1383.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2009   
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Investment in dwellings
Column graph: Investment in dwellings, 1999 - 2008

For technical information see Endnote 1.
Source: Australian System of National Accounts, 2007-08 (cat. no. 5204.0).

Australians are continuing to invest significantly in the homes that they own. In the ten years to June 2008, around $603 billion (in real terms) was invested in dwellings (excluding land) with investment exceeding $60 billion in each year since 2003. The value of land and dwellings owned by the household sector at 30 June 2008 represented 59% of the value of all assets owned by this sector of the economy (Endnote 2).

The price of established houses in the capital cities rose between June 2002 and June 2008 by an average of about 10% per year. Over this period, prices generally rose from quarter to quarter with the exception of fluctuations in 2004 and 2005. House prices fell in the second quarter of 2008 and preliminary estimates show these falls continuing for the latter half of 2008 (Endnote 3).

In 2005-06, while 2.8% of households across Australia required one or more extra bedrooms to accommodate their residents, 78% had one or more bedrooms spare (Endnote 4). But poor or inadequate housing is a problem for some groups, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in remote areas (Endnote 5).


Housing provides people with shelter, security and privacy. Having an adequate and appropriate place to live is fundamental to people's wellbeing, and there are many aspects to housing that affect the quality of people's lives.

At present there is no single headline indicator to measure progress in housing.

Dwelling attributes, such as size, number of bedrooms, physical condition, location relative to amenities and services, and price, are all important. Some of these are presented here and in the main MAP publication (see link below) to provide an indication of whether or not people's many needs and desires for suitable housing are being met.


Housing - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2006
Themes - Housing


1. Investment in dwellings is based on a volume measure with a reference year of 2006-07.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Australian System of National Accounts, 2007-08 (cat. no. 5204.0), ABS, Canberra.

3 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, December 2008 (cat. no. 6416.0), ABS, Canberra.

4. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4130.0.55.001), ABS, Canberra. There is no single standard measure for housing utilisation. However, the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness can be used as an indicator of potential overcrowding as it is relevant for Australia. It is based on a comparison of the number of bedrooms in a given dwelling and household demographics such as the number of usual residents, their relationship to one another, age and sex. Where the standard cannot be met, households are considered to be overcrowded.

5. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, 2008 (cat. no. 4704.0), ABS, Canberra.