4130.0 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/07/2019   
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17 July 2019

Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
More households renting as home ownership falls

The proportion of Australian households renting their home increased to 32 per cent in 2017–18, according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is an increase from 27 per cent in 1997–98.

Over the same 20-year period, the proportion of households that rented their home from a private landlord increased to 27 per cent (up from 20 per cent), while the proportion of public housing tenants decreased from 6 per cent to 3 per cent.

"Most of the increase in renter households was in the private rental market," said ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman. "Some of the decrease in public housing numbers can be attributed to recent trends in social housing provision which have seen the community housing sector taking on an increasingly prominent role."

The proportion of households that owned their own home fell to 66 per cent, down from 70 per cent in 1997-98. The proportion of households that owned their home without a mortgage decreased to 30 per cent (down from 40 per cent), while the proportion who owned their home with a mortgage increased to 37 per cent (up from 31 per cent).

One in five households (20 per cent) owned one or more residential properties other than their usual residence. Of those households that owned other residential property, 71 per cent owned a single property, while 5 per cent owned four or more properties.

Housing costs remained steady for most household tenure types when compared to recent years. On average, in 2017-18, renters paid $366 per week on housing, while housing costs for owners with a mortgage were $484 per week.

"Interest rates have remained relatively low over the past several years and we have seen a recent softening in the rental market in some major cities," Mr. Hockman said.

The data shows that renters continued to devote more of their income to housing than home owners. On average, private renters paid 20 per cent of their income on housing costs, compared to 16 per cent for owners with a mortgage and 3 per cent for households who owned their home outright.

Lower income households spent a greater proportion of their household income on housing. On average, lower income households renting privately paid $339 per week which was 32 per cent of their gross weekly income. Lower income households who owned their home with a mortgage paid on average $376 per week which was 29 per cent of their gross weekly income.

Media notes:

  • Housing costs include rent payments; rate payments (water and general); and mortgage or unsecured loan payments (if the initial purpose of the loan was primarily to buy, add, or alter the dwelling).
  • When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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