4130.0 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
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GLOSSARY


Age

Person's age in years last birthday.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

The ASGS came into effect in July 2011 to replace the Australian Statistical Geographical Classification (ASGC). The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography used by the ABS to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated. Its purpose is to outline the conceptual basis of Mesh Blocks, the regions of the main structure and the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas and their relationships to each other. For further information refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001) and <http://www.abs.gov.au/geography>

Body corporate fees

Payments to a registered corporate body for the maintenance of strata title properties (e.g. flats, town houses).

Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS) for housing appropriateness

A standard measure of housing utilisation that is sensitive to both household size and composition. Based on the following criteria used to assess bedroom requirements, households requiring at least one additional bedroom are considered to be overcrowded. The criteria specify:

          • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom;
          • a household of one unattached individual may reasonably occupy a bed-sit (i.e. have no bedroom);
          • couples and parents should have a separate bedroom;
          • children less than five years of age, of different sexes, may reasonably share a room;
          • children five years of age or over, of different sexes, should not share a bedroom;
          • children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom, and
          • single household members aged 18 years or over should have a separate bedroom.
          .
The CNOS variable on the file compares the number of bedrooms required with the actual number of bedrooms in the dwelling.

Changeover buyer

A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and either the reference person or partner had owned or been purchasing a home previously.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a non-taxable income supplement paid through Centrelink to individuals and families who rent in the private rental market. It is only paid to recipients of another government benefit or pension, and paid in conjunction with that other benefit.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

A general measure of price inflation for the household sector in Australia. Specifically, it provides a measure of changes, over time, in the cost of a constant basket of goods and services acquired by the capital city households in Australia.

Couple family

See One family households.

Couple family with dependent children

See One family households.

Couple, one family household

A one family household consisting of:
          • one couple only;
          • one couple, with their dependent and/or non-dependent children only;
          • one couple, with or without children, plus other relatives; or
          • one couple, with or without children and other relatives, plus unrelated individuals.

Dependent children

All persons aged under 15 years; and persons aged 15–24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Disposable income

Gross income less income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge i.e. remaining income after taxes are deducted, which is available to support consumption and/or saving. Income tax, Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are imputed based on each person's income and other characteristics as reported in the survey. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income.

Dwelling

A suite of rooms contained within a building which are self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures. Examples of types of dwelling include: separate house; semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse; flat, or apartment; and other dwelling, including caravan, cabin, houseboat, and house or flat attached to a shop.

Dwelling structure

The dwelling structure type is determined by the structure of the building that contains the dwelling. Households belong to one of four dwelling categories:
          • separate house;
          • semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse;
          • flat or apartment; or
          • other dwelling, including caravan or cabin in a caravan park, houseboat in a marina, caravan not in a caravan park, houseboat not in a marina and house or flat attached to a shop.
Employed

Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:
          • worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers); or
          • worked one hour or more, without pay, in a family business or on a family farm; or
          • had a job, business or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.

Employee

An employed person who, for most of his/her working hours:
          • works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind; or
          • operates their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees.

Employee income

An employee's total remuneration, whether monetary or in kind, received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business. It comprises wages and salaries, bonuses, amounts salary sacrificed, non-cash benefits such as the use of motor vehicles and subsidised housing, and termination payments.

Equity in the dwelling

A household's equity in the dwelling is the difference between the value of the dwelling and the total amount outstanding on mortgages taken out on the dwelling for any purpose, or unsecured loans taken out for housing purposes.

Equivalisation

Can be applied to disposable household income and net worth to create equivalised disposable household income and equivalised household net worth. Adjustments are made using an equivalence scale. Equivalence measures are used in some analyses to enable comparison of the relative economic wellbeing of households of different size and composition. For a lone person household, the equivalised value is equal to the original value, or equal to zero if the original value was negative. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the level that would be needed by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. For more information on the process of equivalisation, see the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0).

Equivalising factor

A factor that can be used to adjust the actual incomes of households in a way that enables analysis of the relative wellbeing of households of different size and composition. The equivalising factor included on the file has been calculated using the 'modified the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)' equivalence scale. The factor is built up by allocating points to each person in a household. Taking the first adult in the household as having a weight of 1 point, each additional person who is 15 years or older is allocated 0.5 points, and each child under the age of 15 is allocated 0.3 points. The equivalence factor is the sum of the equivalence points allocated to the household members. Equivalised household income can be derived by dividing total household income by the equivalence factor. Note that for large households, the equivalence factors included on the confidentialised unit record file (CURF) file are based on the household size after it has been reduced to the maximum size allowable on each CURF.

Family

Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.

Family composition of household

Classifies households into three broad groupings based on the number of families present (one family, multiple family and non-family). One family households are further disaggregated according to the type of family (such as couple family or one-parent family) and according to whether or not dependent children are present. Non-family households are disaggregated into lone person households and group households.

First home buyer

A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and neither the reference person nor their co-resident partner had owned or purchased a home previously.

First Home Owners Grant

The First Home Owners Grant is a scheme established by the Australian Government to provide financial assistance to eligible first home buyers. Its value has varied over time as government policy has changed.

Flat or apartment

Includes all self-contained dwellings in blocks of flats or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category includes houses converted into flats and flats attached to houses such as granny flats. A house with a granny flat attached is regarded as a separate house.

Full-time student

A person aged 15 years or over who is classified as a full-time student by the institution they attend, or considers himself/herself to be a full-time student. Full-time study does not preclude employment.

Government pensions and allowances

Income support payments from government to persons under social security and related government programs. Included are pensions and allowances received by aged, disabled, unemployed and sick persons, families and children, veterans or their survivors, and study allowances for students. All overseas pensions and benefits are included here, although some may not be paid by overseas governments.

Gross income

Income from all sources, whether monetary or in kind, before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted.

Group household

See Non-family household.

Greater Capital City Statistical Area Structure

Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs) represent the socio-economic extent of each of the eight state and territory capital cities. They include the people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, but live in the small towns and rural areas surrounding the city.

Household

A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.

Household composition

The differentiation of households on the basis of the number of families present, and whether or not unrelated household members are present (if it is a family household), or the number of household members (if it is a non-family household).The categories presented are:
          • Couple family with dependent children;
          • One parent family with dependent children;
          • Couple only;
          • Other one family households;
          • Multiple family households;
          • Lone person households; and
          • Group households.
Some of these categories are further disaggregated according to age groups of, for example, the reference person.

Household reference person

The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 years and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:
          1. the person with the highest tenure when ranked as follows: owner without a mortgage, owner with a mortgage, renter, other tenure;
          2. one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children;
          3. one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children;
          4. a lone parent with dependent children;
          5. the person with the highest income; or
          6. the eldest person.

Housing costs

Housing costs for the purposes of this publication comprise the following costs for the three different tenure type categories:
          • rent payments;
          • rates payments (general and water); and
          • mortgage or unsecured loan payments if the initial purpose was primarily to buy, build, add to, or alter the dwelling.
Some additional items relating to housing costs are available to enable alternative estimates of housing costs to be constructed. See the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0) for alternative measures of housing costs included on the files.

Housing costs as a proportion of income

The total weekly housing costs of a group (e.g. one parent households) are divided by the total weekly income of that group expressed as a percentage.

Housing utilisation

Provides a measure of the bedroom requirements of a household according to household size and composition. See Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness.

Income

Income consists of all current receipts, whether monetary or in kind, that are received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption.
        Income includes receipts from:
          • wages and salaries and other receipts from employment (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of salary sacrificed and/or salary package arrangements;
          • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships);
          • net investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties);
          • government pensions and allowances (includes pensions and allowances from Commonwealth and State and Territory governments as well as pensions from overseas); and
          • private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and financial support received from family members not living in the same household).

Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted. Other measures of income as Disposable income and Equivalised disposable income.

Note that child support and other transfers fro other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers.

Income tax

See Taxes on income.

Incorporated business

An incorporated business is a company that has a registered business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Australian Business Register (ABR), and a legal status which is separate to that of the individual owners of the business.

Individual questionnaire

Used to collect information from each person aged 15 years and over on individual details such as income, personal assets, education and labour force status.

Landlord type

Landlord Type is the type of legal entity from which a persons/income units/household's right to occupy a dwelling derives. It relates to the entity with which the person obtains the contractual right to occupy dwelling space as a home. Renters are classified to one of the following categories:
          • Real estate agent;
          • State or territory housing authority;
          • Person not in same household - Parent/Other relative;
          • Person not in same household - Other person;
          • Owner/manager of caravan park;
          • Employer - Defence Housing Authority;
          • Employer - Government;
          • Employer - Other employer;
          • Housing co-operative/Community/Church group; or
          • Other.

Life tenure

A contractual arrangement in which the resident(s) has the right to occupy the dwelling for life or an unspecified period but without the full rights of ownership and usually with limited or no equity in the dwelling. This is a common arrangement in retirement villages and can also be referred to as a leasehold or loan and licence agreements.

Lone person household

See Non-family household.

Lower income

Lower income households are defined as households in the lowest and second equivalised disposable household income quintiles, excluding the 1st and 2nd percentiles (i.e. the 3rd to 40th percentiles inclusive). The 1st and 2nd percentiles are excluded due to the high wealth and expenditure characteristics those households exhibit, and the prevalence of income types other than employee income and government pensions and allowances.

Main source of income

The income source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the main source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the main source may account for less than 50% of gross income.

Mean housing costs

The total weekly housing costs paid by a group of households (e.g. couple only households) divided by the number of households in that group.

Mean income

The total income received by a group of units divided by the number of units in the group. For more detail about household weighted and person weighted means, see the 'Summary indicators of income distribution' section of this publication for more information.

Median housing costs

That level of weekly housing costs that divides a group of households into two equal parts, one half having housing costs above the median and the other half having housing costs below the median.

Median ratio of housing costs to income

The ratio of weekly housing costs to gross weekly income is calculated for each household. The median is the level of that ratio that divides a group of households into two equal parts, one half having the ratio above the median and the other half having the ratio below the median. Households with nil or negative total income are not included in this calculation.

Medicare levy

Medicare is Australia's universal health care system. The Medicare levy is a specific tax, based on individual income, intended to assist in the funding of this system.

Mortgage

A mortgage is a loan taken out using the usual residence as security.

Multiple family household

A household containing two or more families. Unrelated individuals may also be present.

Negative income

Income may be negative when a loss accrues to a household as an owner or partner in unincorporated businesses, rental properties or other investment income. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.

New dwelling

A dwelling is new if it was built under contract for the current owner, or was purchased from the builder/developer, and the current owners were the first household to live in the dwelling.

Non-dependent children

Persons aged 15 years and over who:
          • do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household; and
          • have a parent in the household; and
          • are not full-time students aged 15–24 years.

Non-family household

A household that consists of unrelated persons only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories:
          • Group household: a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households;
          • Lone person household: a household consisting of a person living alone.

Offset accounts

An offset account is an account with a financial institution that is linked to a home loan. The balance in offset accounts reduces the interest charged on the loan.

One family household

A one family household is classified to one of the following categories:
          • couple only - two persons in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household;
          • couple family with dependent children - a household consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals;
          • one parent family with dependent children - a household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals; or
          • other one family households: a household comprising:
            • one couple with their non-dependent children only;
            • one couple, with or without non-dependent children, plus other relatives;
            • one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals;
            • a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals; or
            • two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).

One parent family with dependent children

See One family household.

One parent, one family household

A one family household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child. The household may also include other relatives and unrelated individuals.

Other dwelling

Includes caravans, houseboats, or houses or flats attached to a shop or other commercial premise.

Other income

Income other than wages and salaries, own unincorporated business income and government pensions and allowances. This includes income received as a result of ownership of financial assets (interest, dividends), and of non-financial assets (rent, royalties) and other current receipts from sources such as superannuation, child support, workers' compensation and scholarships. Income from rent is net of operating expenses and depreciation and may be negative when these are greater than gross receipts.

Other landlord type

Where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Other one family households

See One family households.

Other property loans

Principal outstanding on loans used to purchase, build, alter, or make additions to property rented out, loans taken out by people in rental properties who are buying or building a home somewhere else, and loans taken out for alterations and additions to other property. Where only a proportion of a loan is used for the property, only that proportion of the principal outstanding is included.

Other residential property

Residential property owned by household other than their usual residence. This can include properties purchased as an investment or as holiday homes.
    Other tenure type

    A household which is not an owner (with or without a mortgage), or a renter. This includes rent free, life tenure, participant in a shared equity scheme and other tenure types not elsewhere classified.

    Own unincorporated business income

    The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated businesses. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the business after the deduction of operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.

    Owner without a mortgage

    A household in which at least one member owns the property in which they usually reside and have no outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling. This can include households with dwellings which are jointly owned with someone who is not a member of the household.

    Owner with a mortgage

    A household in which at least one member owns the property in which they usually reside and have any outstanding mortgages or loans secured against the dwelling. Includes:
            • Households with dwellings which are jointly owned with someone who is not a member of the household;
            • All households that currently have any type of mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling that was partially or wholly used to purchase the land or dwelling, or to build the dwelling; or
            • Those cases where the loan is in the form of bridging finance, until such time as a loan or mortgage can be obtained or outright purchase is made.

    Percentiles

    When all households or persons in the population are ranked from the lowest to the highest on the basis of some characteristic such as their household income, they can then be divided into equal sized groups. Division into 100 groups gives percentiles. The highest value of the characteristic in the tenth percentile is denoted P10. The median or the top of the 50th percentile is denoted P50. P20, P80 and P90 denote the highest values in the 20th, 80th and 90th percentiles. Ratios of values at the top of selected percentiles, such as P90/P10, are often called percentile ratios.

    Participant of a shared equity scheme

    Persons/Income Units/Households in the household who have a formal arrangement to purchase less than 100% equity in the dwelling, they may or may not be paying rent for the remainder. The remaining proportion of equity in the dwelling would be paid for and owned by another party in a shared equity arrangement.

    Most shared equity schemes will allow the participant to purchase greater equity from the other partner(s) over time. This means that ultimately, they may become full owners.

    Perturbation

    Adjustment of estimates to disguise individual values without affecting the statistical validity of aggregate data.

    Private dwelling

    Houses, flats, home units, caravans, garages, tents and other structures that are used as places of residence. These are distinct from non-private dwellings which include hotels, boarding houses and institutions.

    Private renter

    A household paying rent to occupy a dwelling in the private rental market. Rent is paid to either a real estate agent, or a person not living in the same dwelling - whether related or unrelated.

    Property

    All residential and non-residential properties owned by persons in the household, excluding properties owned by the respondent's business.

    Public renter

    A household paying rent to a state or territory housing authority/trust.

    Quintiles

    Groupings that result from ranking all households or people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income or net worth and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population.

    Recent home buyer

    A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to the survey.

    Reference person

    See Household reference person.

    Relative standard error (RSE)

    The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate for which it was calculated. It is a measure which is independent of both the size of the sample, and the unit of measurement and as a result, can be used to compare the reliability of different estimates. The smaller an estimate's RSE, the more likely it is that the estimate is a good proxy for that which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. For more information see the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0).

    Repairs and Maintenance

    Repairs and maintenance refers to any work undertaken with the purpose of either preventing deterioration or repairing some aspect of the dwelling back to its original condition.

    Renter

    A household that pays rent to reside in the dwelling, even if this rent is subsidised or partly refunded. See 'Landlord type' for further classification.

    Rent free

    Rent free is a tenure arrangement in which the household or person does not pay money for lodging and is not an owner of the dwelling.

    Rest of State

    Under the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), Rest of State is any area not defined as being part of the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs). In the case of Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory however, there is no Rest of State balance.

    Selected dwelling

    The private dwelling selected in the sample for the survey.

    Self-contained

    The dwelling includes bathing and cooking facilities.

    Semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse

    A dwelling with its own private grounds and no dwelling above or below. A key feature of this dwelling is that it is either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or is separated from neighbouring dwellings (usually by less than one-half metre). Examples include semi-detached, row or terrace houses, duplexes, townhouses or villa units. Multistorey townhouses or units are separately identified from those which are single storey.

    Separate house

    A house separated from other dwellings by space to allow access on all sides (at least half a metre). This category also includes houses which have an attached flat (eg. a granny flat). The attached flat will be included in the 'Flat or apartment' category.

    Standard error (SE)

    A measure of the likely difference between estimates obtained in a sample survey and estimates which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. The magnitude of the standard error associated with any survey is a function of sample design, sample size and population variability. For more information see the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0).

    Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1)

    Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s) have been designed as the smallest unit for the release of Census data. SA1s generally have a population of 200 to 800 persons, and an average population of about 400 persons. They are built from whole Mesh Blocks and there are approximately 55,000 SA1s covering the whole of Australia.

    Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)

    Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s) are part of the ASGS and are used for the output of a variety of regional data, including the 2011 Census Data. There are 106 SA4s covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. They are built up from SA1s. In regional areas, SA4s tend to have populations of between 100,000 to 300,000 people. In metropolitan areas, SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 to 500,000 people).

    State/territory government concessions and exemptions

    Any exemption or concession for first home buyers on stamp (transfer) duty and/or mortgage duty payable to a state or territory government. All jurisdictions offered exemptions and/or concessions on stamp duty and/or mortgage duty to first home buyers in the survey period, normally subject to property value and income thresholds.

    State/territory government grants

    Any monetary grant paid to eligible first home buyers that is in addition to the First Home Owner Grant and introduced by a state or territory government. Some jurisdictions offered grants to first home buyers in the survey period.

    Taxes on income

    Taxes on income is the sum of personal income tax plus the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge for all members of the household. Taxes on income were imputed according to the 2015–16 tax rules which were applied to the gross income of family members according to their characteristics as reported in the 2015-16 Household Expenditure Survey and the Survey of Income and Housing.

    Tenure type

    The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to:
          • whether the household owns the dwelling outright;
          • owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it;
          • is paying rent to live in the dwelling; or
          • has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.

    Tenure and landlord type

    Combines Tenure type and Landlord type to provide more detailed information for rented dwellings. See Tenure type and Landlord type.

    Unincorporated business

    A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred. The business may be registered (in their own state) as a sole trader, partnership or firm; however they are not registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and are not legally a company.

    Unsecured loan

    A loan not requiring any security or collateral.

    Value of dwelling

    The estimated sale price of dwelling and its land, at the time of the respondent's interview, as estimated and reported by the respondent.