4130.0.55.001 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia, 2003-2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/03/2006   
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March 13, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Fewer home owners mortgage-free in 2003-04 than nine years earlier: ABS

Housing costs rose sharply in the nine years to 2003-04, but with average household incomes also rising, the proportion of gross household income required to meet housing costs increased only slightly (up from 12% to 14%), according to new statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Other findings in today's release are:
  • in 2003-04, 35% of private dwellings were owned outright by the households occupying them, down from 42% in 1994-95, while the proportion of households with a mortgage had risen from 30% to 35% over the same period;
  • median values for owner-occupied dwellings increased in real terms (all groups CPI adjusted) from $176,000 to $300,000 in the nine years to 2003-04 (up 70%);
  • the proportion of private households renting their dwellings increased from 18% in 1994-95 to 21% in 2003-04;
  • while the number of people living in private dwellings in 2003-04 was 11% higher than in 1994-95, the number of households rose more quickly (up 18%), reflecting a decrease in the average household size from 2.69 to 2.53 persons per household;
  • despite household sizes shrinking on average, the average private dwelling size increased over the nine-year period from 2.88 to 3.02 bedrooms per dwelling, with 77% of those dwellings in 2003-04 having more bedrooms than required based on standard occupancy requirements;
  • Sydney households paid the highest capital city private rents ($267 per week) and the highest housing-related mortgage payments ($398 per week);
  • Sydney's home owners also had the highest median capital city dwelling values ($500,000);
  • Hobart's average housing costs were the lowest of the capital cities ($118 per week), reflecting relatively low mortgages and rents as well as higher rates of outright home ownership;
  • Hobart home owners also had the lowest median capital city dwelling value ($200,000)

Further information is in Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (cat. no. 4130.0.55.001).