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1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, June 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/07/2009   
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Housing satisfies fundamental human needs for shelter, privacy and security. Having a suitable place to live is a key component of people's identity and wellbeing. Housing also impacts upon the economy with its influence on investment levels, interest rates, building activity and employment. Likewise, home ownership can provide financial benefits to the owner in that it represents the accumulation of wealth.

According to the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, there were 2.5 million occupied private dwellings in NSW. Of these, 70% were separate houses, 19% were flats, units or apartments, and 10% were semi-detached, row/terrace or townhouses. The average number of bedrooms for each dwelling was 3 and the average household size was 2.6 persons.


Housing market demand can be reflected in the value of housing finance commitments, that is, mortgages. Since 2000-01, the value of finance commitments for owner occupied households in NSW has grown at a relatively steady rate. The value of investor dwelling commitments grew more rapidly to a peak in 2003, representing over 50% of the value of commitments, then declined to 37% of commitments in 2007-08.


The total value of housing finance commitments (owner occupiers and investors) rose to a peak in 2003-04, followed by a brief decline and slower growth since. The pattern of movement in the established house price index in Sydney was similar, although by 2007-08 had exceeded the previous peak of 2003-04.

Graph: 4.2 HOUSE PRICE INDEX(a)(b), Sydney


Housing NSW publishes both quarterly weekly rents for new bonds and median sales prices for strata and non-strata dwellings for the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region (GMR). The Sydney GMR is a combined area consisting of the Sydney Statistical Division (SD), Newcastle Statistical Subdivision (SSD) and the Wollongong SSD.

In the year to December 2008, almost half (47%) of the Sydney GMR Local Government Areas (LGAs) recorded annual decreases of more than 5% of the median sales price for non-strata dwellings, with the largest decrease recorded in Woollahra (-41%). In contrast, Sydney LGA recorded the largest annual increase (3.2%). Similarly, median sales prices for strata dwellings recorded annual decreases to December 2008 of more than 5% in almost 40% of Sydney GMR LGAs.

The median weekly rents for new bonds are for flats and units with one or two bedrooms and separate houses with two or three bedrooms. For one-bedroom flats and units in the year to December 2008, 43% recorded annual increases of 10% or more, while for two-bedroom flats and units over the same period, 51% recorded annual increases of 10% or more. The largest increase was recorded in Fairfield (21%). For the year to December 2008, more than half (55%) of three bedroom houses recorded annual increases of 10% or more.


Housing NSW provides housing assistance to people who are on low incomes and meet needs assessment criteria.

As at 30 June 2008, there were 125,600 public housing rental properties in NSW. Of all NSW LGAs, Blacktown had the most public rental properties with 9,900 properties (7.9% of all public rental properties), followed by Sydney with 9,000 properties (7.2% of all properties) and Campbelltown with 7,300 properties (5.8%).

At 30 June 2008, there were 197,200 persons living in public housing in NSW, constituting a total of 119,000 households. The LGAs with the highest number of persons living in public housing were:
  • Blacktown with 17,100 persons (8.7% of all persons in rebated tenant households) constituting 9,600 households (8.0% of all tenant households);
  • Campbelltown with 12,500 persons (6.3% of all persons in rebated tenant households) constituting 6,400 households (5.4% of all tenant households); and
  • Sydney with 12,200 persons (6.2% of all persons in rebated tenant households) constituting 8,600 households (7.2% of all tenant households).

ABS Census of Population and Housing

Australian Census Analytic Program: Counting the Homeless (cat. no. 2050.0)

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Homeless People in SAAP: SAAP National Data Collection Annual Report 2007-08, NSW Supplementary Tables (AIHW cat. no. HOU 195)

Building Activity, Australia (cat. no. 8752.0)

House Price Indexes, Eight Capital Cities (cat. no. 6416.0)

Housing Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5609.0)

Housing NSW, 2007-08 Annual Report

Housing NSW, NSW Public Housing Data Collection

Housing NSW, Rent and Sales Report

Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (cat. no. 4130.0.55.001)

Lending Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5671.0)

Reserve Bank Bulletin, Table F05, Indicator Lending Rates

Residential and Workplace Mobility, and Implications for Travel: NSW and Vic. (cat. no. 3240.0)


Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0)

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