range' as a financial reason for the choice of their preferred future dwelling location.
Choice of future dwelling
Future movers were also asked the reasons why they intend to choose their preferred future dwelling (255,700 persons). They could provide more than one reason. The most common reasons given for choosing the preferred future dwelling were 'appearance and layout' (70%) and 'it was a separate house' (68%). Other common reasons given were 'better quality residence' (53%) and 'low maintenance' (51%).
Half of future movers (49%) stated 'suitable price range' as a financial reason for the choice of their preferred future dwelling.