8791.5 - Housing Motivations and Intentions, Western Australia, Oct 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/04/1999  Ceased
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Selected Characteristics

At the time of the survey, over three-quarters (79.8% or 562,700) of all households in private dwellings in Western Australia (WA) were living in a ‘separate house’while 13.0% were in ‘semi-detached/terrace houses’ Of the 196,500 households living in rental accommodation, just over half (55.7%) were living in a ‘separate house’ 25.4% in a ‘semi-detached/terrace house’ and 18.6% in a ‘flat, unit or apartment’.

Approximately three-quarters (74.3%) of all households were located in the Perth Statistical Division (SD).

Over two-thirds (69.9%) of all dwellings were either owned outright or being purchased by a member of the resident household. Of the 562,700 households living in
‘separate houses’ in WA, 78.3% either owned their dwelling outright or were purchasing the dwelling,while 19.4% were paying rent. Households in rental accommodation accounted for 27.9% of all households.

Almost half the dwellings were occupied by either ‘persons living alone’ (23.0%) or by ‘married couples only’ (24.8%) while 'couples with children aged 0-14’ occupied 18.6% of dwellings. This latter group constituted the highest proportion of home purchasers (30.7%) while ‘persons living alone’ were most frequent renters (33.1%) and ‘married couples only’ the highest proportion of home owners (34.8%).

Almost one-third (31.8%) of households had lived in their current dwelling for ten years or more, 28.6% for less than two years and 20.3% between two and five years.

Choice of Current Dwelling Location

The most common reasons given for choosing the current dwelling location were ‘familiar with area’ (67.1%), a ‘quiet location’ (57.5%), and the ‘attractive neighbourhood’ (56.5%). Access to ‘shops/shopping centres’ (54.1%) and a ‘central location’ (51.0%) were also common reasons given.

Choice of Current Dwelling

The ‘appearance and layout’ of the dwelling was influential in the selection of the current dwelling by approximately three-quarters (74.2%) of households. Other common reasons given for choosing the current dwelling were ‘better quality residence’ (51.6%) and a ‘separate house’ (50.0%).

Dwelling Energy Features

Three-fifths (60.0%) of households had ‘roof or ceiling insulation’ installed in their dwellings. The most common types of insulation installed by these households were 'fibreglass batts’, (44.7%) and ‘cellulose fibre’ (28.5%).

Almost half (44.7%) of the households in WA had air conditioning installed in their dwelling. In these 315,200 dwellings the most commonly installed types of air conditioning were ‘evaporative ducted air conditioning’ (38.7%) and ‘wall or window mounted’ (32.6%).

The main sources of room heating for WA households were ‘natural gas’ (38.8%), ‘firewood’(26.2%) and ‘electricity’ (19.4%). The proportion of households with

‘natural gas’ as their main source of heating was higher in the Perth SD (48.1%) than in Rest of State areas (11.8%) and conversely, the proportion of households whose main source of heating was ‘firewood’ was higher in Rest of State areas (45.9%) than in the Perth SD (19.4%).

Over half of all households (55.9%) had a gas hot water system installed and of these, 52.2% or 203,900 were ‘gas instantaneous’ and the remainder, ‘gas storage’. A further 17.7% of households had ‘solar systems with an electric booster’ while 14.3% had an ‘electric storage tank’.


Approximately two-thirds (67.0% or 456,300) of all households had lived in their current dwelling for less than 10 years. Of these, the majority (98.1%) moved to their current dwelling either from within WA or from another Australian State or Territory. Over three-quarters (77.0%) of these 447,400 households had, immediately prior to moving to their current dwelling, lived in a ‘separate house’, while 12.2% had lived in a ‘semi-detached/terrace house’.

Of the 447,400 WA households that moved either within WA or from interstate, 50% moved from a rental property while 38% had moved from accommodation which was previously owned outright or being purchased. Almost half (45.7%) of the households that moved to a dwelling which was either being purchased or owned outright by a member of the household, had previously lived in a rental property or in some other dwelling that was neither owned nor being purchased.

Seven out of every ten households that moved over the past ten years had moved from a dwelling in the Perth SD, 25.5% from a dwelling in a Rest of State area and 4.4% from other Australian States or Territories.

Of the 427,600 households that moved within WA during the last ten years almost a third (30.5%) stayed in the same locality as their previous dwelling and of these, 67,400 (51.6%) were Perth SD residents. Overall, 68.5% of households moving within WA previously lived in the Perth SD. Over four-fifths (81.1%) of Rest of State households that moved within WA in the last ten years moved to other Rest of State areas, with 64.8% of these moving within the same Local Government Area (LGA).

Approximately 14.9% (17,900) of households that moved to a Rest of State location in the last ten years previously lived in the Perth SD, while 5.2% (17,400) of households that had moved to a dwelling in the Perth SD had moved there from a Rest of State location.


Approximately one-fifth (22.2%) of all households intend moving from their current dwelling within the next three years, with over half of these (56.7%) intending to move within 12 months.

Of the households intending to move within the next three years, the preferred location for 48.9% is the Perth SD while 16.9% prefer to live in a Rest of State location. Approximately one-quarter (24.0%) of households either do not have or don't know their preferred location while 10.2% intend moving either interstate or overseas.

Three-quarters (75.5%) of the 156,600 households that intend moving within the next three years currently live in the Perth SD. Of these, 20.6% intend moving to the same suburb or locality as their current dwelling while 39.8% intend moving to other locations within the Perth SD.

Of the 38,400 Rest of State households intending to move within the next three years, over half (57.9%) plan to move to other Rest of State locations, while 14% intend moving to the Perth SD.

Approximately one-fifth of households in both Perth SD and Rest of State areas (10.8% and 8.2% respectively) intend moving interstate or overseas, while 25.3% of Perth SD and 19.9% of Rest of State households do not know to what location they will move.

Over half (56.6%) of the households intending to move within the next three years plan to purchase their next dwelling, while 28.9% intend renting their next accommodation. A further 11.6% do not know what will be the nature of tenancy at their next location.

Of the 156,600 households intending to move, 81.6% would prefer to live in a'separate house’ while 8.6% would prefer a ‘semi-detached or terrace house’ and 6.8% a ‘flat, unit or apartment’.

Dwelling Location Preferences

The most common reasons given for the preferred location of future dwellings were ‘familiar with area’ (76.6%), ‘attractive neighbourhood’ (64.8%), ‘wanting a better lifestyle’ (60.9%), ‘quiet location’ (58.3%) and proximity to ‘attractive geographical features’ (57.2%).

Dwelling Preferences

When selecting their next dwelling, ‘appearance and layout’ will influence 73.8% of households. Other common preferences are ‘separate house’ (60.9%), ‘better quality residence’ (57.1%) and ‘larger dwelling’ (44.1%), while ‘home safety features’ will be valued in future dwellings by 42.5% of households.

Energy efficiency and home safety would appear to be much more important considerations in choosing the next home than they were in choosing the current home. Of households intending to move to a new dwelling, 51.1% claimed that energy efficiency features will be factors affecting the choice of their next dwelling. This is in contrast with the choice of current dwellings where energy efficiency features were sought by only 14.3% of households. The most common energy efficiency features sought in future dwellings are ‘natural gas access’ (27.4%),‘solar hot water system’ (26.0%), ‘insulation’ (23.7%),and a‘northern aspect’ (15.8%).

In choosing the current dwelling, these energy efficiency features were less important,with ‘natural gas access’ sought by only 5.3% of households, ‘solar hot water system’ by 3.2%, ‘insulation’ by 5.3%, and a ‘northern aspect’ by 4.4% of households.


During a three-week period immediately prior to the survey, local facilities accessed by household members included ‘shops/shopping centres’ (97.8%),‘sporting, park and recreational facilities’ (51.2%), ‘restaurants, cafes, hotels’ (47.9%), and ‘medical, health, welfare services’ (45.6%).

Over half (54.1%) of households using local facilities indicated that some of the facilities used were within walking distance and were usually walked to by a member of the household. Of these,‘shops/shopping centres’ were usually walked to by 72.3% of households, ‘sporting, park, recreational facilities’ by 45.3%, and ‘public transport’ by 26.8% of households.

Of the 51.2% of households that had a member who had used local sporting, park or recreational facilities during the three-week period, 30.2% used ‘passive open space and parks’, 14.6%‘ active open space’ and 11.9% used ‘indoor recreation centres’.