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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 1998  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/1998   
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Contents >> Housing >> Definitions and references

Definitions and references

Affordability index - the ratio of average household income to the average income needed to meet the repayments for an average established dwelling purchased by a first home buyer. A value of 100 indicates that a household with average income would meet the average income requirements to service the average mortgage. An increase in the index represents an improvement in affordability.

    Reference: Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Housing Industry Association, Housing Report.

Alterations and additions - all approved structural and non-structural changes to a dwelling of a value of not less than $10,000 which are integral to the functional and structural design of the dwelling, e.g. garages, carports, pergolas, reroofing, recladding etc., but excluding swimming pools, ongoing repairs, landscaping, and maintenance and home improvements not involving building work.
    Reference: Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia (cat. no. 5609.0).

Applicants accommodated - the number of public rental applicants accommodated in a year.
    Reference: Department of Social Security, Housing Assistance Act 1989 Annual Report.

Applicants on housing waiting lists - the number of applicants (households) waiting for public rental accommodation on 30 June.
    Reference: Department of Social Security, Housing Assistance Act 1989 Annual Report.

Average number of bedrooms per dwelling - the average number of bedrooms in occupied private dwellings. For purposes of calculation, a dwelling with no bedrooms was considered to have one bedroom.
    Reference: Housing Survey, 1988, Income and Housing Surveys 1990; Surveys of Income and Housing Costs, 1994 and 1995 and Censuses of Population and Housing, 1991 and 1996.

Average number of persons per dwelling - the average number of usual residents in occupied private dwellings.
    Reference: Housing Survey, 1988, Income and Housing Surveys 1990; Family Survey 1992; Surveys of Income and Housing Costs, 1994 and 1995 and Censuses of Population and Housing, 1991 and 1996.

Average weekly earnings index - the total weekly ordinary time (before tax) earnings of full-time adult employees divided by the total number of full-time adult employees and expressed as an index with base year 1989-90=100.
    Reference: Average Weekly Earnings, States and Australia (cat. no. 6302.0).

Established house price index - the price of detached residential dwellings on their own block of land, regardless of age (i.e. including new houses sold as a house/land package as well as older houses) expressed as an index with base year 1989-90=100.
    Reference: House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities (cat. no. 6416.0).

Finance commitments - firm offers to provide finance for owner-occupation or alterations and additions which have been, or are normally expected to be, accepted. Commitments to provide housing finance to employees and commitments accepted and cancelled in the same month are included. Owner-occupied dwellings being purchased can be either established (completed for more than 12 months or previously occupied) or new (completed for less than 12 months with the borrower being the first occupant).
    Reference: Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia (cat. no. 5609.0).

Flats and apartments - occupied private dwellings contained in blocks of flats, units or apartments, which do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. Includes flats attached to houses.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Household - a person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually reside and eat together.
    Reference: Australian Housing Survey: Selected Findings (cat. no. 4181.0).

Houses - occupied private dwellings which are self-contained and separated from other structures by a space of at least half a metre to allow access on all sides. Includes houses with an attached flat.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Housing interest rate - the financial year annual average of the interest rate applicable on the last working day of each month to standard variable rate loans for owner-occupation extended by large bank housing lenders. It is the predominant or representative rate of major banks, although some banks may quote higher or lower rates.
    Reference: Reserve Bank of Australia, Monthly Bulletin.

Materials used in house building price index - prices of selected materials used in the construction of dwellings expressed as an index with base year 1989-90=100. Data for national total is a weighted average of six state capital cities.
    Reference: Price Index of Materials Used in House Building, Six State Capital Cities (cat. no. 6408.0).

Mean weekly public/private rent - the average weekly rent paid by renters of public/private dwellings.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Occupied private dwellings- the premises occupied by a household. For population estimation purposes, the total number of occupied private dwellings is treated as being equal to the total number of households of the usually resident population.
    Reference: Household Estimates, Australia (cat. no. 3229.0).

Owned with a mortgage- a dwelling where the reference person's outstanding mortgage or loan amount secured against the dwelling is greater than zero. Includes persons who have an outstanding mortgage amount but who are not making any payments. Prior to 1995 known as 'Being purchased', and excluded dwellings with mortgages for alteration/addition or other purposes.
    Reference: Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Owned without a mortgage - a dwelling where the reference person has no outstanding mortgage or loan amount secured against the dwelling. Includes persons who have repaid a mortgage or loan but have not formally discharged the associated mortgage. Prior to 1995 known as 'Owned', and included dwellings whose only mortgage was for alteration/addition or other purposes.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Persons receiving private rental assistance - persons on low incomes who pay rent or similar payments for private accommodation and receive a rental assistance payment from the government. Rent assistance may be payable to pensioners without children, families receiving above the minimum family payment and people already receiving a government allowance or benefit.
    Reference: Centrelink, DSS Customers: A statistical overview.

Private/public sector dwellings completed - when building activity has progressed to the stage where the building can fulfil its intended function. The ABS regards buildings as completed when notified as such by the respondents (builders) to the survey.
    Reference: Building Activity, Australia (cat. no. 8752.0).

Private rental - households paying rent to a landlord who is a real estate agent, a parent or other relative not in the same household or another person not in the same household, to reside in the dwelling.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Private rental cost index - the average rent of privately owned dwellings (rented through real estate agents in each capital city) expressed as an index with base year 1989–90=100.
    Reference: Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0).

Project home price index - the price of dwellings available for construction on a client's block of land expressed as an index with base year 1989-90=100.
    Reference: House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities (cat. no. 6416.0).

Public rental - households paying rent to a State or Territory housing authority or trust to reside in the dwelling.
    Reference: Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Public rental cost index - the average rent of government authority dwellings in metropolitan areas expressed as an index with base year 1989-90=100.
    Reference: Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0).

Public sector dwelling stock - those rental dwellings held by State and Territory housing authorities.
    Reference: Department of Social Security, Housing Assistance Act 1989 Annual Report.

Semi-detached/townhouses - occupied private dwellings with their own private grounds and no dwelling above or below. A key feature of these dwellings is that they are attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings, or separated from a neighbouring dwelling by less than half a metre.
    Reference: Income and Housing Surveys; 1992 Family Survey; and Survey of Income and Housing Costs.

Size of new private/public sector houses - average floor area of houses intended for private/public ownership at building approval.
    Reference: Building Approvals Microfiche Service, Australia (cat. no. 8734.0).


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