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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Housing

HOUSING COSTS

For most Australians, whether buying or renting their home, the provision of adequate housing for themselves and their families involves substantial expenditure throughout much of their lives. Housing costs are often the largest regular expenses to be met from a household's current income.

The housing costs measure compiled from the Survey of Income and Housing is defined as the sum of:

  • rent payments
  • rates payments (general and water) and
  • mortgage or unsecured loan payments, if the initial purpose is primarily to buy, add or alter the dwelling.

In 2009–10, owners without a mortgage had the lowest housing costs, averaging $36 per week, or 3% of gross household income. In contrast, owners with a mortgage had the highest housing costs, averaging $408 per week or 18% of their gross household income.

Among renters, housing costs averaged $119 per week for households renting from a state or territory housing authority and more than double that ($305) for households renting from a private landlord. The effect of Commonwealth rent assistance (CRA) should be taken into consideration when comparing the housing costs of private renters with those of other households.

Eligible social security recipients may receive a non-taxable income supplement in the form of CRA if the private rent they pay is above a threshold level. It is estimated that CRA effectively lowers the total housing costs by 10% for all private renters, and by 30% for those private renters who receive CRA. For more information see HOUSING ASSISTANCE and Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (4130.0).

For the majority of owner and renter households, housing costs represented less than 25% of gross household income, but for some it was more than 50%. In 2009–10, 10% of private renters and 7% of owners with a mortgage spent more than half of their gross income on housing (table 10.9).

10.9 ALL HOUSEHOLDS, Housing costs by tenure and landlord type—200910

Proportion of households(a) whose housing costs represented
Average weekly
housing costs
Average
housing costs
as a proportion of
gross household income(a)
25% or less of
gross household income
More than 50% of
gross household income
Number of households
$
%
%
%
'000

Owner without a mortgage
36
2.6
97.9
1.2
2 734.2
Owner with a mortgage
408
18.1
66.4
6.9
3 040.7
Renter state/territory housing authority
119
19.1
78.0
2.7
326.8
Renter private landlord
305
20.0
56.8
10.2
1 994.1
Total renters(b)
275
19.6
60.2
9.1
2 411.1
All households(c)
239
14.1
75.7
5.5
8 398.5

(a) Excludes households with nil or negative total income.
(b) Includes other landlord types.
(c) Includes other tenure type.
Source: Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (4130.0).


Between 1994–95 and 2009–10, owners with a mortgage experienced a $121 increase in average weekly housing costs, after adjustment for inflation (graph 10.10). As a proportion of gross household income, housing costs of owners with a mortgage have remained around 18% over this time (graph 10.11).

For other tenure types, changes in weekly housing costs were smaller, with an overall real increase of $95 for private renters and $26 for public renters between 1994–95 and 2009–10. The proportion of income spent on housing costs has remained around 20% for private renters, but has increased slightly for public renters from 18% in 1994–95 to 19% in 2009–10. As noted above, the effect of CRA receipts should be taken into consideration when making comparisons of housing costs of private renters with those of other tenure types.

Graph 10.10 Average real weekly housing costs(a), By tenure and landlord type



Graph 10.11 Housing costs as a proportion of income, By tenure and landlord type (a)(b)


In 2009–10, households in Sydney, Canberra, and Darwin had the highest average weekly housing costs – $291, $304 and $307 respectively (graph 10.12). In each of these cities, housing costs averaged more than $450 per week for owners with a mortgage, $370 per week for private renters and $125 per week for public renters (table 10.13). At $175 per week, average housing costs in Hobart were just 60% of the Sydney average, and the lowest of all the capital cities.

In all states, average housing costs were higher in the capital city than in the rest of the state. The greatest differences were in South Australia, with Adelaide housing costs 53% higher than the rest of state, and New South Wales, with Sydney housing costs 50% higher than in the rest of the state. In contrast, Brisbane housing costs were 15% higher than in the rest of Queensland, which had the highest non-capital city housing costs in Australia. This is influenced by Queensland's high level of urban settlement outside of Brisbane.

Graph 10.12 Average weekly housing costs, By state and territory—2009-10



Differences in average housing costs between regions reflect differences in property values (see HOME BUYERS), rental prices and tenure patterns (see HOME OWNERS AND RENTERS). In 2009–10, the median value of dwellings in Sydney ($550,000) was more than 57% higher than that of Hobart ($350,000) as was the mean amount of mortgage outstanding ($239,317 compared with $140,344). Consequently, average weekly housing costs for home owners with a mortgage were higher in Sydney than in Hobart ($484 compared with $289) (table 10.13). Also, housing costs for private renters in Sydney were 80% higher than in Hobart. The proportion of Sydney households renting privately was also higher (26% compared with 21%) further contributing to the overall difference in average housing costs between Sydney and Hobart.

Household income also varies between regions and when housing costs are expressed as a proportion of income, regional differences are moderated to some extent. For example, housing costs for all capital cities combined were 34% higher than in the rest of Australia ($263 compared with $197) but the proportion of income spent on housing costs was no higher (both 14%).

10.13 CAPITAL CITY HOUSEHOLDS, Housing costs by tenure and landlord type—200910

Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Perth
Hobart
Darwin
Canberra(a)
Eight capital cities
Balance of Australia

AVERAGE WEEKLY HOUSING COSTS ($)

Owner without a mortgage
36
35
39
34
34
33
38
44
36
35
Owner with a mortgage
484
413
410
358
430
289
451
486
431
363
Renter – state/territory housing authority
128
129
118
107
101
114
131
164
121
117
Renter – private landlord
395
300
327
269
312
219
372
375
336
247
Total renters(b)
351
288
295
229
280
198
313
323
304
221
Total(c)
291
237
273
212
273
175
307
304
263
197

AVERAGE HOUSING COSTS AS A PROPORTION OF GROSS HOUSEHOLD INCOME (%)

Owner without a mortgage
2
2
3
3
2
3
2
2
2
3
Owner with a mortgage
19
18
17
17
18
16
19
16
18
18
Renter – state/territory housing authority
20
21
19
19
20
20
16
18
20
18
Renter – private landlord
23
19
20
18
19
20
20
18
20
19
Total renters(b)
22
19
20
18
19
21
18
18
20
18
Total(c)
15
13
15
13
14
13
16
13
14
14

(a) All ACT owner and renter households.
(b) Includes other landlord types.
(c) Includes other tenure types.
Source: Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (4130.0).

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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